Mia Sanchez at Stadtgalerie

Artist: Mia Sanchez

Exhibition title: Truths, Scoops, Consequences

Venue: Stadtgalerie, Bern, Switzerland

Date: November 1 – December 7, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Stadtgalerie, Bern

A figure dressed in a coat and wearing sunglasses wanders through the urban setting of Milan. A female detective is the protagonist of the video Fists Full of Secrets (2019), created by artist Mia Sanchez for her first institutional solo exhibition Truths, Scoops, Consequences at the Stadtgalerie Bern. The dandy-like figure follows people, goals, and clues hidden to viewers. Whether the detective is also being followed remains unclear. She looks for things to react to in urban space that happen as she walks around, rather than for obvious cause-and-effect relationships. She is present, yet her stoic and mysterious autonomy defy conventional behavioral patterns. She moves out of sync with the time that structures everyday urban life. Her motivation is not the restoration of a social order after being unsettled by a possible crime. The video, presented in a continuous loop, elongates and makes permanent the moment of open-ended wandering.

Mia Sanchez’s work deals with the rhythm, structure, and perception of time, language, and narrative in various artistic formats such as video, photography, and sculpture. Similar to how the wandering figure of the female detective is caught up in changing situations, Mia Sanchez also takes a situation-based view of things: for her, language is always tied to body, community, relationship, and tradition. “Language is communal, but there is no community.” * The protagonists of her videos are often artists from her surroundings with whom Mia Sanchez works. Personal relationships and memories mingle with fiction and can no longer be separated. The fictitious is equally personal, and the personal in Mia Sanchez’s work always also hints at a political dimension.

“Once you have returned to the world of the social clocks, your body temperature rises and your physical speed readjusts to the twenty-four-hour day.”* Various kinds of time permeate the body, material, and language in Mia Sanchez’s work: for instance fictional time bound to narrative media; lifetime and genealogical time; the structuring time of calendars and watches; planetary annual periods and growing seasons. The subjects in the artist’s narratives are entangled in these temporalities, their rhythms, and social imperatives.

Mia Sanchez’s sculptural works are often made in series and play with scale and stage-like characteristics. The use of repetition and scene-like settings suggests narrative connections. Some resemble props from a puppet show; her work’s childhood associations open up spaces of remembrance. The serial nature of the objects, however, shift the mementos from the purely personal towards the social. The female figure of the detective — played by artist Costanza Candeloro in Fists Full of Secrets, but embodied by other actresses in other works—is the leitmotif of the exhibition Truths, Scoops, Consequences. Her wandering gaze can be read as a parallel to the visitors’ experience, thus offering possible points of access to the exhibition, which is also invariably an invitation to question narrative and genre-specific conventions.

* Quote from Mia Sanchez’s video Four Seasons and One in between Each (2018)

Mia Sanchez, Whisper Series – Caterina, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern

Mia Sanchez, Whisper Series – Caterina, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Whisper Series – Osama, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern

Mia Sanchez, Whisper Series – Tiphanie, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Four Seasons and One inbetween each, 7’13’’, 2017

Mia Sanchez, Four Seasons and One inbetween each, 7’13’’, 2017

Mia Sanchez, Lebenswelt (blau), 2019

Mia Sanchez, Lebenswelt (blau), 2019

Mia Sanchez, Lebenswelt (orange), 2019

Mia Sanchez, Lebenswelt (orange), 2019

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern

Mia Sanchez, Whisper Series – Matthias, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Maps, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern

Mia Sanchez, Whisper Series – Andreas, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern

Mia Sanchez, Fists full of Secrets, 8’39’’, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Fists full of Secrets, 8’39’’, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Fists full of Secrets, 8’39’’, 2019

Mia Sanchez, Truths, Scoops, Consequences, 2019, exhibition view, Stadtgalerie, Bern