Rubén Grilo at Future Gallery

Artist: Rubén Grilo

Exhibition title: Lasers and HowTos

Venue: Future Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Date: October 9 – November 7, 2021

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Future Gallery, Berlin

The only thing that can grow in this soil, compacted by walking in circles for a year and a half, is ‘weeds.’ For months now I have devoted myself to that belief, spotting them on sidewalks, admiring them, trying to understand them. While this cult of weeds gave me useful skills —among the many examples I will stick with ‘how to find food in a post-apocalyptic city’— the strength of these plants are reminders of the weakness they can as well create. You will find a case of ironic circularity in weedy rice (known by specialists as Oryza Sativa f. Spontanea), which in the long history of rice domestication evolved on its own without the need of farmers, volunteering next to their much more productive but wimpy relatives, thus endangering one of the main plants that feed humanity. But hey, as awful as it sounds, in a time when the domestic has also become a pressing space of productivity, I can’t help but harbor hope that weeds are teaching us something. Lessons about ‘how to go feral,’ perhaps. A response to feelings so common and perfectly tepid that they will never be ‘cool’ enough or ‘hot’ enough to deserve an exhibition, but which I’m determined to nurture.

In the gallery you will find nine new laser animations from a 2011 series that has sprouted back. Collections of hand-drawn, asemic doodles, copied from imaginary shapes. The exercise consists of capturing as many details of these shapes in as many drawings as possible, digitizing them, placing them in sequences and playing them back with lasers at a high speed. The result is a single flickery form springing from the common traits across the drawings, forcing its presence to the eye like a bell that can’t be unrung. A form of enfranchisement that is also reflected in the pictures commissioned from WikiHow’s Philippine-based illustrators Rigel Aquino, Richard Divinagracia, J.T., MiMa, Raz and Paula Vega, of which four prints can be seen fixed on the walls. Pictures that rigorously follow the company’s style guidelines but do not describe anything, nor the points to follow in a self-empowering tutorial. They are simply there, overflowing the screen, being just a substrate of a meme, escaping the compliance of the text and becoming something of their own, whatever that may be.

Rubén Grilo (Lugo, 1981) lives in Berlin. His work has been shown at CentroCentro, Madrid (2019); ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, in collaboration with Metaphysics VR (2018); Union Pacific, London (2016); Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2015); Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz (2015); Kunstverein Hildesheim (2014); and CSS Bard, New York (2011), among others. Grilo was awarded the fellowship of the Botin Foundation (2013) and was a resident artist at Gasworks, London (2015) and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2011-2012). He is currently working on a monograph.





Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Laser #22, 2021, Laser animation, laser projector, controller, wall mount, cable

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Laser #27, 2021, Laser animation, laser projector, controller, wall mount, cable

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Laser #30 and Laser #23, 2021, Laser animation, laser projector, controller, wall mount, cable

Rubén Grilo, Laser #24, 2021, Laser animation, laser projector, controller, wall mount, cable

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Laser #29, 2021, Laser animation, laser projector, controller, wall mount, cable

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Laser #21, 2021, Laser animation, laser projector, controller, wall mount, cable

Rubén Grilo, Laser #25, 2021, Laser animation, laser projector, controller, wall mount, cable

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Laser #28, 2021, Laser animation, laser projector, controller, wall mount, cable

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Hey Background (Rigel), 2021, Featuring contribution by WikiHow artist Rigel Aquino.Inkjet print on polymeric vinyl, chipboard, screws.

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Hey Background (Raz), 2021. Featuring contribution by WikiHow artist Raz.
 Inkjet print on polymeric vinyl, chipboard, screws

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Hey Background (Richard), 2021. Featuring contribution by WikiHow artist Richard Divinagracia. Inkjet print on polymeric vinyl, chipboard, screws.

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Lasers and HowTos, 2021, exhibition view, Future Gallery, Berlin

Rubén Grilo, Hey Background (J.T.), 2021. Featuring contribution by WikiHow artist J.T. Inkjet print on polymeric vinyl, chipboard, screws