L21 gallery Palma is excited to present the individual exhibition called Numerical Values by Ignacio Uriarte (Krefeld,1972). His works invade the showroom coming out of the frames which contain them in order to occupy the room in a sculptural way.
The rhythm of the exhibition is marked by Acht Stunden zählen (To count eight hours), a sound installation in which one hears a male voice counting numbers in a monotonous fashion. The recording lasts 8 hours so by making a reference to the customary working timetable which iseverybody’s every day. Each syllable lasts one second which creates a human sound clock and this accompanies the visitors throughout their visit. As the recording advances, the numbers and the quantity of syllables become successively disassociated. Finally, the number of syllables is not the same as the recited number, rather it is the equivalence given between language and time. The work is the basis from which one observes the rest of the exhibition, because everything that is seen has the same sound track.
Counting is a habitual act typical of the working routine. On one side, the time left is counted to finish the work and so become free of inherent obligations. On the other, money is counted according to the time worked and this in turn depends on how that time has been used; that is to say the performance of each worker.
The recording makes up the basis from which we see the rest of the exhibition, as everything we see has the same soundtrack. In the case of the triptych Oscurecer (Darken) it seems as if each drawing follows the beat of the audio. The viewer seems directed by this rhythm which conditions the way in which he sees the pieces. Standing in front of the drawings, one has the urge to read them according to the rhythm e.g.: counting the lines of which they are made up.
Uriarte’s pieces investigate the relationship between mechanical work and human work. The lines of the drawings are executed following numerical rules and depending on certain angles with the intention of giving the feeling they have been carried out by a machine. However, one perceives the human face as some lines are darker than others at some points owing to the variation of pressure by the hand. The voice from the recording also has the intention of becoming a machine, a clock, but one perceives changes of intonation, tiredness in the voice or like a person swallowing saliva. As much as human beings tries to emulate mechanical work, they cannot annul what they are.
Numbers determine responsibilities and to a great extent, possibilities, becoming a definite essence of human life. In this way, Uriarte makes the subject feel that he is reflected in his pieces, because he is able to recognize in them those habits and situations which he assumes as his own. Confronted by his work, one becomes aware that routine is an essential part of his existence.
Ignacio Uriarte lives and works in Berlin. He studied Business Adminstration in Mannheim and Madrid and later Audiovisual art in Centro de Artes Audiovisuales in Guadalajara, Mexico. He has exhibited in La Casa Encendida in Madrid, in the Ludwig de Colonia Museum, in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Utah, in the Drawing Center in New York, in the MACBA in Barcelona and in the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin, amongst others.
Maria Garcia-Ruiz Nicolau
In collaboration with NoguerasBlanchard.