SPE - PERFORMANCE AND EXHIBITION SPACE
15 SEPTEMBER-23 DECEMBER 2018
Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo
Winning Project Of Death and Dying
sound Gonzalo Peniche and Gabriela Mendez
Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo Columbarium Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City, October 2017-February 2018. Courtesy the artist.
Born in Mexico City, his work encompasses various artistic fields, mainly photography, video and installations. Much of his research focuses on the transience of life and the theme of death, on different levels including “necrogeography” and the relationship between the city of the living and that of the dead, the microcosm of the cemeteries, identity lost after death, metempsychosis and popular traditions, the remains and the memory of corpses as still-lifes, and the metaphor of absence.
Over the last seven years, in his tours of over 700 cemeteries throughout the world, Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo has made countless audio recordings and photographed over five thousand portraits of the dead.
In the installation “Columbarium”, the artist presents a soundtrack using these sounds and reproduces some of these portraits, printed in black and white, on plain paper. The installation presents a discourse on the gaze, memories and the memory, that resounds like a dialogue between life and death, in which the gaze becomes both omnipresent and anamorphic. It represents not just death looking at us, but also, in turn, us looking at it, through the funeral portraits that the living have decided to preserve as the image of their dead.
The funeral portrait facilitates the observer’s entry into the psychic process of mourning and loss, as a record of a moment and a model that are no longer there. Entropy also makes up part of the installation, through the faces that have been erased, deteriorated or simply disappeared. Each face, each life, each loved being was, and is no more. These images of silent gazes, printed on a fragile and perishable substratum, are at the same time a manifestation of the impossibility of representing them and the representation of death itself.
Il Columbarium provokes in the observer a mydriasis caused by a state of hallucinatory consciousness, which helps us to face the aporia, reminding us that what we lack in life is the image of our own death. Dissolving the boundaries between photography, portrait painting and installation, Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo reworks the aesthetic of evanescence and the perpetual, where space meets time, and the death of life.
Alejandro Gomez de Tuddo, Columabarium