Juan Carlos Bracho_Gemini_20/10/17_10/12/17_Dossier
A mirror, says the encyclopedia, is “A bright surface on which the images are reflected”. A place without space par excellence, nor density, where nevertheless everything has room, even the infinite; threshold between the real, the imaginary and the symbolic that collects and condenses everything that surrounds it. Then, what is an image? “1. The visible appearance of a person or thing by effect of certain optical phenomena // 2. The reproduction of the figure of an object on a mirror, screen, etc.” An image is always a reflection, a bottomless well, something intangible, uncertain and indefinite, whose meaning is not limited to what we see, what we recognize, but it is linked to a whole battery of memories and mental visions latent in our thoughts.
The screen as a residual surface, and as a referent of our visual imaginary, has been a recurring theme in the works of Juan Carlos Bracho, as well as the landscape as a mirror of ourselves, our unfathomable consciousness. However, are we really critical and aware of the reality that surrounds us and shows itself to us, or do we simply remain hypnotized before those reflections, before those images that we consume compulsively and around which our thoughts navigate?
Throughout his career, Bracho has reflected on the landscape from the abstraction, the fantasy, the dream or the gaze of the other; and, for the first time, the protagonists of the video performances presented in this exhibition are real landscapes. Iconic scenes loaded with metaphorical references: the desert -inhospitable territory and limit where the omnipresent horizon is shown as a measure- and the garden as an expression of a domesticated, codified and intellectualized environment.
In both works, faithful to his way, Bracho, patiently and with an attitude distanced and devoid of that auratic charge traditionally attributed to the figure of the artist, executes two actions registered in real time and edited in a single sequence: the erasure of alum of large-format mirrors that occupy the entire scene. The chemical solvent used by the artist -applied with a roller that seems to paint and erase at the same time and with a sprayer that, as it pulverizes the liquid, melts and dissolves the image- turns those mirrors into simple crystals. Two simple and powerful actions that reveal what hides behind these specular barriers; some images that are nothing more than the continuation of the prints that we see disappear. The result of these two super sequence shots are narrations -without climax- in which the weight of the story and the action are diluted, giving the image a total plastic dimension. This suspension of the story allows the viewer to recreate in the process of consolidation and reception of images that slowly transform before their eyes.
Written in the Wind and Imitación de la Vida -a piece that is presented for the first time in our gallery- are, in short, two proposals that delve into the most intimate sense of the idea of landscape -a synergistic element in constant change and metamorphosis- and into the mirror as a surface that reflects what does not belong to it. A reflection on what we perceive, on the screen and the images that they emit without ceasing, each time more ethereal, intangible and lacking in meaning.
The exhibition is completed with three pieces produced with the material from the execution process of both videos: a series of five mirrors of small format where the artist has experimented until getting the perfect mixture that dissolves the silver, a photograph printed on silver ion from the filming of Written on the Wind, and the steel frame used in Imitación a la Vida which, like a skeleton, like a physical threshold, has been installed in the gallery’s path.
Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Cuenca, Juan Carlos Bracho has been a resident artist in different national and foreign centers, including Hangar, Barcelona, 2000/2003; Axeneo7, Gatineau, Canada, 2005/2006; Landesatelier Künstlerhaus, Salzburg, Austria, 2012; and most recently Birch Creek Ranch, CUAC, Utah, USA, 2015. His work has been awarded and given a grant in national and international competitions such as the Generaciones y Purificación García Award, 2005; ABC Award, 2006; Iniciarte Award to artistic career, 2009; International Painting Award of Castelló, 2007; International Drawing Award Centenera Jaraba Foundation, 2013; BVAM X, International Biennial of Media Art, Chile, 2010; JCE Scholarship, 2012; Hangar Scholarship / CALQ- Quebec, 2005; and in 2015 with the BBVA Foundation Video Art Help, among others. His work is part of important public and private collections (BBVA Foundation, La Caixa, CGAC, CAAC, CDAN, CUAC, La Panera Art Center, Chilean Video Art Mediateca, Pilar Citoler Collection, Amister Video Collection, etc.). Among his individual exhibitions, we can highlight Otra Vida Futura, Ogami Press, Madrid 2017; Drawing Elevated, CUAC, Salt Lake City, EEUU, 2015; Cuatro Geometrías y Varias Teorías, Cruce, Madrid, 2014; Campo de Color and Gemini, both in the Ángeles Baños Gallery, Badajoz; El Eterno Retorno, Oliva Arauna Gallery, Madrid, 2011; Un Mensaje para Anabel, ABC Museum, 2011; Félix y su Amiga F. 2003-2009, Espacio Inicarte, Sevilla, 2010; Magnificent Obssesion, Carles Taché Gallery, Barcelona, 2009 or Un Hecho Real, CGAC, Santiago de Compostela, 2007.