Gustavo Artigas

“(Artigas) has developed a stunning, complex language surrounding the social tensions of group organization and the consequences and risks involved in game and disaster situations. More specifically, Artigas´ work engages a universe of limits. As for the game, the limit between what is and what is not [a game] is more difficult to specify that what it seems at first glance. On behalf of common reactions, the game would be a free activity without consequences. The disaster on the other hand – in Artigas´ experience – is a limit confined by fear and/or inevitability. Acting as Master of Ceremonies, he has developed a three-ring circus scheme juxtaposing games, performative gestures, and political critiques into episodical chapters.” Jenifer Teets, Curator, Houston, Texas

“As in many television programs, Gustavo Artigas converts a terrifying act into an object for morbid and delightful contemplation; he turns disaster into a spectacle of recreation. Deep down, the artist is well aware of the fascination that representations of accidents, danger and disaster exercise on the contemporary imagination, because he knows that they are the reflection of a reality in which the subjects live subjected to a perpetual state of uncertainty and risk.” Eduardo Perez Soler, Curator, Barcelona

“Many art writers refer to Nicholas Bourriaud´s Relational Aesthetics (1998) in which he identifies history or the social sphere as simply another medium to be manipulated by artists, like DJs mixing samples. Artigas concurs with this approach to some extent: ´I still think in a very aesthetic way so composition, measures, layers, rhythm and balance are still related to the works. The difference are the elements I have decided to work with: social dynamics.´ However, in contrast to the frightfully liberal and often flaccid events proffered elsewhere – noodle bakes, community cinemas, aimless publications and so on, situations in which the ´participant´ is little more than a dispassionate cog in prescribed social machinery – Artigas combines this with good, old-fashioned spectacle. Although the original event has a serious, critical approach, it is more often than not tinged with irony. The form, on the other hand – the spectacle of games or disaster – opens up space for real, unmediated reaction. Artigas is taking advantage of our empathy in a device that creates ´random possibilities´ in the work. In this way the action or the event has a temperature.” Sally O´Really, Art Critic, London