Alejandra Prieto “Monkey’s Mirage”

Y Gallery (319 Grand St.)

poster for Alejandra Prieto “Monkey’s Mirage”
[Image: Alejandra Prieto "Mono con Navaja (Mulato Gil)" (2015) Low relief in Stone. 14 x 10 x 4 cm]

This event has ended.

Y Gallery present Monkey’s Mirage the second solo show of Alejandra Prieto in our space. As in previous works the potential of materials and mechanisms is on the base of her explorations and thoughts in these recent sculptures. The experimentation with minerals and raw materials together with the symbolic significance of objects and their historical, mythical or socio- political references are in the base of the reflections contained in Prieto’s work.

The exhibition is comprised by 4 sculptures; one of them Mono con Navaja (Mulato Gil) is a carved stone with the image of a monkey looking itself in the mirror with a razor in his hand. The work is inspired by a portrait on 1816 done by Peruvian painter José Gil de Castro in Chile: Don Ramón Martínez de Luco y Caldera y su hijo Don José Fabián. In the painting the son is carrying in his hands a round small box with the image of the monkey that Prieto has depicted in stone. There are lots of interpretations for this motive, but all of them linked to the impersonator ability of the monkey, even more in front of a mirror, and its possible relation to the human nature.

The exhibition also features a sculpture composed by a 1-meter diameter Ouija with a hidden mechanical system attached to a computer. The software used is connected to a search engine containing series of key words related to the works on the exhibition. The engine access web pages featuring the word and the Ouija reproduces the sentence next to the word. The search engine visits both static and dynamic websites looking for a keyword, and the program displays the sentence found next to the phrase containing the searched term. If the conditions are met, the sentence would be reproduced by the computer contraption described above.

Another structure connected to the idea of reproducibility in the show is a mirror. Alejandra has been working with mirrors since 2011 when she first did a coal one. This time she creates a mirror done with pyrite pieces polished and resin bond. The work relates to similar mirrors from ancient cultures and it also deals with the misleading visual quality of pyrite and its similarity to gold.

The last sculpture on view is made of molten and painted aluminum and it refers to a drawing from the book Mundus Subterraneus (1665) by Athanasius Kircher. The sculpture represents a system closed in itself: two similar bodies with the shape of an animal stomach joined by two transversal conducts, one seems to be a reflection of the other. Mundus Subterraneus is a quite peculiar book, a lavishly illustrated treatise from the XVII Century, covering almost every subject that might relate to the realm of earth.

The works in this exhibition have a link to an ancestral or primary source materials (books, painting, religious or ancient objects) and they are all connected by a sense of illusory vision, virtual reproducibility, reflection or mirage, paradoxically represented through robust physical expressions.

Alejandra Prieto (b. 1980 in Santiago, Chile) lives and works in Santiago. She attended PUC University for her BFA amd Chile University for her MFA. She has shown internationally, her work was part of the XI Imaginarios Sociales y Prácticas Artísticas , XI La Habana Biennale 2012; Projetaveis VII Biennale Mercosur, Porto Alegre, Brasil, 2009; El Terremoto de Chile I Triennale de Chile, Santiago, Chile 2009. She has participated in many group shows including but not limited to Provecto LARA in NC-Arte, Bogota, Colombia, 2013; Contaminaciones Urbanas, MAC USP, Sao Paulo, Brasil, 2010; among others. In 2011 she received the first CCU Art Prize in Chile and the Young Visual Creation Award of the Latin Union, in Paris, 2007. Prieto participated in the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), NY; and the first edition of LARA, Latino-American Roaming Art, NC-Arte, Bogota, Colombia.



from September 16, 2015 to October 18, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-09-18 from 18:00 to 21:00

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