Zilberman Istanbul is pleased to present Carlos Aires’ solo exhibition in Turkey I will Die… As will You at Zilberman from December 17, 2022, to February 11, 2023, in the main gallery space on the third floor of Mısır Apartment. The solo show features the presentation of entirely new works, including a large-scale sculptural installation, collages made of photographic prints, and a typographical work consisting of cut pieces of banknotes.
Carlos Aires portrays contemporary catastrophes by bringing them to the forefront through prominent historical or anonymous figures while rendering the societal issues through his contemporary narrative. He investigates "the cultural" codes of our knowledge in which individual memories, music, material culture, consumer habits, cinema, and emotions like fear and love reside. He analyzes some of the most urgent social problems of the contemporary world and questions the main institutions and figures that are the protagonists of today's hegemonic power. His works comprise duality that holds a wicked but passionate, complex but playful universe.
In I will die... As Will You, Aires points to the reckless act of human destruction of the planet, which also creates human’s own death. Aires is examining the delicate times humankind is going through. Within this frame of mind, with a contemporary take on the “ Carpe Diem’’ motto, the artist suggests celebrating life with all the shades and nuances it holds. The artist shares a series of incidents from human history, in which he points to the contradictory aspects of these moments. He seeks ways to convey his narrative on culture, emotion and aesthetics, sometimes with a piece of music, sometimes through a political event that left its mark on history, and sometimes through a well-known work of art. While analyzing global and political issues like epidemics, series of wars, ecological and energy crises, he integrates one’s relationship with death with pleasure and humor through ironic language.
Il Mondo, the installation that welcomes the viewers to the gallery space, is inviting the viewer to pass through rebars, which hold pieces of sculptures from art history and some contemporary icons towards the ceiling and the floor. This forest of reinforcing bars not only functions as a supporting mechanism but also braces values, icons, or historical truths that may collapse on our heads. The artist points out the limits of any given moment while redrawing the borders of the gallery space, pushing the ends and limits of the domination over objects and ideas. Gravestones greets us with smirking mouths, belonging to political and powerful figures. Each grin appears on marble plates to form sculptures, playfully unveiling the obscurity smiles try to cover up. In the five-panel collage, Lesson of Darkness, Aires devotes an elegy to humans, who live apathetic of mortality. Heroes features three crowns, casted from gold-plated bronze, that have become symbols of power from different eras in history; a trinity representing the human struggle for glory and power. I will die, the piece that names the exhibition, is part of his series in which the artist questions the value of money within contemporary societies by manipulating original banknotes with a rebellious act of transforming them into an art piece. Integrating music that inspires him in his practice, the artist places the lyrics of the song After I’m Gone, inside the wooden box designed as his coffin. The box has been traveling with him since 2011 and will do so until Aires’s inescapable destiny. This work offers a perspective that death is a natural fact and as humans are always designing their lives, why shouldn’t one design his own death ritual?
I Will Die... As Will You presents an analogy of the last hundred years of human material culture, fetishisms, cultural and historical heritage and the different connections built with symbols, objects, documents, monuments and signs to legitimize our worldly understanding. The exhibition aims to present the realities of life with all its beauty, contradictions, obscurities while talking about death, not as an act of pessimism or morbidity.
Carlos Aires received his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at the University of Granada in Spain. After his graduation in 1997, he moved to the Netherlands and completed his postgraduate studies at Fontys Academy (The Netherlands), HISK (Belgium) and Ohio State University (USA).;
He was honored with prestigious grants and awards, including: Edith Fergus Gilmore Award (USA), Generation2008 Caja Madrid (Spain), Young Belgian Art Prize (Belgium), Fulbright (USA) De Pont Atelier (the Netherlands). Aires has participated in numerous exhibitions in national and international institutions, such as: MACBA (Barcelona, Spain), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (USA), BB6 Bucharest International Biennale (Bucharest, Romania), B.P.S. 22 (Charleroi, Belgium), 5th Thessaloniki Biennale (Thessaloniki, Greece). His works joined in significant public collections: ARTIUM (Spain), MACBA (Spain), ARTER (Turkey), Progress Art (Saudi Arabia), and National Belgium Bank (Belgium), among others.
Please contact T. Melis Golar at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on the show.