Cosmic Thing, 2002
Spirit and Matter
Inside the White Cube is pleased to present the first solo British exhibition of work by Damián Ortega, a project to be experienced in both Inside the White Cube and Hoxton Square.
Ortega (born 1967) lives and works in Mexico City. He began his career as a political cartoonist and his art has the intellectual rigour, critical edge and profound sense of playfulness often associated with his previous occupation. He creates sculptures, installations, videos and actions inspired by a wide range of mundane objects from golf balls and pick-axes to bricks and rubbish bins, even tortillas, all subjected to what has been described as Ortega's characteristically "mischievous process of transformation and dysfunction". In "Cosmic Thing" (2002), his most celebrated work to date first shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania and later at the Venice Biennale (2003), Ortega dis-assembled a VW Beetle and re-composed it piece by piece, suspended from wire in mid-air in the manner of a mechanic's instruction manual. The result was both a diagram and a fragmented object and offered a new way of seeing the "people's car" first developed in Nazi Germany but now produced in his native Mexico.
For Inside the White Cube Ortega will construct a work outside in Hoxton Square through which the viewer can walk, but whose meaning can only be grasped once upstairs in the otherwise empty gallery. Playing with the idea of optical and physical illusion, the piece will fluctuate between object, image, sign and space.
Damián Ortega was artist in residence and had a solo show at the Museo Serralves, Porto in 2001 and had a solo exhibition at the ICA Philadelphia in 2002. He has also been included in several international group exhibitions at the MCA Chicago, Casa Barragán, Mexico City, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. Ortega also participated in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and will create the concluding project in Tate Modern's inaugural contemporary "Untitled" series in April 2005.
Exhibition: September 10 - October 18, 2004
Gallery Hours: Tue-Sat 10 am - 6 pm
Inside the White Cube
48 Hoxton Square
GB-London N1 6PB
Telephone +44 020 7930 53 73
Fax +44 020 7749 74 80