For the first time since its opening, the Ibizan space of Parra & Romero is fully occupied by an exhibition by a single artist. This is Stefan Brüggemann (Mexico City, 1975), who presents here a body of work made over the last year where several of the central themes of his artistic career are reflected.
Stefan Brüggemann working on his Project at Josep Lluis Sert Ruins. Cala D’en Serra, Ibiza. Courtesy Parra & Romero.
Hi-Speed Contrast – his most recent series, which gives title to the exhibition – includes ten grand prints on dibond where the artist presents an image that has been deformed to become illegible. The excessive enlargement of a detail and its transfer from one digital device to another have progressively corrupted the image, offering a metaphor of how the transmission of information and the fluidity of the scale in contemporary visual culture generate big distortions, in addition to the loss of the aura of the work of art. Like all Brüggemann’s work, this position should not be read only as a rejection or a nostalgic gesture, but as an ambivalent positioning in which the artist uses as a medium the same things he criticizes. Adopting this third position is for Brüggemann a tactic to take the discourse on the present one step further, and also to reproduce the cultural logics of production and consumption on advanced capitalism, according to which the hegemonic discourse and the criticism of it are part of a the same system, not only coexisting but living together in symbiosis; feeding each other like two sides of the same coin. On each of these images turned irrecognizable, Brüggemann provides a clear text: a term or sentence usually used previously in other textual works by Brüggemann- which sounds suggestive and apparently has some personal connotations, but the viewer never gets to know for sure if it is a subjective expression of the artist, an appropriated sentence, a slogan or a quotation.
Stefan Brüggemann Allow Action, 2018 Mixed Media 276 x 200 cm. Courtesy Parra & Romero.
The superposition of layers of meaning and opacity around the veracity and authorship of the statements continues in a large polyptych of the series Headlines & Last Line in the Movies, where the artist has graffitied headlines of the news of the day and last sentences of classic dramatic films – Crash, Blue Velvet and Citizen Kane, among others. By giving the same value to some quotes and others, Brüggemann equates the textual production that is generated from the real facts with the one that comes from the fictional constructions that are the films. Both are a product and reflection of contemporary society, and both have a great impact when it comes to propping up our opinion, our perception of reality and the collective imagination.
Brüggemann also expresses interest in the relationship between the image and the text in his series Beats per Minute, where the same text on vinyl appears on the different canvases positioning themselves in different ways with respect to painting: superimposed, camouflaged, semi-absorbed… Once again, the meaning and origin of the text is confusing, with resonances of concrete poetry and the cut-up of William Burroughs.
The phrases, which maintain a rhythmic pulse – like the beat of the heart or the needles of a clock, marking time- allude to the interrelation between the self and the outside world, in the same way that vinyl and paint were connected to each other. the surface of the painting. The same text that appears in the Beats per Minute appears in neon lights at the entrance Parra & Romero of the gallery highlighting the
of which Walter Benjamin spoke and the ambiguous value of uniqueness in the current context of mass consumption.
STEFAN BRÜGGEMANN Hi-Speed Contrast June – September 2018 Parra & Romero www.parra-romero.com
Stefan Brüggemann was born in 1975 in Mexico City, and he currently lives and works between Mexico City and London. He has exhibited individually at Hauser & Wirth Zürich and Hauser & Wirth New York (2017), Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2016); Fundació Gaspar, Barcelona, Spain (2016); Parra & Romero, Ibiza, Spain (2014); Parra Romero, Madrid, Spain (2014); Wall South Kensington, Queen’s Gate and Harrington Road, London, England (2014); Villa du Parc, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Annemasse, France (2011); Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon, Portugal (2010); SAPS Siqueiros Public Art Room, Mexico City, Mexico (2009); and Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland (2008).
He has participated in group exhibitions such as: In Girum Imus Nocte and Consumimur Igni, Museo Jumex, City of Mexico, Mexico (2015); Now Here is also Nowhere, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle WA (2012); Neon. Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France (2012); and Art Moves, 3rd International Festival of Art in the Billboards, Torun, Poland (2010), among others.