The Moving Wall
"The moving wall"
“What fascinates me, is the origin of the human race, our culture and society. From the relationship between different life forms and between the communities of earlier and today, we can deduce the state of the present world. We can learn from our evolutionary past and thus consider our current condition critically. From a global approach man can emphasize the underlying connection between everything around us.”
Ricardo Brey, 2002
For Ricardo Brey the title „The Moving Wall“ expresses the significance of drawings in his current solo exhibition at Galerie Tanit Munich. Drawings have been of great importance in his work, which stretches over 30 years. He has – and still is – engaged in large drawing projects like “Universe” (2002 – 2006) and “Annex” (since 2003 and still in progress). Brey’s drawings are often integrated into Leporello books to emphasize their tridimensionality. In his recent project “Every Life Is a Fire” drawings, which are inside of books, which are put into Boxes, have a relationship with framed drawings on the wall and, as Brey calls it, “contaminate them”. The Boxes were displayed at the 56th Biennale di Venezia this year. They open a field of new thinking for the artist. After having worked with Tanit already for 22 years and having had his last solo show at Tanit 14 years ago, this is a chance to gain a precise and complex view of his work, intertwining drawings and objects.
The work of Ricardo Brey could be seen in the 56th International Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia “All the Worlds Futures” curated by Okwui Enwezor exhibition until the 22nd of November 2015. This wide-ranging exhibition with over 53 artists arranged in what was termed by Enwezor as a “Parliament of Forms”. Ricardo Brey was born in Havanna and currently lives in Ghent. His oeuvre stretches over thirty years with each work bearing the consistency of his thought process and fitting together much like an enormous puzzle in time.
From the very beginning, Brey’s art seemed imbued with poetry, melancholy and mystery. Everything Brey produces, seems to offer a connection to his past work. Older motifs acquire new relevance and live on in later work. Brey’s interest in themes such as the relationship between nature and culture, the interaction between different cultures and religions, and issues of cultural identity are crucial to understanding his process and interpreting his art.
For Brey all materials are able to transmit a spiritual quality. Previously used objects maintain and transmit a quality through patina created by their earlier use. Natural materials and objects like eggshells, feathers, soil or wood are integrated into his work. These materials have all had an earlier quotidian existence and thereby acquire a new semantic in his art that conveys new meanings. Since childhood nature has held a great fascination for Brey.
Ricardo Brey’s participation in Documenta IX in 1992, curated by Jan Hoet, brought international attention to his work and marked a turning point in his life. He moved to Belgium and since then has been living and working there with his family. His work has been shown in numerous international institutions. Brey received a 1997 Guggenheim Fellowship for Installation Art and Sculpture. In 1998, he received a prize from the Flemish Ministry of Culture.Since 2002 he has committed himself to develop large complex projects, “Universe”(2002-2006), “Annex”(2003 –ongoing) and “Every life is a fire”, (2009-ongoing). This last project is exhibited for the first time in its totality in the 56th International Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia “All the Worlds Futures” curated by Okwui Enwezor. A major surveys exhibition of Breys works have been recently held: “The Futility of Good Intentions” at the National Fine Arts Museum in Havanna in 2014 and “Fuel to the fire", in M HKA in Antwerp from February to march 2015.