Enrique Ramírez: What Will We Do…

20.01.2022 - 19.03.2022

Opening: Thursday, January 20 at 8 pm

Political and poetic at the same time, the work of Enrique Ramírez (*1979, Santiago de Chile; lives and works in Paris and Santiago de Chile) constitutes a unique reflection on the current state of humanity, echoing the notion of memory, migration, in-between states – as a state of mind, a state of affair, a geopolitical state – and perpetual movement. For his solo exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv, the artist presents a trio of works as a response to the cavernous space of the Center’s Ground Floor Gallery.

La gravedad [Gravity] is a contemplative and meditative work, a speculative and poetic approach to two of the artist’s most important themes: disappearance and absence. In this work, Ramírez filmed hundreds of minuscule pieces of white paper without any inscriptions, many with rubbed off speeches, flying and spinning in a completely dark sky, with no time or scale references. Like erased political leaflets, which carry with them the unspoken memory of an outdated speech, the fragments seem possessed with their own life: they move nimbly in a stream of air or water, which carry them to a place we cannot see. A tribute to dramatic events in the history of Latin America, and more specifically Chile, the work embodies the lost words of the missing, the forgotten ideas, and the speeches that were left in suspension. Displayed in front of the projection, the eponymous poem echoes both the literal and metaphorical meaning of its title; in other words, it is a meditation on the sense of gravity: the one that makes things fall and the solemnity of things themselves.

Wind Project, produced especially for this exhibition, features the sound generated in real-time by the wind speed of two different places: Tel Aviv and Gaza. The wind speed of each location is converted by software into sound compositions that are constantly changing according to the weather evolution. Thus, the wind is becoming an instrument, a partition, and a sound composition, which works as a very apropos soundtrack for La gravedad. The neon sign What Will We Do… refers to the poem Who am I, without exile? (1999) by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. This sentence, which, out of its context, questions the idea of human choice and freedom, is more essentially a reflection on the ideas of displacement, borders, and identity. Echoing the film La gravedad, it invites the viewer to poetically consider the human responsibility in history.

Enhancing the presentation in the Ground Floor Gallery is a selection of films by Ramírez – Brisas [Breezes], Cruzar un muro [Crossing a wall], Lauso la mare e tente’n terro [Praise the sea and stay on land], Una historia sin destino [A story without destiny], La memoria verde [The green memory] and Un homme sans image [A man without image] – presented in the cinema-like space of the Marc Schimmel Multipurpose Gallery.

“Enrique Ramírez: What Will We Do…” is guest-curated by Marie Gautier. The exhibition is supported by IL.Collection, Fondation Pluriel pour L’Art Contemporain, and Institut Français d’Israël.


Image: La gravedad [Gravity], 2014-21. Study image. Courtesy of the artist and Michel Rein, Paris / Brussels