Mauricio Ancalmo’s new installation, “Krap Etag Nedlog Reve”, at Ever Gold Gallery in San Francisco, is an homage to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The installation is inspired by the massive expanse of the park and its transmutation from naturally existing sand dunes into a manicured architecturally landscaped habitat, making it more adaptable for the city’s inhabitants to enjoy.
By integrating ‘nature’ and ‘natural’ elements into the gallery such as sand, bark and grass, Mauricio Ancalmo’s installation transforms the park setting by artificially creating a new form of urban landscape, one that exists in solace and completely removed from it’s original ‘natural’ setting. Video projections of the sky, moon, and sun, juxtaposed with an artificial beach and ocean scape with thundering waves played in reverse, reference the turning of the tides to a time when nature existed as nature, and all that humanity needed to coexist, was the dirt and trees that lay before them and around them.
The title of Ancalmo’s new installation, “Krap Etag Nedlog Reve”, is a play on words. It is a play on the art gallery space, and it is a place to play and see our usual surroundings from a different perspective.
For a list of available works please click here
Mauricio Ancalmo received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Ancalmo’s work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in San Francisco and most recently a solo exhibition at James Cohan Gallery in NYC. He has been included in important group exhibitions in the Bay Area such as Bay Area Now 6 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the 2011 SECA award show at SFMOMA and Reconsidered Materials at the Exploratorium. His film and video works have been screened in numerous film and music festivals including the Toronto Moving Images Festival. He has been the recipient of the Eureka Fellowship from the Fleishhacker Foundation, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA Award, the James Irvine Foundation Award and a residency at the San Francisco Exploratorium. This is his first solo exhibition with Ever Gold Gallery.
San Francisco based artist, Mauricio Ancalmo has most recently worked with anachronistic objects such as player pianos, sewing machines, word processors, projectors and turntables as the principal characters in his large-scale installations where he pushes these mechanical devices to their material limit, so that chance, physical breakdown, and erosion are all part of his working method. Ancalmo’s experiential assemblages construct new encounters and redefine our associations with these mechanical objects.
In his installations, these objects are introduced to ephemeral materials such as film loops, player piano rolls, and sound tape, all intricately set-up to interact with each other resulting in autonomous sound installations. He modifies these object’s functional properties, re-contextualizing media to form a structural dialogue that is both poetically and philosophically inspired. Ancalmo purposefully places these objects in precarious situations, using them as analogous representations to accentuate the predicaments of the the human condition.
Mauricio Ancalmo works from a multi-cultural perspective, drawing on cultural and personal themes such as circumstance, assimilation, and isolation. His work through sound and image is reminiscent of personal artifacts based on experience, finding individuality within the collective conscience.
In the Park with Mauricio: The title of Bay Area conceptualist Mauricio Ancalmo’s show at Ever Gold – “Krap Etag Nedlog Reve” – serves as fair warning of the mischief he unfolds.
Beginning with that title, reversals of direction, of time and intent play a large part in Ancalmo’s ensemble, a backhanded celebration of Golden Gate Park.
“Ellessuorac” (2014) offers the most touching moment in the show. A tiny projector throws on the wall in an endless loop a video translation of a snippet of 16mm color film, printed in negative.
Showing merry-go-round horses tracing sine curves in a circle, it runs in reverse, evoking, like the piece’s dated image quality, a wish to go backward in time and undo its relentless unspooling.
Kinetic imagery in reverse gives psychological energy to two other pieces here: “Llafretaw” (2014), a stack of five video monitors through which a waterfall surges upward, back to its source, and “Hcaeb Neaco” (2014), an indoor “beach” of real sand surmounted by a wall-size, looped video back projection of waves continually receding.
The “reverse fountain,” as Ancalmo describes the upsurging waterfall, chimes nicely with current collective anxiety about the extreme drought – we wish that somehow conservation could mean sending water back for use later.
But the spectacle of endlessly withdrawing tide summons the much more dire recollection that an abruptly, excessively receding ocean presages a tsunami.
Ancalmo’s show also includes a cheery video of a kite surging in a clear blue sky, projected on the ceiling, a “video photogram” of an image of the sun, made by exposing photo-sensitive paper to video output, and “drawings” made, with Paul Kos, by passing pétanque balls over paper set on an inked surface.
Ancalmo never refers openly to Robert Smithson (1938-1973), but his project of importing park matter and memories into a gallery recalls the “non-sites” – containers of mineral matter from carefully mapped locations – that Smithson used to awaken gallery goers to differences between cultural and terrestrial space.
Through all of Ancalmo’s show runs an assertion that experience cannot be packaged, neither the experience of the park that his work evokes piecemeal, nor the contact with untrammeled nature that the park attempts to construct.
In the end, Golden Gate Park emerges as just another work of land art.
5 CRT monitor video installation
12 x 2 x 2 feet
12 x 5 x 2 fee
16mm reverse color film, video installation
10 x x10 x 2 inches
Click here to view CV