Dionisio GONZÁLEZ - A Retrospective
Richard presents a retrospective exhibition by Dionisio González from June 26 to August 27, 2019.The exhibition gathers works from 2006 to 2018, from the following series: The Favelas, Halong Bay, Dauphin Island, Venice, Inter-acciones, Trans-acciones, Dialectic Landscape, Thinking Central Park. Dionisio González makes first kind of documentary photographies of selected places. With a 3D software he creates one or several virtual architectures and will implement them into the landscape. Architecture is for him a language which allows him to express philosophical, political, sociological, historical statements.
Favelas, González’s first series from 2004 – 2007, brought him international recognition and acclaim. Favelas(the Brazilian word for shantytowns) became a seminal body of work for González in which he began his renowned process of constructing and deconstructing photographic space. When Brazilian politicians’s urbanistic plans were to destroy the favelas and move their inhabitants into new cities, the population wanted to stay in their homes and protested. Dionisio’s project was to keep the people in their homes and to renovate the favelas with new buildings in order to transform a ghetto into a social mixed city.
The Halong Bay has a similar content. The Vietnamese government wanted to destroy the largest city of house boats in the world. By adding morer expansive house boats, the artist also brings on water people who are richer and more powerful to defend their properties. At the same time he considers this series as a visualization of the concept of Heterotopia. Michel Foucault considered a boat to be the prime example of a heterotopia. Defines as a physical localization of the Utopia, a Heterotopia is a concrete space that inhabits the imaginary. The particular response to overpopulation, by proposing a socially diverse marine city complete with beautiful views shared by all, derives from an utopian perspective.
Dauphin Island, located off the coast of Alabama is known for experiencing perpetual and devastating hurricanes. When a storm hits the small islound of around 1,200 people, it often washes away much of the coastline with it, leaving resiednts to rebuild their wooden homes again and again, following every big storm. He located small buildings or buildings on a scale that is symmetrical to the context, and executing them on those voids on the beach where vestiges indicate a prior presence. Thhese energy-efficient buildings, with recycled materials or low energy expenditures resist to hurricanes and in return are a nature observatory.
At the opposite of Dauphin Island, a place that is continually being rebuild, Venice condemns itselfto a perpetual immobility. The Venice Project was defined after analyzing the designs put forward for the city by the greatest architects of the 20thcentury, but which never saw the light of the day. “My photos are the result of a lot of research to identify the exact location of the areas, then added the buildings in 3-D, using not the original drawings but the ones already modified by the architects on the basis of the first re-examination with the contractors. In this way, I side-stepped their absence and created a possible venice – What Venice could have become or re-invent itself”.
The series Inter-Acciones and Trans-acciones relates more to the relationship between nature, time, and architecture. Each piece of art represents a single building in a landscape in either Spain or Alabama. Both seriesshare the same concept of an old futuristic building in nature. The Trans-Acciones photographs are much more like González’s signature works of being large panoramic views in color. In contrast, the pieces from the Inter-Acciones series are much smaller and in black and white. By mixing the past, present and future, he condenses our sense of time in a confusing way, which might be a way to express the speediness of change nowadays.
In “Thinking Central Park” Dionisio González fills the empty space of Central Park with four refuges based on four visions of Central Park: Walter Benjamin, Robert Smithson, J.D. Salinger and Lady Gaga. The term refuge is perfect as they don’t have an obvious specific use, they welcome everybody, and stand with a moderate size comparatively to the landscape of Central Park. At the opposite in the small black and white works of the «Dialectical Landscape Series» he creates empty spaces in the already dense urban landscape, an extension of Central park on top of the buildings, superhigh line pedestrian elevated paths, elevated modern subways at high speed, a city three-dimensionnally-connected.