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Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez
The Mission, Chicago, Illinois
Recommendation by Robin Dluzen


Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez, "Opressed Opressors (Opresores Oprimdos)" (detail), 2013, installation, animation, stills modeled in beeswax and cardboard, 7.9 x 48.4" diameter.

Continuing through December 21, 2013

In their first solo exhibition in the United States, Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez fuse the past with the present, employing outmoded animation techniques to address the contemporary politics of their home country of Colombia. The making processes are no mystery to the viewer as the nuts and bolts of the animations are all on display: drawn animation cells, sketches and carved, stop-motion figures. However familiar these methods may be, the finished product, particularly the artists’ zoetrope works, are effectively boggling and transportive.

In “Protesta 12 de octubre,” miniature wax figures affixed to a record rotate on a turntable beneath a strobe, making the tiny people appear as though they are pumping their fists in the air in protest. This juxtaposition with a life-sized object keeps the figures diminutive, but in “Opresores Oprimidos” ("Oppressors Oppressed"), the illusion is complete. On a custom built, circular platform, the strobe illuminates wave after wave of armed soldiers rushing towards one another, firing, then succumbing to a bubbling black abyss in the center. Complete with an audio component of shouts and gunshots, the work is an encompassing and poignant critique of pointless, unceasing violence.


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