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Cloudbusting, 2012



Implosion / pencil, watercolor, ink-pen and acrylic on paper / 1 x 120 m

Cloudbusting, Commonwealth and Council Gallery, July 2012

In collaboration with Andrea Arce and Camilo Salazar Prince
Curated by Carlos García Montero

Commonwealth & Council presents a new installation and a group of drawings by 2012 DAAD Grantee Adriana Ciudad. In this installation the artist explores the expansion of painting to three dimensional form. The work of Adriana Ciudad explores urban space in relation to the unconscious mind. She uses in her installations, drawings and paintings, the human figure; juxtaposed with geometrical forms, symbols, and masks. She develops a multidimensional map of human experience.
Ciudad's intention is to paint human beings in the city, as the iconic representation of a post cosmopolitan scene. No longer modern or postmodern, but advanced and contemporary, as she adds different layers of experience that are challenging reality. At the same time these layers displayed by Ciudad's particular pictorial approximation to space - radical as in street art, sophisticated as fine drawing - captures new elements for painting, demystifying with her presence as a young painter the so called "End of painting".
Adriana Ciudad's new drawings and installation work is an aesthetic response of painting as a current medium in the context of contemporary art practices. Her work reshapes reality and perception through the performative aspects of her painting installations. The approach of the artist is contemporary also in theme, as the sites represented are iconic spaces where young people hang out. Ciudad likes to paint parties. It doesn't matter if it is from the electronic music scene in germany or the peruvian folk dancing scene. A nihilistic space, but also a time to let go and embody the real self.
She is attracted most to urban pop centers where she is living as an artist. For example Hollywood Strip, Los Angeles, Alexanderplatz, Berlin, and Barranco, Lima. But Ciudad's gaze goes beyond the great urban spaces, looking also for the marginal and massive folk events like the Candelaria Carnival in Puno, south of Peru, or the everyday life of the people of Iquitos, in the Amazon Jungle also in Peru. For the artist (who is half peruvian, half german) narratives of place and displacement are actualized through her own cosmopolitan experience as an artist in Peru, Berlin and now in Los Angeles.
[Text and exhibition curated by San Francisco Art Institute's Fulbright Fellow, Carlos Garcia Montero (Lima, 1978).]
Adriana Ciudad (Lima, 1980) is an artist in residency at Commonwealth & Council. She obtained her MFA in painting and her Fine Arts Degree at the University of Arts (UdK) in Berlin, where she studied with Valerie Favré and Wolfgang Petrick. Her work has been featured in many international shows and conferences, and she has collaborated with artists, curators musicians and filmmakers. Other accomplishments include scholarships and grants from the DAAD Germany and the Dorothea Konwiarz Sitifung Foundation.



Cloudbusting / mixed media (plaster sculpture, acrylics, inkpen, tape, peruvian masks, used chair, etc..) on walls and floor. / 118” x 236” x 157”



Cloudbusting / detail



Cloudbusting / detail



Cloudbusting / detail



Cloudbusting / detail



Cloudbusting / detail



Cloudbusting / detail



Cloudbusting / detail

The Applied Science of Cloudbusting by Laura Watts, 2012

Physics

Cloudbusting is an image uncompressed; media relieved of the pressure that constrains it to a two-dimensional plane. Expanded into embodied and tactile forms, light-infused neon orange becomes the fabric of a blouse, turquoise meshes into trousers, and from these emerge other canvases; a face splashed violently with yellow, orange, fuchsia, and limbs bearing the painter’s mark in the form of gray spidery veins. Ciudad coaxes the work into negative space, until there is no more negative space in the installation than there is in a vessel filled with water – all is thick with energy that must be displaced in proportion to every body that enters. The seated figure, her back to the room, forces two higher density areas into being – equal and opposite reactions splayed against the walls. A physics of Ciudad’s making operates continuously as the figure at rest is compelled to resist and accept at once. She kicks back with her feet, issuing a swath of cautionary yellow that gathers resentment as it climbs the wall, where it unleashes a mixed-media assault of black ink, faux-fur, and found objects. And yet, at the same time, she embraces the momentum of Ciudad’s mark-making and projects backwards against the opposite wall, releasing a transparent celebration of all the unseen organs that make human life possible.

Meteorology
Cloudbusting is a cumulonimbus cloud, unstable, irresolvable, volatile, and on the verge of unleashing torrential rain, lightning, and thunder. Always on the cusp of “busting,” but never fully releasing, the installation coalesces and disperses again and again; the figure projects and reigns in, spirit and body feed her and drain her. And all the while she is taut – cup in hand, immobilized in eternal thirst – a mask of stillness and loneliness that belies the chaotic activity of her interior life.

Geometry
Cloudbusting is a sacred triangle, a holy trinity of mind, body, and spirit. This form – shaped by the position of the three elements at play in the installation – and others congregating in the wall works, are visual access points to the spaces we inhabit. They are forms recognizable to all as abstractions of our sameness.