NICOLÁS ASTORGA & MIGUEL SOTO
MY SHADOW TO YOUR FEET
15 July- 19 August 2022
“Let me tie my shadow to your feet and call it a friendship”
Ocean Vuong, On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
When the snake broke down to pieces, he was sitting there, watching.
In between the eyes.
When the falcon sat and watched,
The fight has just begun.
Where there is shadow, there is Sun.
The tail was long, the snake finally went short.
The curse came without music.
Cut this Cunt,
Now just being the body of a skin, the snake went long again and the falcon grabbed a piece.
A weird sound came out of his mouth.
I love you.
The witch appeared, took them apart and burnt both of them.
In this exhibition Miguel Soto and Nicolás Astorga bring together sculptural and embroidered works. Both artists originally from Santiago de Chile, met at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 2009, and went through different dynamics of a long lasting artistic relationship, a deep friendship and vivid conflicts. Their paths split after university, Astorga leaving to Mexico City, completing the SOMA Studies Program and Soto to London at the Royal College of Art. Their practice took their stance, both true to sculpture.
During Astorga’s last visit to Chile, both artists had a huge fight in an event, under the eyes of most of the art scene of Santiago. Everyone talked about it for weeks. The premise of the exhibition is the realization of a competitive and toxic – poisonous – friendship that hasn’t matured well throughout the years. As both artists said in a statement, the project wonders around Latin American stereotypes, like overly dramatic behaviors and excessive exposure of emotions, usually cultured from watching telenovelas since early childhood. The project explores those cultural elements, the symbolic and mythological image of the snake on the continent, together with power structures within relationships.
This is their second duo show, the first one in Vienna.
The title My Shadow To Your Feet, is a mirror of a power struggle within finding hierarchy in the familiar. Shadows are what the inhabitants of Platon’s cave experience as reality, which was never the direct source of origin, but a simulation. Once in my life I heard the saying: I will always be your shadow –– from a close relative, that felt like a threat, as if –– you will never get rid of me. Standing in ones shadow is a different take.
My Shadow To Your Feet is twisting the obvious, it is the empowerment of the subject (your personal shadow, living in a particular light) throwing it in front of the other. In that sense the power dynamic changes. What you get is my shadow, you decide if you stand in it or step a step aside, and please GIVE ME SOME SPACE BITCH.
The rhythm of the exhibition is the one of a passionate fight, the building up, the silent breaks of the static concrete elements. The eroticism can’t be missed, exploring the notion of sex acts. Tiny buttholes surround the embroidery work Snake as an eyelet-entry for the nails.
The momentum of Soto’s wooden Cola Larga, long tail, is hard and whiplike –– the head cut, is coming out of the wall, as a silent but prominent observer of the scenery.
Astorga’s embroidered work My Shadow To Your Feet, giving the title to the exhibition hangs opulently from two sides of the space, and performs an atmosphere of emotional intensity.
This show evidences revenge and redemption taking place in one room.
text by Sabine Stastny
photography by Flavio Palasciano