Adriana Lara’s Artpace exhibition, Artificial, explores concepts related to the making of art. Lara believes that art in everyday life is more ordinary and present, rather than something rare and in constant need of explanation. One way in which she expresses this idea is by spelling the word “artificial” using bathroom fixtures she set up outdoors. A shot of this work is included in an 8 mm video of the same title.
For this non-narrative video, Lara entered the studio of many San Antonio artists and captured them in the process of producing works. The close-ups and jump-cuts de-emphasize the artists’ individual identities and, instead, focus on the ordinary movements and actions that comprise the artistic work. In addition to the action footage, Lara asked the artists to direct a scene as an alternative way of portraying their mind at work. In essence, this project functions as a form of portraiture intended to demystify artists and their processes.
The exhibition includes a serigraph depicting a self-portrait of Xavier, an artist featured in past shows by Perros Negros, The group presented his work for the first time in Sentimental Gallery (2007), a year-long gallery installation that featured Xavier and other artists working outside the traditional art market. Lara has quoted previous works before; they are part of the artist’s visual language and fruitful elements that continue to be mined.
Chess Board, New Moon, and Corner Painting are Lara’s first forays into painting. They are conceived as images/objects that take one to another space and moment in different ways. Chess Board could be seen as a strategy field, similar to how a white canvas can appear for an artist; New Moon turns our attention to the sky in search for something on the only day of the month when one is unable to locate the moon; and Corner Painting draws our attentioArtificial questions art, its formats, roles, and the conditions under which it’s made.
–Alexander Freeman, Education Curator