Haunch of Venison

Anthony Goicolea

05 Sep - 04 Oct 2008


Haunch of Venison London is delighted to announce the first London solo exhibition by Cuban-American artist, Anthony Goicolea. 'Related' is the latest in an ongoing series in which Goicolea uses drawing, photography, sculpture and installation to explore his family history and identity as well as larger themes of ritual, assimilation and alienation.

Like many first generation immigrants, Goicolea experiences a sense of cultural dislocation and is aware of the disjunction between a supposed mythical homeland and his estrangement from it. Confronting this is a series of portraits based on old photographs of family - known and unknown - while they were living in Cuba. By drawing and painting these portraits, Goicolea creates a reinterpreted, second-generation reproduction of their likenesses. Drawing his portraits as negative images or daguerreotypes onto layered Mylar and glass, he then inverts the images to create a positive photographic mirror of the drawings. Goicolea then mounts them in rural areas of the South where he was raised and in New York where he now lives. Pasted on trees, telephone poles, and the sides of buildings like missing persons ads or 'Wanted' posters, the drawings are photographed again in a third generation reproduction, referencing and memorializing past relatives.

Goicolea confesses to feeling 'a strange sense of nostalgia for something I have never been a part of or experienced directly'. In May 2008 he made his first pilgrimage to Cuba and visited the homes, schools and churches of his parents and grandparents. The resulting photographs are devoid of people. Digitally cobbled together from locations throughout Havana, Goicolea further manipulates these images by painting over small voids of space or drawing on top of the doctored images, thus re-imagining and re-imaging the remains from another time.

The show also debuts three sculptural pieces. Two glass display cases house drawings of the artist's grandmother's skeleton, arranged and framed in fragments so as to mimic religious reliquaries or anthropological remains.
A third sculpture bisects the gallery as a three-metre long, low-lying wall made from translucent glass cast in the shape of concrete masonry blocks. On top of the wall, which references the sea wall running the length of Havana harbour, family portraits drawn on Mylar are obscured and sealed inside a collection of clear, hand-blown glass bottles.

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