Iñaki Bonillas

23 Apr - 25 May 2007

© Iñaki Bonillas
Naufragio con espectador, 2007
Four wooden platforms with leveling system and fluorescent light.
Variable measurements
"Naufragio con espectador"

OMR is proud to present Naufragio con espectador (Shipwreck with Spectator), the most recent work by Iñaki Bonillas (Mexico City, 1981). The show will remain open until May 22, 2007.
A relationship between art and the sea was established ever since Edmund Burke speculated about the idea of the sublime and Immanuel Kant subsequently transformed it into a theory that guided the Romantics’ view and study of nature. On the sea’s unbroken horizon, human beings—forever alternating between the role of actor and spectator—contemplate the possibility of the limitless, the grandiose, the unfathomable: that which can destroy life in an instant because of its misunderstood savagery.
However, the seafaring ship has also been a pervasive metaphor from classical Antiquity to our days, representing the human voyage through life. But the boat must remain afloat, bobbing on the waves, forever maintaining a horizontal balance. Upsetting this balance inevitably leads to disaster, and the worst shipwrecks are those where one is certain that land is near.
Though ideas about the sublime have persisted, contemporary approaches to the concept have varied: from the literalness proclaimed in Bas Jan Ader’s famous voyage to the formal and conceptual game of this exhibition.
Taking its title from the Hans Blumenberg book Shipwreck with Spectator: Paradigm of a Metaphor for Existence, Iñaki Bonillas’s show makes use of various media such as installation, photography and drawing to establish a dialogue with the notion of balance.
Naufragio con espectador is a site-specific installation that plays with the obvious tilt of the gallery building—an incline of 53 cm. Four platforms create the illusion of a sea of light that viewers can submerge themselves in or walk on, leading to a new perception of the gallery’s space.
A series of photographs in positive and negative entitled Espectador del Naufragio (Spectator of the Shipwreck) depicts thirty-six buildings that are in a precarious state of balance, given Mexico City’s earth tremors and unstable ground, in some cases remaining miraculously erect in spite of having little or no visible support.
Naufragio en silencio (Shipwreck in Silence) is a series of eighty drawings made with a chalk line reel, representing the artist’s most personal space of production: his worktable. Once again the purity of the blue line on a white ground recalls the horizon, the sea, balance.
In this exhibition, Iñaki Bonillas presents a—somewhat nostalgic—reflection about the search for harmony. Though the work alludes to the physical space, in one way or another it refers to the search for emotional balance and to the voyage we undertake to achieve it.

In memory of Ignacio Bonillas

Tags: Bas Jan Ader, Iñaki Bonillas