kurimanzutto presents Pleasure Afterwards, a new solo exhibition by Miguel Calderón in which the artist brings together sculpture, photography and video works that are interrelated and delve into events of his life. Calderón also includes a series of watercolors made in parallel to the main works in the show, which dive into his unconscious to produce alarmingly unsettling imagery.
Calderon’s exhibition takes its title from the most recent video he directed in Mexico City, Pleasure Afterwards, which lies somewhere between documentary and fiction. Several of the pieces are connected to the artist’s search to integrate his personal experiences into his work by wandering through the city as he incorporates known and fictional characters, as well as objects that have marked his memory.
Just after the earthquake of September 19, 2017 that struck Mexico City, Calderón established a close relationship with the maintenance staff of the Cibeles Fountain, an encounter that inspired part of this project. The video narrates a series of events told by a real character who also reenacts them. Presented along with the video work are a series of objects directly linked to the content of the film. Amulets for an Earthquake, uses extreme irony in its depiction of the practical solution adopted by the staff in charge of the fountain in order to feel safe in a city that had just suffered an earthquake of tragic proportions.
A series of photographs also shown in the exhibition space were originated from the video Plenty of Nothingness. In it the artist presents a more abstract vision of disaster by means of a journey along an infinite sinkhole made from video clippings of news archives. Through these photographs, Calderón shows his fascination for the aesthetics of disaster and the absurd forms reality can take in a country prone to daily catastrophes.
A series of watercolors with a more expressive tone, and which seem to occupy a different mental space, are presented in orbit around these works. These watercolors depict figures of the artist's unconscious, visions of the external world that he assimilates and reconsiders in meditative exercises that disconnect him from the research undertaken for the other works. His vision of society and the expression of his experiences combine together in images that go from the ridiculous to the macabre, and through this process reveal emotional sincerity in the carefree style that has become characteristic of the artist.