Damian Ortega – Apestraction

6 June 2013 to 1 September 2013

A solo exhibition of works by Mexican artist Damián Ortega.

How to make illusions, 2013, Damian Ortega © the artist

Ortega is well known for his artistic practice that includes sculpture, installation, video, photography and action inspired by a wide range of mundane objects, from golf balls and pick-axes to bricks, rubbish bins and even tortillas, all subjected to what has been described as Ortega’s characteristically “mischievous process of transformation and dysfunction”

The artist was invited to visit the Gashaka region in Nigeria, one of the last remaining wildernesses in West Africa, where the rarest subspecies of chimpanzees survives and where the Gashaka Primate Project has its base, thereby bridging the boundaries between where art and science are instinctively created.

The Part played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man, 2013 © the artist

This exhibition explores these divisions and their transgressions through the work of Ortega. Unlike a dissecting and objectifying scientist, the artist is able to contextualize the sensitivities of our natural and cultural side in a more nuanced, private and subjectified way – thus honoring Freud’s idea that our psyche is at the heart of our existence.

Curated by Luiza Teixeira de Freitas as a collaborationwith biologist Gonçalo Jesus and Volker Sommer, founder of the Gashaka Primate Project and Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at University College London.

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