VMBRA PROFVNDA SVMVS

Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.82 x 1.20 m

“The shadow prepares the sight for light. Through the shadow, the Divine Temples place before the darkened eye of the hungry and thirsty soul, such images that are the messangers of things. Try then to recognize shadows that never extinguish, but preserve and keep in within ourselves the light; throughout which we are guided and reconducted to the intellect and the memory.”

Giordano Bruno, De umbris idearum, 1582

 

Mutating and adapting to the different exhibition spaces, the installation which started in Berlin, at the Berliner Festspiele, has been presented in several other cities, such as Rome, Monterrey and Mexico City.

The title for the series of photographs and installations comes from the words of Giordano Bruno The Nolan:
“Vmbra profvnda svmvs” (Deep Shadows We Are), taken from his hermetic text “Shadows of the Ideas”.

 

 

Museums & galleries

Filottete (in progress)
Istituto Svizzero  di Roma, Villa Maraini
Curator: Francesco Florentino
Rome, 2004

Tödliches Spiel: das Leben
Bewag Halle-Prenzlauerberg (Berliner Festspiele)
Curators: Wolfgang Storch & Klaudia Ruschkowski
Berlin, 2004
    

 

    

 

There are no titles, only indications of the place and year of the photograph: Saigon 2002, Tehran 2004, Naples 2003. The photographic eye of Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo captures traces of an almost archaic,  daily, and universal violence: bodies of animals reduced to shreds, slaughtered or sacrificed in rituals that survive into our postmodern times; living creatures that other living creatures kill for nourishment or simply to ingratiate themselves; beings that only exist in the imaginary.
This is what these photographs force us to see: the brutal evidence of life being violated, the violence of men and their culture. The photographic glance of Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo presents us crude but elegant images, with an almost obscene elegance which causes a profound discomfort, because it forces us to endure the scandalous fascination of beauty arising from horror. It makes our very skin feel the scandal of art transforming into poetry, the crude reality of death, suffered or inflicted; the cruel game of life devouring itself. However, without disturbing us, this scandalous art makes us think and feel, with an almost unbearable intensity of the horror of this world, by displaying it and at the same time concealing it, hidden within a beauty which connects us intimately with it, because it deactivates our usual removal mechanisms, exposing us to the senseless cruelty of human culture and allowing us to perceive in it —in ourselves— something transcending it: the irreducible desire of another state of the world, perennially speaking through beauty; in a need for beauty that never stops, not even before the most terrible manifestations of life being perturbed by irreparable, unredeemable violence.  Gómez de Tuddo’s work never allows violence the last word; he knows how to remove something that in a certain way redeems it, without erasing the terribleness; something that, together with an anguishing and crushing sadness, is occasionally capable of transmitting an awkward joy. In the case of the playful photograph of a goat hanging from a Palermo market stand, we see it jumping out from a reddish-orange background. It seems as if though the animal were almost flying away from the blood bath in which its life was drowned, as if its life had not been taken away but continues to be, outside itself, beyond itself, in an unattainable somewhere. It is precisely towards such an unreachable place that Alejandro’s photographs lead us to: the nowhere of a life that is no longer life, but which is not, however, non-existent. It exists, but is eternally foreign and still accompanies us always and everywhere, though always and everywhere, distant from us, both from the being and from nothing.

Francesco Fiorentino, Berlin, 2004

 

Bewag Halle
  
       
Gioco mortale: la vita
Istituto Italo Latinoamericano (IILA)
Gallery: Scuderie del Palazzo Santa Croce
Curator: Irma Arestizábal
Rome, 2005
Installation  de umbris idearum Bruno   

 


VMBRA PROFVNDA SVMVS I
Centro de las Artes Monterrey – Fototeca- Parque Fundidora
Curator: Loretto Garza Zambrano
Monterrey, 2005

Uroboros-Basilisco / Centro de las Artes Monterrey / ISBN 970-9887-01-7 Centro de las Artes, Monterrey, 2005

 

Gomez de Tuddo is one of the now rare breed of visual artists that rely on the wondrous serendipity of chance encounters. He can’t censor his own discomfort by embellishing the result. But as you gaze, you know you are not being exploited by the intention to nauseate or disgust, to sensationalize by playing on a viewer’s inner guilt. His subject may be the slaughtered, the excreted, the neglected beings, places or things in our everyday world. Through these documents of death and decay, he creates an altar to the mysteries inherent to the cycle of creation and destruction without preferential treatment to either. This photographic theater invokes respect and pays homage without sentimentalizing its subject matter. It may be exceptionally beautiful at times, but won’t allow an aesthetic that distances and alienates by petrifying its subject in an amber of artificial light and stylized effects. Even though we are forced to look at these images head on (many are large format with the impact of a mural), we don’t feel coerced or confronted by them. To some they may feel like elegies to the careless attitudes of our post-industrial age. To others they may reveal some secret truth about life, death and eternity. He has the eye and talent to bring his work the aesthetic rigor of still life without being precious or contrived. The images, though, can’t remain static long. They are bathed in saturated colors that sometimes feel primary, but are more chromatic and unstable. You look and are convinced the blue you see belongs to the sky, but Gomez de Tuddo throws narrative into the dynamic that reveals its provenance, a crumbling frescoed wall or the innards of a tunnel. Like all great artists whose work may be instantly accessible and infinitely multilayered, he both seduces with bold imagery and plays a hide-and-seek game with context and meaning. One of his images may seem alive with violence and movement until a blink of the eye fixes it into the stillness
of an icon.

Steven de Sanctis, New York, 2005

 

VMBRA PROFVNDA SVMVS II
Museo de Arte Moderno
Curator: Luis M. Lozano
Mexico City, 2005
 

       Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m

 

Death appears on stage portrayed by an artist who loves Greek tragedy and is inspired by the work of Heiner Müller; surrounded by suggestions and enamel colors – displaying all its terrible fascination.
When death is deprived from its raw appearance and ruthless horror that often comes together, dealing with her shamelessly must be a very difficult task, specially if represented through images of viscera and blood, whose colors are sometimes highlighted with an almost dazzling vivacity.
Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo’s photographs taken around the world disconcert the viewer, creating suggestions that swing between the hardness of the glassy eyes of dead animals to the grace of an ideal esthetic.
On one hand, the idea of decay and death leads to discomfort and anxiety faced with the inevitable; on the other, the artist is able to transform the objects into bodies with new life, while “coating a violent reality with uncomfortable sensuality”, as mentioned by curator Irma Arestizábal in the exhibition’s catalogue.
Antonin Artaud in “Art and Death” approached the “transfer” in carnal terms  -also in sexual terms-, linking it to life through a reciprocal generative moment, and after having embarked on a harrowing journey through the darkness of pain, he is able to get closer and writes: All things, even the most cruel ones, manifest themselves only through their balancing aspect, in a perfect indifference of sense.
The artwork exhibited by Gómez de Tuddo seems to follow a similar path; departing from pain it reaches the representation of a fascinating reality, with the stolid acceptance of who has seen and played the “deadly game of life”.
Even though he might not seem to talk about definitive disappearance, through the strident contrast that characterizes his animals ­-pairing them to organs in formaldehyde often found at the forensic theatre- and the poetic beauty of images such as the bleeding heart, adorned with a candid crown of flowers, the artist is searching for a new definition of death, far away from the idea of otherworldly life, because, basically “the issue” is extremely physical. 

Federica La Paglia, Exibart, Rome, March 22nd, 2005 

 

ARCO, Arco Latino
Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I
Curator: Alfredo Zaya
Madrid, 2005

    Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m

 “Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo’s work among the top ten most interesting proposals on view at ARCO of the more than six thousand works exhibited.”

20 minutos, Madrid, February 11, 2005


“ARCO 2005: The work of Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo stands out…an art that can really be appreciated without needing to display its certificate of origin.”

ABC, Madrid, February 12, 2005 


“Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo with his involving and elliptical gigantographies. Distressing still-lives (animals or organic materials) that detour from their real iconography to become something else: Birds bound forever in love and death, like awesome violet feathers; a goat’s head in a fuchsia net, hanging from the handle bar of a motorcycle over a pop lemon-yellow background from a street wall of Tehran; a dish full of ruby-like blood cubes. Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo is completely independent from the ethno-representation of his identity, he sets apart his image towards the bowels of a sensitive world without national boundaries.”

Teresa Macrí, Il Manifesto, Rome Februrary 17, 2005 

 

“Master of light, color and subject matter, Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo exhibits a series of still-lifes: photographic compositions with a pictorial character, the result of an urban mythology characterized with irony.”

20 minutos, Madrid, February 11, 2005

 

 

Artwork list & technical specifications

Photographs (edition of 7)

1. Rome, Italy, 2005
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

2. Saigon, Vietnam, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.82 x 1.20 m

3. Phonom Penh, Cambodia, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

4. Bangkok, Thailand, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

5. Hanoi, Vietnam, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

6. Luang Prabang, Laos, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

7. Guadalajara, Mexico, 2003
Lambda print, 1/7
1.82 x 1.20 m
8. Naples, Italy, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

9. Seoul, Korea, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

10. Kavar, Iran, 2004
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

11. Hoyan, Vietnam, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.82 x 1.20 m

12. Tehran, Iran, 2004
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

13. Tuscany, Italy, 2003
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

14. Seoul, Korea, 2003
Lambda print, 1/7
1.82 x 1.20 m
15. Palermo, Italy, 2003
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

16. Cuetzalan, Mexico, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

17. Neshabur, Iran, 2004
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

18. Palermo, Italy, 2003
Lambda print, 1/7
1.82 x 1.20 m

19. Teacalco, Mexico, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

20. Cuernavaca, Mexico, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.82 x 1.20 m

21. Cuetzalan, Mexico, 2002
Lambda print, 1/7
1.20 x 1.82 m

22. Tehran, Iran, 2004
Lambda print, 1/7
1.82 x 1.20 m
   

    

                 Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.82 x 1.20 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.8 x 1.20 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m

                 Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.82 x 1.20 m     

                 Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.82 x 1.20 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.82 x 1.20 m  Lambda print / edition of 7 / 1.20 x 1.82 m  

 

         

 

 

 

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