< Exhibitions
Nicolás Lamas
Sep 9, 2021 - Oct 23, 2021

By choosing Matterflux as the title of his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, Nicolás Lamas expresses two essential concepts inherent in his work in a single word: matter and flux. Matter as the substance that makes up the body, matter which defines an object as well as matter as a material (to cite but a few examples used in this exhibition: copper, plaster, engine oil, human bone, 3D printing, feathers, beeswax, plastic, electronic components, and finally dust, cf Origin and Collapse).

Flux, on the other hand, defines perfectly the artist’s way of working, as he acts through by constant movements and spillovers. His work relies on detailed observation of the world we live in, as well as an understanding of the past so as to better anticipate the future. Using associations, superimpositions (Posthuman portrait), enlargements (Blind Gestures), ellipses, removals (After Disappearing), Lamas creates tensions and flashpoints which enable the perception of an object or an event to be reconfigured at a glance.

“It is curious how naturally we use objects for ends that are very different from their intended purpose. Not knowing what objects or instruments are used for, and speculating about all their potential uses, guided only by their characteristics, interests me a great deal. I am interested in anything that disrupts the balance in a system.The disruption of shapes or parameters with which we are familiar reformulates these structures that we consider immutable or that we ought not to change lest it destabilise the existing order and our certainties”.

As he is interested in recent technologies such as 3D printing (with After End of Activity combining a 3D printer, human skull and wasps’ nest), he enjoys twisting logic, associating antagonisms, thus recreating a new order, even if it is precarious. His work reflects the highly topical debate about redesigning the world: how to combine logics of continuity and new ways of thinking differently so as to be able to live in this world in the future? The only certainty: we must be inventive.

Although he finds his inspiration and ‘nourishment’ in the proliferation of the world of objects, Lamas speaks to us of being. He speaks to us of our destiny through a meticulous examination of the stars, bees, the human body, electronic waste or car engines. One could say that he acts as much as an archaeologist/engineer as a mechanic/philosopher. On the one hand, he finds, isolates, observes, details, mentally reconstructs, while on the other he dismantles, breaks down and repairs. The methods of exploration and collection of the former has nothing to envy in the systematisation and reassembly methods of the latter. We are struck forcefully by that in Metastability, the installation with the refrigerators. On the one hand, an intellectual who is curious about the processes underpinning our presence on Earth, and on the other, an engineer who gets his hands dirty and tries to create new connections. All to give us an alternative interpretation of reality.

The alarming conclusions of the IPCC are not new, but many people are unaware of the emergency now facing us. Well aware of Man’s power over the environment (concept of the Anthropocene era), Lamas encourages us to ask questions about the way of using this power which is constantly increased by technological advances. Are human beings fit to hold so much power in their hands? Right now, Man needs wisdom to deal with the issues that lie ahead of us. As philosopher Michel Peuch says in his book entitled Homo sapiens technologicus, «contemporary wisdom is not knowledge or know-how or value, or anything that one can ‘have’: it is part of being».