artist / participant
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa: Asymmetries 25.01.2020 - 10.05.2020
Curator: Lauren Barnes
Assistant Curator: Justine Kohleal
Canadian-Guatemalan artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa works across media, using forms including sculpture and performance that draw on literature, Latin American history, folklore and childhood memories. Referring to traumatic or tragic events – in particular Guatemala’s civil war (1960–96), which forced Ramírez-Figueroa and his family to immigrate to Vancouver as refugees in the 1980s – his works are imbued with a playful, sometimes dream-like spirit. Varied objects in sculptural installations, and the artist’s own body in performance works, become tools to consider the constructions of identity, architecture and history.
The exhibition will encompass works from the past decade that reveal the range of Ramírez-Figueroa’s preoccupations, from conspiracy theories to bird song and Guatemala’s architectural history. It will also include a newly commissioned work, which takes as its starting point the cacaxte, a ladder-like tool for carrying objects on one’s back common among indigenous populations of Latin America. In this new work, Ramírez-Figueroa reinvents the object to consider its associations with colonial oppression alongside its mythical significance.
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa (b. 1978 Guatemala City, Guatemala, lives and works in Guatemala) holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was a post-graduate researcher at Jan Van Eyck Academie in 2013. He has had solo exhibitions at institutions including New Museum, New York (2018); Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany (2017); CAPC Bordeaux, France (2017); IICD, Amsterdam (2016); Gasworks Gallery, London, UK (2015); and Tate Modern, London, UK (2015). He has participated in various group exhibitions including the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); The Conundrum of Imagination at the Leopold Museum, Vienna (2017); Illy Present Future at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin, Italy (2013); the 32nd Bienal de Sao Paulo (2016); the 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014); Home Works IV: A Forum on Cultural Practices at Masrah Al Madina Theatre, Beirut, Lebanon (2008); and the 53rd International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany (2007). Ramírez-Figueroa is a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, a Franklin Furnace award, an Akademie Schloss Solitude fellowship, the ARCO Comunidad de Madrid for young artists, the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm and the 2017 Mies Van der Rohe Award.