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November 28 2011

Guerra de la Paz: Barbed / Praxis International Art, Miami

Barbed is the title of the current solo exhibition by the Cuban-American artist duo Guerra de la Paz at Praxis International Art in Miami. The centerpiece of the show is the sculptural installation Unidentified, accompanied by three large-sale photographs. In this video Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz talk about the exhibition and the works on display and how anonymously littered garments that were held captive by the barbed wire that topped the industrial fences throughout the Miami landscape inspired them to move into three-dimensional work based on found clothing. This video is an excerpt. The complete interview is available after the jump.

Guerra de la Paz’s work has been shown throughout the United States and Europe, including Saatchi Gallery (London), Miami Art Museum; Art Museum of the Americas (Washington D), Americas Society (New York), Chicago Cultural Center, 21c Museum (Louisville, KY), and the Prague Biennial.

Guerra de la Paz: Barbed at Praxis International Art in Miami’s Wynwood Art District runs through December 31, 2011.

Guerra de la Paz: Barbed. Solo exhibition at Praxis International Art, Miami / USA.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Complete interview (16:09 Min.):

From the press release:

Guerra de la Paz have been, in their neighborhood, the silent spectators to the abandoned garments that anonymous owners have left laying around over the past years, discarded clothing swaying in the air as it struggles to be freed from barbed wire, expecting to fly towards the sovereignty that always caresses but never leads. These accounts give birth to Barbed, an exhibition that through installation and photography becomes a testimony of the controlled attempts to generate a submissive and oppressed population by psychologically manipulating the perceptions and behaviors of the masses through deceptive and abusive tactics.

Inspired by these images of desire overpowered by domination and by references to the diabolical historical events in death camps, Unidentified arises as an isolated sculptural installation that encapsulates the notions of oppression with its mounds of clothing bulging out while confined within a chain-linked fence crowned by barbed wire; a prison that consumes the essence by grabbing on to whatever residue of it lies within the discarded garments. A representation of an ancient and yet current dilemma, Unidentified will be the central piece of the exhibition, attracting the viewer’s attention to the struggle for freedom that in one way or the other characterizes contemporary society, while also exploring and reinventing the classic icons that have throughout history represented domination.
Through a common aesthetic, Guerra de la Paz creations work with a universal message, this one not being an exception. Understanding that the world is going through a time of global and political change, economical and social turmoil, Barbed serves the double purpose of being an acknowledgment of the victims of tyranny as well as a reminder of the fact that history often repeats itself. As Guerra de la Paz comment about the installation: “referencing carnage and genocide, the dirty laundry of society is embodied in the garments and allegorically personifies the innocent multitudes sacrificed for the sake of a few”.

Guerra de la Paz is the composite name that represents the creative duo efforts of Cuban born artists, Alain Guerra (1968, Havana) and Neraldo de la Paz (1955, Matanzas), who live and work in Miami, Florida and have been consistently producing collaboratively since 1996. Based on a combination of traditional disciplines, experimentation with dimension and the usage of unconventional materials, their work is inspired by the essential familiarity of ready-made found objects that possess archeological qualities and encapsulated energies exposing the significance of the human footprint while revealing underlying psychosocial and environmental messages. They gained access to an overabundance of discarded clothing and the doors opened for them to work with garments as a material; the relics that once defined an individual’s personality now are only residues of the essence they once represented, histories in dregs of scent, silent witnesses to lives that move swiftly between mass consumption and disposability.

July 28 2011

VernissageTV PDF-Magazine No. 18: Ai Weiwei’s Architecture, Matti Suuronen’s Futuro, Guerra de la Paz’ Venice

Out now: VernissageTV PDF-magazine No. 18, July 2011.

VernissageTV’s PDF Magazin No. 18 has its focus on the two major art events this year, the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, and Art 42 Basel. Highlights of No. 18 are a personal look at five days in Venice by Miami-based artist duo Guerra de la Paz, and exclusive video and audio downloads for the readers of this issue. Then there are photo galleries showing Elmgreen & Dragset’s exhibition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam, and Ai Weiwei’s solo show Art / Architecture at Kunsthaus Bregenz. For design lovers, there’s a report on Matti Suuronen’s Futuro, House of the Future of the 1960s.

Artists in this issue: Ai Weiwei, Matti Suuronen, Elmgreen & Dragset, and Guerra de la Paz.

Click image or this link to download the magazine (20 MB) or hit the jump to view in Issuu Reader.

View in Issuu Reader:

Exclusive downloads for VernissageTV Members: ...

June 29 2011

Guerra de la Paz: Bonsai Couture / Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, Zürich

For the Miami-based artistic duo of Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz the exhibition Bonsai Couture at Galerie Kashya Hildebrand is the first exhibition in Switzerland. Guerra de la Paz often use discarded, repurposed or recycled items of daily life for their sculptures. The solo show at Kashya Hildebrand showcases the series “Bonsai Couture” that combines the traditions of bonsai making with the practices of haute couture or high fashion.

Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz of artist duo Guerra de la Paz were both born in Cuba. Alain Guerra studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Neraldo de la Paz at the Northern Illinois University, De Kalb. They met in Chicago the day that Alain was moving back to Miami. They live and work in Miami, Florida. Established in 1996, Guerra de la Paz work in a variety of media, from paintings to sculpture and installation. Currently, they focus on textile work made from unwanted clothing. Guerra de la Paz have also participated in the Prague Quadriennial 2011 with their work MANTO.

Guerra de la Paz: Bonsai Couture at Galerie Kashya Hildebrand, Zürich / Switzerland. Opening reception, June 8, 2011.

PS: See also: Eveline Politanoff on Bonsai Couture in the Huffington Post, and Guerra de la Paz. Studio Visit.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Press release:
Galerie Kashya Hildebrand is pleased to present Bonsai Couture, the first Swiss exhibition of Guerra de la Paz, the Miami-based Cuban artistic team of Alain Guerra (b. 1968) and Neraldo de la Paz (b.1955). The two, who have been collaborating since 1996, originally sourced the clothing, fabric andmaterials for their sculptures from second-hand goods shipping companies in Miami’s Little Haiti;today, they still make their sculptures primarily from the discarded, repurposed or recycled items of daily life. Using these new and repurposed materials, Bonsai Couture draws on the aesthetic qualitie sof the handmade in order to create symbols of reshaped identity. Each piece represents individuality redefined not only with delicacy but also with an element of fantasy and extravagance.

In particular, the series combines the traditions of bonsai making with the practices of haute couture or high fashion. In bonsai practice, the aesthetic miniaturization of trees is a meditative process of cultivation that involves painstakingly shaping and sculpting a tree. The process of design and creation in haute couture is comparable: it emphasizes the use of time-consuming, hand-executed techniques as well as custom fitting one-of-a-kind pieces made from high-quality, opulent fabrics. For Guerra de la Paz, merging the techniques and philosophies of these two disciplines results in several surprising insights, and it contributes to a universal dialogue inspired by the divine quest for perfection. In the end, by combining the traditional with the modern and by transcending cultural and aesthetic boundaries, these works address humanity’s instinctive ability to adapt as well as its insatiable desire to achieve perfection through the control of nature.

December 17 2009

Beyond the Daily Life: Teresa Diehl and Guerra de la Paz at Center for Visual Communication, Miami

Beyond the Daily Life is an exhibition at the Center for Visual Communication in Miami / USA that brings together recent works by Teresa Diehl and the artist duo Guerra de la Paz. The show has been curated by Julian Navarro. The opening reception featured live music by the Disco Monkeys.

During Art Basel Miami Beach 2009, Center for Visual Communication in Miami and 333 Productions presented the exhibition Beyond the Daily Life. Beyond the Daily Life featured the work of visual artists Teresa Diehl and Guerra de la Paz with music performances by Disco Monkeys.

“Beyond the Daily Life examines our contemporary human experience and provokes an exploration of life beyond conventionally perceived limitations. By transposing familiar elements and cultural references, this exhibition summons a revision to commonly accepted norms and invokes an approach to life as a natural force of possibilities.” (excerpt from the press release)

Teresa Diehl, presented two immersive video installations that contrast the intensity of daily events and life with a quiet meditative environment.

Guerra de la Paz presented three monumental sculptural works using recycled apparel in an extension of the visual and three-
dimensional language they use to comment on contemporary culture.

Center for Visual Communication, Miami / USA. Private view and opening reception, November 28 / December 1, 2009.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.
> Click this link to watch Quicktime video in new movie window.


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