Somnia
Fernando Gutiérrez and Daniel Romero (.tape.)

January 20 – March 10, 2012

Somnia is Fernando Gutiérrez’ second exhibition. On this occasion he is accompanied by Daniel Romero (.tape) on projects such as Phantasmagoria, Caballitos and Demo.

The word somnia clearly refers to sleep, belonging to the nomenclature of many of its disorders. Hypersomnia, dyssomnia, parasomnia, insomnia, somnolence…include it in their composition. The term situates us in the realm of everything related to sleep disorders and the border between wakefulness and reverie.

Dreaminess or the process of dreaming, even sometimes awake, is described as that state in which certain stimuli, probably more a question of mood than chemistry, trigger the activation of psychic mechanisms that are not freely expressed during wakefulness, by reprocessing information stored in the memory and clearly referring to the dreamer’s reality. Recent studies based on brain scan technology and default brain networks led to the conclusion that dream states are more frequent and intense in individuals with above average intelligence quotients. Einstein’s well-known statement about how he placed greater importance on the imagination than on knowledge supports the thesis that while the latter is no more than an accumulation of data and experiences, the former is the element capable of relating them, confronting them and facilitating new states of evolution. In short, it is the creative element.

Hypnosis, the therapy that is based on the relation of bi and multi-personal communication, also predisposes patients to relax their defence mechanisms of wakefulness to reach a state of profound serenity, to which the employment of sounds seems to contribute. Through hypnosis the unconscious surfaces, once the subconscious supresses the repressive barrier, which, in the form of a defence mechanism, censures certain impulses and inclinations, to avoid the trauma of its confrontation with the real world.

Somnia demonstrates a mental landscape, a place of reverie that takes us on an astounding initiation journey from the everyday to the transcendent, in which different experiments of anatomic impossibility are modulated through drawing using juxtapositions and small accidental transformations to reshape and redraw them in relation to exquisite audio harmonies. Music and drawing go hand in hand through the use of different media and technologies. This happens in Phantasmagoria, an enveloping piece that includes stills in the space, or Demo, interactive animation (by way of a videogame), where the viewer-user participates in the creation of part of the ambient sound of the exhibition made possible by the use of Arduino controls. The emotional, sensory and recreational entertainments are all generative projects, which can be categorized as digital art, and are produced by way of calculations to create visual or audio content by combining parameters programmed by the artists with a component of randomness.

Fernando Gutiérrez’ poetics boils down to a redefinition of drawing, to its proportions and expressive and material techniques rooted in pictorial preconceptions. The approach to drawing in a broader sense, combining the simplicity of the naked line with the complexity and sophistication of technology, gives rise to mental constructions that shape a universe of events and fragmented emergences, making use of overlapping and the fortuitous encounter between forms, materials and techniques with animation as the preferred media.

The narratives always involve the creation of parallel worlds, upon real images taken from everyday imagery (the media, the Internet, etc.). Once rescued, they are redrawn and related in a new context, forming strange associations, mixing innocence and perversion and with somewhat crude yet sensitive and even sentimental results, thus articulating a utopian construct of the extraordinary.

These drawings of drawings have common genetic make-ups. Occasionally, fragments of old drawings once again come to light taking the shape of a new subject in the ecosystem. This iconography, these associations, survive owing to recycling, and we can thus continually find ourselves with a familiar yet updated and expanded scene suggestive of a confusing wakefulness.

Fernando Gutiérrez and Daniel Romero, under the name Fernando Gutiérrez + .tape, have recently been selected to design ABC’s stand for ARCO 2012, part of whose content they are showing for the first time in the installation of Somnia.

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Actividad realizada con la ayuda del Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte