Foto: B. Mora
20 september– 12 november, 2014
The practice of contortionism, if one goes back in time, originated in the Fairs of medieval Europe, when the skills and the extravagance to twist the body into extraordinary forms was a way of earning a precarious living. It is evident that the physical conditions of a contortionist are exceptional, but the effort to challenge the possibility of the human body goes beyond existent criteria. The trade of ‘troubadour’, somewhere between a tightrope walker and a masochist, has been travelling through time and cultures for centuries and, even though using similar techniques to their forbears, is still captivating to us today. Maybe it has something to do with our morbid ways of being, with an insatiable need to observe and be observed, perhaps the unexpected break or freak accident, experiencing the capabilities of the human body pushed to its limits, vicariously living through a body which is not our own? The flexibility, pain, tension, balance, sacrifice, eccentricity and spectacle go hand in hand with an activity that is as anachronistic as it is contemporaneous.
Eventually it seems to be a question of how to maintain a sense of stability against the apparent ‘juggleristic’ contradictions imposed upon us by the laws of physics and molecular order. It is in this sense that the metaphor of the human condition, facing adversity in search of the impossible as a possibility for adaptation through our own transmutation, that the artist Angel Haro, with these drawings and collages, is bringing to us. With this glance into the world of the contortionist Haro is relating their rare and solitary talents to what we do everyday just to survive. (RES press-release)
RES Gallery, Chester Court, 140 Jan Smuts. Johannesburg
Image: Ángel Haro