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Between Iron and Concrete

By Laura Isola
Published in Perfil newspaper, November 2017.  

The artist from Misiones Andrés Paredes is exhibiting his works at the Calvaresi gallery. To ripple the meaning of art, what is thought and built by man and the man-made quality that deprives it from the natural. Fretworks, cobwebs, dragonflies, fantasies of silence invaded by dreams. Artifice conceived as a scheme, visible in a delicate rendezvous of this flora and fauna universe. The exhibit is on until March 1, 2018.
A garden on a first floor. More precisely: the possibility of somebody from Misiones in the heights of a big city building. Yet more accurately: the idea of relocating the essence of this Mesopotamia vegetation in the historical area of San Telmo.
To access Artifice, the exhibition by Andrés Paredes, you must climb the staircase in Calvaresi Gallery, which has recently opened its doors and shows the perfect combination between the Italian architecture of the late 19th Century and the ascetic contemporary style of our times. Moreover, to exaggerate the strategy, you can take the glass elevator that connects the two ages coexisting in this place. Not just due to the remodeling of the Defense Street site, but also for forcing the prevailing logics of Antique stores into contemporary art to achieve an aesthetic and economic combination.
In any case, the outer world, the contact with nature, the sun and the earth are not necessary. Paredes’s warm imagination and his memories from Misiones -his home province- are enough to allow us into a still space. Not just due to the hanging bronze butterflies, but because of the vibrant quietness of his work. The exhibition is subtle in its crafting: the fretwork mimicking lianas and cobwebs are elements that join his own worlds. The intrusion of the inland, red soil, water courses, heat and shadow. Insects and music at naptime. Fantasies of silence invaded by dreams.
To appease this exuberance and generate a synthesis between his thoughts and his art, Paredes keeps the skeleton of the garden. He leaves, I guess, the roots from his childhood and sows it with new materials from elsewhere. Thus, dragonflies are secured as if they were in a collector’s panel, with their bodies and wings pinned to the paper fretworked stems. His holds their flight, and silences their buzz. He remodels the “bugs” in epoxy and grants them an artificial life. They are framed in the hall, where the gallery connects with the environments and the sense of life is ratified.
Life as a living thing and life in culture. The two meanings of this word that enlarges existence. Its expansion is such as the kilometers separating the city from the countryside. It is here where Paredes grafts his artifice, once again framing and bringing together a double game. Crimping the meaning of art, what is thought and built by man and the artificial, which deprives it from the natural. Isn’t art itself already an artifice? Is there anything beyond this fictional representation that at the same time summons the referent and moves away from it? 
“The greatest artifice consists in disguising the artifice”, as Baltazar Gracián once said. The Russian boxes of language -that ‘set in abyss’ of knowledge- fills every inch of the hall. It climbs and hangs from Paredes works to cover them in an extremely thin, almost transparent coat. On the contrary, the artist born in 1979 does not hide the procedure of using artifice as a scheme. In any case, he makes it visible in a delicate quote to this universe of flora and fauna. By paying special attention to the details, he generates a finesse that is impossible to find in nature. It does not compete -an impossible task- but outlines it, sketches it, leaves it naked before the viewer. He de-territorializes it into an iron and concrete setting where it will bloom and reproduce. Not in its natural habitat but in the originality of his new shapes, devised by its creator’s hand and mind.

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