Maria Anwander: Out of Context
Carlos Martiel: Plegaria Muda (Silent Prayer)

Steve Turner

February 20, 2014

Maria Anwander: Out of Context
Carlos Martiel: Plegaria Muda (Silent Prayer)

February 14–March 15, 2014

Steve Turner Contemporary
6026 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90036

Maria Anwander
Out of Context
Steve Turner Contemporary is pleased to present Out of Context, a solo exhibition by Berlin-based artist Maria Anwander whose work explores the role that institutions play in the art world. Her latest works deal with issues of collecting, ownership, and authorship in connection to local museums, especially the Los Angeles County Museum of Art which is located directly across the street from the gallery. There is a facsimile LACMA banner on the exterior of Steve Turner Contemporary; some altered photographs of VIP guests at a past LACMA gala where the VIPs were photographed against a backdrop that showed the logos of sponsors (the VIP has been erased so only his/her outline remains);  and a photograph that relates to her ongoing series, My Most Favorite Art, in which Anwander steals wall labels from museums. There also is a video and a photograph that result from an intervention where Anwander surreptitiously added her name to the plaque at LACMA that acknowledges large donors. Lastly she has presented a group of spreads from Flash Art magazine that featured articles about the Los Angeles art scene where Anwander erased all of the images and left intact the text together with the erasure dust.

Maria Anwander (b. 1980; Bregenz, Austria) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna (2008). Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States since 2009. This is her first solo exhibition at Steve Turner. She lives and works in Berlin.

Carlos Martiel
Plegaria Muda (Silent Prayer)
Steve Turner Contemporary is pleased to present Plegaria Muda (Silent Prayer), a solo exhibition by Carlos Martiel. The exhibition follows Martiel’s first performance in the United States which took place at the gallery on February 14. Martiel positioned himself in the middle of the room where thin strands of nylon were sewn into his body and tautly extended to the walls of the gallery where they were attached. Bells emitting varying sounds were attached to the nylon. While Martiel attempted to remain motionless, his inevitable involuntary movements triggered the chimes. The gallery now features a photograph and a two-channel video of the performance along with the nylon strands that previously held Martiel in place.

According to guest curator Edna Sandoval, in “Plegaria Muda Martiel explores what it is to be human and seeks to know for himself whether he has any life force beyond the borders of his own physical body. This question, one that has been asked since the beginning of mankind, is fundamental to all the world’s religions and it centers on the notion of one having a spirit. In aiming to remain still, Maritel seeks to animate the conflict between that objective and the environment around him so that the bells will represent his spirit.”

Carlos Martiel (b. 1989, Havana) graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts, Havana (2009) before moving to the United States in 2013. His work has been included in the Havana Biennial (2009); Pontevedra Biennial, Galicia (2010), Liverpool Biennial (2010); and Biennial La Otra, Bogotá (2013). He has also had solo exhibitions at the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, Havana (2012); Nitsch Museum, Naples (2013); Axeneo 7, Montreal (2013) and LUX, Guatemala City, (2013). He won the Arte Laguna Prize, Venice (2013). This is Martiel’s debut project in the United States.

Edna Sandoval (b. 1980, Guatemala City) has risen from studio assistant to biennial curator in a very short amount of time. Her first significant art world experience was working closely with Guatemala’s two most prominent contemporary artists, Regina José Galindo and Anibal López. She subsequently went on a grand tour of Latin America visiting artists in fifteen different countries. Most recently, Sandoval was the co-curator for Central America and the Caribbean at  La Otra Biennial in Bogota, Colombia.