IK LAB, Tulum / Mexico

September 23, 2018–January 31, 2019
September 28, 2018

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Alchemical forces, ephemeral transformations, surreal transitions and post-apocalyptic ruins are just some of the themes explored in Configurations, which opened on Sunday, September 23, at the contemporary art space, IK LAB, founded by Roth (Eduardo Neira).

Curated by Claudia Paetzold, Configurations features a selection of work by Franco-German artist Katinka Bock, whose recent presentation at Manifesta in Palermo, Sicily, evocatively uses bronze casts from plants in the botanical garden serving as ephemeral molds; New York-based artist Guillaume Leblon, whose work conjures up an imaginary stage of seamless transitions from the real to the surreal; and Guadalajara-based artist Gabriel Rico, whose installations resemble post-apocalyptic ruins that also elicit a sense of new possibilities.

Curator and IK LAB artistic director Claudia Paetzold notes: “After IK LAB’s first exhibition, Alignments, which was an invitation to explore invisible spatial coordinates as a gateway into the metaphysical realm, Configurations shifts the focus to the emergence of earthly creations, staging poetic emanations mysteriously arising from the ground, subtle aerial systems of balance and the passage of time as reflected in spatial occurrences.”

The oeuvre of France-based artist Katinka Bock (Germany, 1976) embodies a constant flow of alchemical transformation while simultaneously conveying a sense of an immutable elemental order and balance, projecting the viewer into a utopic space where humans embrace the creative force of nature. In Configurations, the meteor-like stone of Lion Balance North gradually descends towards the earth as the water in the archaic ceramic recipient evaporates, while Junimond, a ceramic sculpture formed from a gesture to embrace the moon, Farben dieses Meeres, Hut, a fossilized hat, and Mot (suspendu), a cone-like suspended ceramic held by a dark blue nylon strap, transmit an ineffable relatedness, inviting viewers to imagine a narrative that culminates in the questionable presence of two bronze cast fish, seemingly washed ashore.

Based in New York City, Guillaume Leblon (France, 1971) conjures up an imaginary stage of seamless transitions from the real to the surreal. At IK LAB, his freestanding windows open onto multiple spaces from where it’s possible to contemplate the exhibition, drawing the viewer into a scenography of wondrousness. A symbol of the origin of life, seemingly floating, as in Cuatro Peces Siguiendo, or fossilized, as in Fishes in the Vase, the presence of fish in Leblon’s work raises questions related to the spatial progression of existence and anchoring, while Portrait communicates the knowing presence of an invisible omniscient entity, able to sense the pulse of the creatures dwelling inside the curved, meandering space of the gallery.

Currently based in Guadalajara, Gabriel Rico (Mexico, 1980) introduces another vantage point to the exhibition’s narrative. The artist’s acute awareness of the human condition is reflected in works resembling post-apocalyptic ruins, while evocative beams of light seem to herald the possibility of a new story line. His wall-based sculpture Homme II, composed of volcanic stone, mesquite wood, gold leaf and neon, appears like an alchemistic recipe for the creation of a new humanity, while the standing pieces II and III from his series Teorema de la Incompletitud mend the inevitable breakage point through a circle of light.

Configurations is on view at IK LAB in Tulum, Mexico, from September 23, 2018 to January 31, 2019.

IK LAB is a new artistic and cultural space set within in the ecologically inspired resort Azulik, found amidst the Mayan jungle of Tulum, Mexico. With its organic and imaginative architecture conceived by Roth (Eduardo Neira), the space, which captures the quintessence of the Yucatan peninsula’s abundant nature and rich spiritual heritage, radically redefines the relationship between art and its physical environment.