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Camilo Leyva                                                                                                                                                                                                                El Dorado (2018)



Julia Buenaventura

In the mid-twentieth century the Brazilian architect Vilanova Artigas designed a series of buildings whose main feature was the lack of façade, a decision that far from an aesthetic purpose was an ethical and political stance: dynamiting the masks of bourgeois theater by removing from the building, as well as from society, its appearance. Mask of the building, the façade constitutes its fiction. In fact, sometimes it does not even matter that there is no building if a facade is preserved. The stories are multiple. When the viceroys arrived in Mexico in 1680, the cathedral was unfinished, the construction of an ephemeral wood, cloth and plaster structure was ordered and its allegorical entanglement was overseen by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Also in 1808, when the king of the Portuguese Empire, Joao VI landed in Rio de Janeiro fleeing Napoleon. The then miserable city was covered by curtains to hide its miseries. Today’s false exteriors are erected in Putin's visits to Russian towns or in the United States, on the new ruins, it is common to see big scale printouts with images of the absent or deteriorated building.

The exhibition by Camilo Leyva titled Again_ reflects upon the façade: the layer responsible for covering the real to raise the fictive. In our days, this mantle has developed new modes of existence that, although less material than the architectural ones, fulfill the same role. Humanity is always looking for ways to lie to itself, so covering the real with a cloth is nothing new. The only new thing is the virtual quality of the mantle that hides the real.

Again_ starts in 2016 with the purchase by the artist of the Internet domain "" right in the middle of theDonald Trump’s campaign, a domain that, strangely enough, make up the exhibition. Among them: an app, a clothing line that allows you to add more fiction to the fiction, green screen props, a series of videos of some characters involved in the Panama Papers and Odebrecht corruption scandals, whose photographs -worked in 3D by a computer algorithm-, end up creating monsters, and finally, a set of wooden facades whose image is loaded with meaning. In fact, those structures are the tangible façades of some of the many companies created to evade taxes. "Shell companies" whose real façades exist in places usually desolate or miserable, and have nothing in common with the millions of millions of dollars they harbor. Façades that exist as capital but do not register in the ocial spreadsheets of nations, this generates a virtual vacuum that the real world is sustaining with all the sweat of its forehead. This is because, despite our multiple eorts to live in a world of illusion- the fiction of money, the fiction of the virtual, reality still exists, a matter that art - more than economy -has striven to reveal through the most ingenious strategies. Leyva's work is part of this effort.


Opening: Saturday february 17th 2018

Closing: April 14th 2018