Espacio Minimo Gallery opens its current season with the first solo show in Spain by Puerto Rican artist Gamaliel Rodríguez under the title The Concepts of Fuel & Full. In it the artist reflects upon the different types of energy that are currently used by man, and for what purposes. These different energies, including fossil fuels such as petrol and its derivates (gasoline, propane, and butane), as well as the more sustainable fuels like Bio-Ethanol and Bio-Diesel are minutely examined by the artist. In his work he analyses various types of energy from their most elemental base, like cereal grain and its cultivation, right up to the advanced technological developments found in the extracting and processing plants. Gamaliel’s work studies the architectural aesthetic and the visual field generated by this technology. Using ballpoint pen on paper he has managed to create a style that is halfway between illustration and engraving, and which is reminiscent of architectural plans.
These fuels are and have been greatly responsible for the current state of the world economy. A country’s fuel resources are a good index to measure their economic and, consequently, military power. The truth is that, although the investigations into the field of bio-fuels has since the 60’s been developed with an aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the same technologies are nevertheless also being employed in the creation of new weapons of mass destruction by bringing down the cost of core explosive materials.
The technology involved in the development of fuels and bio-fuels can be recontextualized and transformed into military weaponry considerably reducing the price of production. Uranium, which can be used to create enough nuclear energy to supply a city as big as Chicago or Madrid, can also be used in the creation of nuclear warheads. Similarly the unique properties of ethanol are used in the the creation of a range of explosives. Not to mention hydrogen that in the mid 60’s was used to develop the most dangerous weapon of the time, the hydrogen bomb.
The show’s central piece, titled Waiting for Sunrise, is an enormous 260 x 320 cm drawing on different sheets of paper which depicts a French nuclear reactor, a mosque under construction, and the Denver Broncos Stadium in Colorado, USA (in the USA many of these massive stadiums house long distance missile launch pads). A fictitious connection is made between them as potential storage centres for nuclear warheads. The sunrise of the title could then be understood as the sunrise on any given day, or as the even brighter light that would be produced by the imminent explosion of one of the nuclear reactors.
Gamaliel Rodríguez Ayala (Bayamón, Puerto Rico, 1977), graduated in Fine Art at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico and obtained a Masters in Fine Art from Kent Institute of Art and Design in Kent, U.K. in 2005. He has taken part in various group shows in Europe - Latitude: MA final Show. University for the Creative Arts. Kent, U.K. in 2005 or Political & Poetical. 14th Tallinn Print Triennial. Kumu. Kunstimuuseum. Tallinn, Estonia in 2007- and America - Event Horizon. (Curated by Jennifer Schmidt). The Project Space Gallery, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA or The Artists Space Daily. Online project based by the Artist Space New York. (Curated by Joseph del Pesco co-curated by Pedro Velez) in 2008- as well as solo-project at the latest edition of CIRCA, Puerto Rico’s international contemporary art fair.
Espacio Minimo Gallery
images and text provided by Espacio Minimo Gallery
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