Luis González Palma
Jerarquías de Intimidad (La Anunciación)
For Jerarquías de Intimidad (La Anunciación), Guatemalan artist González Palma will transform the gallery with the installation of two related bodies of work, part of his larger ongoing investigation of the myth of the Annunciation. Elaborating on his signature iconography, an emphasis on hands runs through each series, speaking to ideas of intimacy, conception, desire and deception. Including photographs and videos produced with the artist's wife, Graciela de Oliveira, the first section of the exhibition recalls the hand gestures of saints from canonical paintings. Leaning against the darkened gallery wall at ground level, these photographic disks ask the viewer to crouch at their level. The viewer replicates the position of the kneeling prayer, completing the gallery's mutation into a chapel—an idea reinforced by the work's allusion to their Renaissance sources. A second part of the project marks a chromatic departure from the Kodalith earth tones which dominate González Palma's earlier oeuvre, blossoming into saturated cinematic chiaroscuros. With this work, the artist strikes a surreal tenor with images uneasily evoking the constant presence of an Other in relation to the photographic subject. Departed loved ones seem to reach out from walls. Father and son are inevitably bound together, literally and figuratively tied to one another. In the flesh or assuming a more metaphysical presence, these specters suggest that what we want and what we fear are often the same thing. Here again, González Palma's photographs dramatize the relationships that connect us.
Luis González Palma was exhibited in the 49th and 51st Venice Biennales (2001, 2005). His work is included in numerous museums including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, Boston; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Publications include Poems of Sorrow (Arena Editions, 1999) and Il Silencio de Maya (Peliti Associati, 1998). He lives and works in Argentina.