Wolfgang Tillmans on Juan Pablo Echeverris Lost Identity
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Wolfgang Tillmans on Juan Pablo Echeverri’s Lost Identity

A political edge

“The approach sounds easy however then it’s executed for 20 years, and it accumulates such worth, such a richness,” says Tillmans. “A few of them are stuffed with character, some have been clearly simply a part of his routine. In some he performed, he put on the identical jacket he wore 10 years in the past, or 20 years in the past. It’s completely fascinating what number of phases in the end all of us have. A passport picture is known as a very crude approximation of our advanced selves.”

Echeverri mixed these autoportraits into giant grids, ignoring chronology or strict typology looking for extra advanced investigation of the way in which images and id intersect. These grids have taken numerous kinds over time, however three of them are on present at extra-large measurement at Between Bridges – every one measuring one metre sq. and together with 400 portraits of the artist, 1200 photos in complete. 

The title Identidad Perdida is lifted from a handwritten observe Echeverri taped to his studio wall, and it serves as an perception into his oeuvre. As Tillmans factors out, Echeverri “actually by no means had another subject material than gown or taking on roles performed by himself”, however that manifested in a number of methods, and took on a political edge. The exhibition features a collection of photos titled MUTILady (2003), for instance, documenting a efficiency by which Echeverri, airbrushed with an anatomical portray of the muscular tissues beneath the pores and skin, was photographed a number of occasions whereas a hairdresser reduce and recut his hair.

On the one hand it’s a playful remark on hairstyles and subculture however on the opposite it cuts deeper, the title merging ‘woman’ with ‘motilar’ [‘to crop’], ‘mutation’ and ‘mutilation’, at a time when Colombians confronted intense violence from paramilitary teams. “This work didn’t happen in a protected society,” feedback Tillmans. “It got here out of a society that was in a state of struggle, which is tough [to understand] for Europeans, for anyone who hasn’t lived in a state of instability and risk.

“All this expression with id in public got here at private danger,” he provides. “The liberty that he selected to precise was, I feel, a direct response to the restriction of the time in Colombia. [These works] are about on a regular basis observations of society at giant, however on the similar time they’ve a South American or Latin American element and tone. I feel they’ve essentially the most to do with authority.”

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