Mario Garcia Torres

I Will Be With You Shortly

For I Will Be With You Shortly Garcia Torres conceived a project rooted in themes of time, silent, the unsaid and the forgotten, all concerns that have been central to his practice. The artist exposes the various actions that lie behind the production of each work and sets out a space for waiting, for reading, for creating and for writing. I will be with you shortly is a show that lives between writing and reading, and between waiting, thinking and creating, reimagining in this way the structure that underlies the entire system of art.

The starting point of the exhibition is Unspoken Dailies, 2003-2009, a feature film that will be screened only once during the run of the exhibition June 26 at Cinema Spazio Oberdan. The film is based on an essay by Garcia Torres about the work of Bas Jan Ader, the Dutch artist who disappeared in 1975 during a performance in witch he was trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a tiny sailing boat. The main character – actor Diego Luna (Milk, 2008; Mister Lonely, 2006; Y tu mama también, 2001) – silently reads Garcia Torres’s text to himself. Only the actor has read the essay, which was destroyed right after the shooting. The memory of the artist’s words is in the care of the actor only. Shot in real time, 66 minutes of steady shooting, the film becomes an “essay” on the concept of real time and cinematic time. The works that compose the exhibition at Peep-Hole re-enact the same atmosphere of interlude and pause of the film. Together, in different ways, the works envoke the same reflection upon time as durations, as long exposure.

With the puzzles in the series Time to Piece, 2010, Garcia Torres invites viewers to play with the construction of images which portray the famous public clocks in Milan, hyperbolically creating a subjective view of time based on the personal reconstruction of each image which in turn represents the time. The work also pays homage to the puzzle works by Felix Gonzales Torres and Alighiero Boetti, two of the artists that Garcia Torres often refers to in his personal history and practice of conceptual art.May 2010, 2010, is the last work of the Pocket Scratchingseries, which started in 2007. For a month, a black and white slide is kept in the artist’s pocket. Fate and inertia produce an image: a grey monochrome where scratches and signs underline lapses of time. The subject takes on the patina of the objects so worn and forgotten and its projection it functions as a visual document of neglect and inattention, the material of a new narrative.

The puzzles and the slide projection are accompanied by the sound of I Promise Every Time, 2008, a musical piece made in collaboration with musician Mario Lopez Landa. This artwork is the melancholy and musical transposition of a long-term project titled I Promise… a work that keeps an eye on his daily practice as an artist. Whenever he stays in a hotel, he uses the hotel stationery to write a variation on this note: ‘I promise to do my best as an artist, at least for the next [period of time]’ The promise is always signed and dated, but the period of time fluctuates depending on the artist’s mood. The work demands that Garcia Torres write a letter to the owner of the piece each time he stays in a hotel. In the musical version we listen to a male voice singing about the hotel room as a place to stop and think promising to do his best just being an artist. The work becomes a kind of monitoring of his commitment to being a “good” artist and a reflection on the meaning of a promise. The rhetorical form of the letter frequently used by the artist recurs both in a text piece which ties together the meaning of the whole show, and also in Dear Beholder, 2009, a film in which a letter is typed, explaining the reason to such a habit. 

Mario Garcia Torres was born in 1975 in Monclova, Mexico and is now based in Mexico City. He has exhibited in many international group exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale (2007) and Yokohama Triennale (2008). Solo exhibitions includeStedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007), Zürich Kunsthalle (2008), Jeu de Paume, Paris (2009), CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009) and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2010).

01. Mario Garcia Torres
Time to Piece, 2010 (detail)
Series of 5 puzzle, 70 x 50 cm (each), Courtesy the Artist

02. Mario Garcia Torres, I Will Be With You Shortly
Exhibition view, Peep-Hole, Milano

03. Mario Garcia Torres, I Promise Every Time, 2008 (with Mario Lopez Landa)
Vinyl, 5’38’’ loop
Courtesy the Artist

04. Mario Garcia Torres
Dear Beholder, 2009
2 channels film, 3' 06"
Courtesy the Artist