Victoria Civera & Miguel Angel Rios

July 5 – August 30, 2008

In their summer exhibition, Galerie Thomas Schulte presents Miguel Angel Ríos with the new video installation White Suit and Victoria Civera with the new expansive sculpture Aviador-Sibila.

The work of Miguel Angel Ríos (born 1953 in Catamarca, Argentina) focuses on issues such as cultural translation, geopolitics, and cultural tradition. In his precisely planned videos, Ríos frequently uses quotations as a style and means of expression, formal languages and specificities of South American cultures that oscillate in an encoded language between grace and violence.

In his new large format two-screen video work White Suit (2008), which will be presented in the main room of the gallery, Ríos combines elements from his original home in northern Argentina, distant in both geographic and cultural terms, into a dancing game with death. In a choreography consisting of different elements of South American dance, an elegantly dressed man in a white suit swings two boleadoras with which the gauchos from the Argentine pampas herd their cattle. Yet, here hanging from the cords are not metal balls but bloody pieces of meat with which the bailador taunts a group of aggressive stray dogs to the utmost. It seems that only by sheer will power he is able to keep the dogs from devouring him. As in Ríos’ earlier works, White Suit illustrates human relationships as power relations in which always life and death, white and black, reason and instinct, control and coincidence are at stake. But the struggle with the dogs in the elegant movements of the dancer also has a perfidious aesthetic that the beholder can hardly escape.

In recent years, Miguel Angel Ríos has had individual exhibitions at Blaffer Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (2007), Dallas Museum of Art (2006), Washington’s Hirshorn Museum (2005) and at Los Angeles’ LACE (2004). Ríos has been a participant in numerous group shows, including the biennials in Havana (2000, 1997) and Kwangju (2000). Parallel to this exhibition at Galerie Thomas Schulte (his last exhibition here was in 2005), Ríos is participating a group exhibition at Stichting Beeldenpark near Leeuwarden, Netherlands.

Victoria Civera (born in 1955 in Valencia) is showing the new expansive sculpture Aviador-Sibila (2008) in the window space of the gallery on the corner of Charlottenstrasse and Leipzigerstrasse. The work is typical for Civera’s sculptural work, in which she uses found materials and familiar everyday things and enlarges them to strange, abstract monumental objects. In her sculptures as well as in her paintings, drawings, and collages, the artist poses questions of male dominance and female identity; a selection of drawings and collages related to this work is also on view at the exhibition. With her conviction in the power of femininity, Civera looks for a language of her own, an écriture feminine, with which she can express intuitions, feelings, and instincts, and make an impact on the form and content of gender discussions.