CASTLES by DÉBORA DELMAR at LLANO [from 20230204 to 20230401]

[Photos: WhiteBalanceMX]

For Castles, Débora Delmar (Mexico City, 1986) has built a domestic-looking access wall within the gallery. Locator (66) is an essential part of this. The piece replicates the signage of one of the houses where the artist once lived in Mexico City. Residential walls and walled subdivisions have been the norm in domestic construction for decades in this country. Thus, from the access, Castles is presented as a project in which Delmar revisits the topic of domestic space. This is a constant in her production, either through a critique of its media and commercial imagery (Potential Development, 2015) or in relation to certain issues related to the notion of private property, from shelter and protection to social separation (Community, 2020).

In this walled interior, Delmar has erected a castle, deconstructed into two structures. The solution for both is an industrial one: an inflatable and a set of scaffolding supporting a mesh. The first is a structure in the form of a walkway with three inflatable towers on top. In the second piece, the fabric hanging from the scaffolding has a printed image of the Chapultepec Castle, similar to those used when historic buildings are renovated. The image is shown on a greige background —a prized color in today’s real estate market linked to notions of neutrality and good taste in interior design. Delmar’s structures thus conjugate different imaginaries: from the fantasy of the house as a personal palace to forms of violent spatial occupation in which division and segregation are present. Likewise, with their strong commercial aspect —printed matter and inflatables—, they point to the real estate business and, in doing so, to a whole series of current real estate problems. In Castles, as in Delmar’s previous projects related to domestic space, the sculptural assemblages made with images and everyday objects evoke a number of associations.

The Community (2023) series resorts to the metal grille, as was used in Community (2020), and its meanings of shelter and protection but also of spatial division and fragmentation. This grille, whose design is one of the most common in the city, has been cut into fragments following the original design of its structure. Its appearance is reminiscent of the aesthetics of minimalism. In fact, this industrial and strongly masculine domain of artistic production seems to be researched and disrupted in Delmar’s project as a whole. The five pieces of the Community series, with their cuts, their close-to-sculptural solution, and the way in which they refer to notions of private property, underline the intention to challenge such conventions.

[Text: Daniel Garza Usabiag]

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