MARE MAGNVM: La llegada
Sabrina Amrani is pleased to present “MARE MAGNVM: La Llegada”, Edison Peñafiel’s first exhibition in the gallery, a show that introduces the viewer to 81 characters in a succesive series of black and white portraits.
“MARE MAGNVM: La Llegada” does not refer only to a single or specific event. No information is given on the characters’ origin or their personal history. Their faces are not visible, covered by papier-mâché masks typical from Peñafiel’s native Ecuador, that both humanize and depersonify these character. The identity of these people remains temporally and culturally ambiguous, and unspecific costuming transforms them into archetypal representatives of any diasporic population.
Mare Magnum (Great Sea in Latin) is the name Romans gave to the Mediterranean Sea. Although the artist constructs fictionnal characters, he points to real life scenes from the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, and from so many other sites of migration across bodies of water. The exhibition describes a reality that is already here, and is also an omen of one that is soon to come.
This exhibition is part of a wider body of work titled MARE MAGNVM, which includes an immersive video installation at the gallery space in Calle Sallaberry from 11 Dec 2021 to 12 Feb 2022. Through video, animation and photography, the artist aims in this project to develop a variety of visual narratives in which he creates characters based on real stories of his own and of those close to him. In these narratives the artist weaves an alternative reality that reflects the results of migrational processes, using indirect references to contemporary historical events. The idea is to transmute these real stories into fictitious imagery that is universal at the same time, always keeping the essence of the original characters and situations.