10 Jun - 24 Jul
Sabrina Amrani presents 'Reforma', the second solo exhibition of Panamanian artist Jhafis Quintero at the gallery, showcasing a new body of work across installation and video, drawing further on his experience of 10-year-long imprisonment in a Costa Rican jail, where Quintero at first became both artist and creative subject.
While his earlier exhibition at the gallery, 'Cambalache' (2014) focused on the different structures of language and the poetic dimension of escape and redemption through gestures of freedom - sometimes at the expense of self-harm, in the new work part of 'Reforma', an introspection takes place not in the form of a monologue, but as a search for political bodies - a realm of true appearance where subject, reality and form meet. In the anonymity of incarceration, how do subjects recognize sameness and otherness; where does a world in common begin?
'Reforma', a maximum security prison in Costa Rica, infamous for human rights abuses and riots, and most recently, not without irony, a US-sponsored procedural 'reform', is for the artist not only a site-specific memory of the past and an invasive topography of resilience, but also a vast metaphor for the bio-political: When the powers of the state extend from the rule of law to the absolute control of physical and political bodies, subjects are formed and reformed through instruments of technological power beyond punishment. In turn, these subjects and their bodies transform and reform the environment into a grammar of transgression where the everyday becomes something alchemical, supernatural and even miraculous. When the whole of existence is confined and reduced to a mere body, pure biology, how to stage a moment of liberation?