Known for his ephemeral site-specific installations, Adrián Villar Rojas has fathomed a world from the flesh of raw, cracked clay resulting in temporal structures that have included a giant high tech robot, a little bird, Michelangelo´s David, a mother cradling a hybrid human-pig baby, a dinosaur, Kurt Cobain, or a young couple making love in a boat. His retro-futuristic archeological remnants reference human culture and the natural history of planet Earth. Displayed in a museum, on a planet that is not ours, they offer a sort of empirical testing of an art that will exist post-human.
Adrián Villar Rojas was born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1980. He studied Fine Arts at the Universidad Nacional de Rosario from 1998-2002. His exploration of clay began in 2008 with the exhibition What Fire Has Brought Me, in Buenos Aires, following his inaugural solo exhibition, Fire, in 2004.
In 2009, Villar Rojas participated in the 2nd Biennial of the End of the World, Ushuaia, Argentina, where he first developed a site-specific, team-based project, My Dead Family – a gigantic whale in the forest of one of the most southern cities in the world, which was followed by War Cannot Distinguish Love from Any Other Feeling, a giant sculpture of a mythical monster entwined with a young girl for the X Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador, and I Will Never Forget Brazil for the 31st Panorama of Brazilian Art, at Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo. In 2011, Villar Rojas represented Argentina in the 54th Venice Biennial, ILLUMInations, with Now I will be with my Son, The Murderer of Your Heritage and was selected for SAM Art Projects, the Louvre Museum, where he presented Poems for Earthlings, a huge, fallen obelisk in the Jardin des Tuileries. He participated in The 2012 New Museum Triennial: The Ungovernables, and that same year, his monumental installation Return the World was shown at dOCUMENTA(13), Kassel, Germany, and Kabul, Afghanistan.
“Regarding the mixture of references,” said Villar Rojas in a recent interview, “I tried to imagine how it would be to look at the planet and human culture from the perspective of an alien: absolute horizontality and lack of prejudice. There are no scales of values, but commitment to a deep state of detachment and distance, which is also reflected in the use of time: remote future and absence of humans; remote past and origins of life. A dinosaur and a high tech robot. The anchor was the decision to exile myself from this time, because I felt there was no longer anything to think of regarding art. Therefore, we could only think of the post end.”
By melding clay with organic materials – vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, wood, plants, earth, food – and with inorganic ones – sneakers, ropes, personal belongings, metals and pigments, Villar Rojas creates hybrid objects, which transform into new, unexpected mutants through the passage of time. These living entities continue to breed and flourish long after the human stage of the process has finished; entropy and time take on an ontological role in Villar Rojas’s exploration. From the ephemeral, his work has evolved to be diachronic.
Marian Goodman Gallery Website