|The exhibition of works by renowned Mexican artist Damián Ortega centers on a project by biologist Gonçalo Jesus and Volker Sommer, founder of the Gashaka Primate Project and Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at University College in London. The exhibition is curated by Luiza Teixeira de Freitas.
Ortega was invited to the Gashaka region in Nigeria where the most recent subspecies of chimpanzees have been discovered and where the Gashaka Primate Project has its headquarters. There, exposed to these scientists’ research on the social and cultural behavior of apes, the Mexican artists recontextualized found elements such as tools built by chimpanzees. As Ortega is put in contact with the wild environment, a dynamic of points of encounter and boundaries are generated between art and science. The exhibition explores those divisions and transgressions through works that confront the objective scientific approach as they succeed in expressing, from an artistic perspective, a sensibility provoked by the natural and cultural elements.
To Ortega, the importance of objects lays on the ideas that they generate and his work characteristically subjects objects to unusual and daring processes of transformation and dysfunction. On this instance, the chimpanzees from Gashaka are the object of Ortega’s artistic creation. Like apes from other regions of the planet, the Gashaka apes appear to have developed a culture of their own that erases to a certain extent the Freudian boundaries between human beings and animals and between culture and nature. Based on this concept, the artist conveys the validity of such bifurcation of concepts in the contemporary world.
As part of this exhibition, a series of performances will be presented at the St. Elisabeth-Kirche in Berlin, from September 19 through September 21.
Freud Museum, London Website
Please click here for more information on The Gashaka Primate Project.