Adrián S. Bará - A PORTRAIT OF SOVEREIGNTY
April 9th - May 1St 2016
Curated by Humberto Moro
The work of Adrián S. Bará (Mexico City, 1982) examines the fields of cinematography and advertising, exploring how images come to be produced, distributed and consumed. He uses sculpture, collage and photography to highlight the particularities and procedures implicit within image production: what is concealed, revealed or altered in the picture. S. Bará appropriates production paraphernalia such as stands, screens and lights in order to consider the potential these objects hold to become something other than they are. In his practice, he makes continued reference to cinematographic conventions such as the script and the internal logics of movie-making as a way to consider the origins and democratization of the color image.
A Portrait of Sovereignty, is a site-specific project for SOLIVAGANT* which combines sculptural elements with video. The installation draws upon Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up (1966), an adaptation of “The Devil’s Drool” (1959) by Julio Cortázar, in which a fashion photographer who leads a glamorous life comes to believe that he has unwittingly captured a murder on camera.
The piece incorporates a C-Stand, the metallic, heavy device used to support lights, filters and additional equipment in the preparation of a scene for filming. The stand bears a thin metal, sculptural form specifically designed to hold a micro projector, while also supporting the surface on which the video is projected. This video is a 40’ loop excerpted from Blow Up wherein the aforementioned fashion photographer can be seen in the middle of a photoshoot. The scene reveals the intricate choreography of model and photographer, the complex, articulated, and artificial gestures of each body opening up questions concerning who performs for whom. S. Bará intervenes within this sequence, producing a version which specifically emphasizes body movements, gestures and the presence of the camera as mediators of the moment.
S. Bará wishes to contest the forms of dominion underlying authorship, and moreover to question the responsibilities implicit within the production of visual information and the contractual relations between images and individuals. Beyond incorporating the scene within the actual artwork, S. Bará also speaks of the latent discussion within Antonioni’s work on the image’s evidentiary potential, the modalities of image capture, and the political differentiations sparked by the content of the image. Such conversations naturally lead onto recent examinations of the political agency of photography, such as Ariella Azoulay’s study in The Civil Contract of Photography.. In her discussion of the visual field of catastrophe, Azoulay argues that the constitutive moment of sovereign authority lies in the reproduction of contractual moments between the individual, the public and the multitude.
A Portrait of Sovereignty draws on such a contractual moment within the context of Antonioni’s Blow Up. The work mediates between the physical codes and shapes of visual production, and those aspects of image construction that manifest beyond the object. S. Bará thus makes evident the systematic social constructs and contracts implicit within image production. The redirection of the various cinematographic elements, their aesthetic capacities, and the video’s narrative, activate a set of “abstract relations” manifest in the image which are then disseminated, ultimately “imposing such relations as the real.”
 Azoulay, Ariella, The Civil Contract of Photography, Zone Books, New York, 2008: P. 86 - 87.
 Ibid, P. 98.
Adrián S. Bará (b. 1982, Mexico City, MX) Lives and works between Guadalajara and New York.
He studied Film Studies at the Capilano College in Vancouver, Canada. He has shown extensively in Mexico, recent projects include: Reconstrucción[Reconstruction] curated by Abraham Cruzvillegas at Museo de Arte de Zapopan (MAZ), Le Palais at Páramo Galería, Guadalajara and American Cinema at Travesía Cuatro gallery in Guadalajara. In 2012 he was a resident at Casa Vecina in Mexico City, presenting the project Rock and Roll. He was awarded in 2016 with the Fondo Nacional Para La Cultura y Las Artes (FONCA) grant for emerging artists.
Humberto Moro (b. 1982, Guadalajara, MX) is a curator and writer based in New York. He is a 2016 MA candidate from the Graduate Program at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard). Currently he is Director/Curator at Colección Diéresis in Guadalajara. He was Collection Coordinator and Assistant Curator at the Jumex Foundation. He founded and directed the independent space Humo from 2007 to 2010 doing more than 30 exhibitions and talks. His recent projects include Forms of Otherness by Mario Navarro at ISCP in New York, Witness of the Century at the Museo de Arte de Zapopan (MAZ) in Guadalajara, and Measuring the Distance at Casa Encendida in Madrid.