Oscar Murillo

Oscar Murillo, Dis Place, Installation view, YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku, 2016 – 2017. Photograph © Patrick Verbruggen. Courtesy the artist and YARAT Contemporary Art Space.

Oscar Murillo

Horizontal Darkness in Search of Solidarity

Oscar Murillo is one of the most exciting contemporary artists. Primarily working with painting, he goes beyond this scope by integrating video, drawing, sculpture and performance into impressive overall installations. His works are always oriented towards the artist’s intercultural relationships with various cities and places he travels to and works in, and to Colombia where he was born.

In Oscar Murillo’s installations, the viewer finds himself amidst a clever, highly aesthetic and existential field of tension which is about the understanding of work and play, production and consumption, original and appropriation, centre and periphery as well as the relation between the individual materials being used. While a few years ago Oscar Murillo’s projects were often on the verge of social experimentation, his most recent installations are characterized by a groping exploration of space through (painterly) gestures that come along with the exploration of the historical, economic, social, and philosophical conditions of this very space.

Murillo will produce a new installation for the large hall of the Kunstverein. The idea of the show - combining painting, drawing, sculpture, assemblage and video as intervention - results from the artist’s ongoing belief in geographical, cultural and socio-political cohesion, using the equatorial line as a neutral geographic concept as a starting point. In the exhibition space of Horizontal Darkness in Search of Solidarity, the visitor can strive for spiritual solidarity and an understanding of our collective social darkness which the artist recognizes in socio-political agitation, growing natural phenomena, and ethnological struggles. Contrary to current nationalist tendencies, Murillo continues to believe in cross-border mobility and communication which enables an understanding that is indispensable for a humane and social world.

Murillo’s plan is to transform the hall of the Kunstverein into an arena. According to antiquity, the arena can be regarded as an institution that plays an important role in maintaining social relations. It is a place of activity, debate or conflict. In this arena, Murillo searches for ways to develop other perspectives in the context of the traumatic and political reception of memory and identity. The arena will be surrounded by several elements that promote global dialogue. Colombian oil pencil pigment cloths stand next to a series of large-scale works based on a medieval technique of glass windows which are still produced in Azerbaijan to this day.