CAPC
musée d'art contemporain
de Bordeaux

Exhibition // site-specific installation in the Nave //

18.05.2017 -> 24.09.2017

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa

Linnæus in Tenebris

Site specific installation and performance for the Nave of the museum.

This exhibition receives the exceptional support of our Honorary Patron, Château Haut-Bailly

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 For his first solo show in France, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa (born in Guatemala City, lives and works in Berlin) taps into science fiction and biotechnology to address a recurrent subject in his sculptures and performances, namely, the suffering of the land and of the people who farm it. 

Linnæus in Tenebris, a site-specific installation and performance* in the Nave of CAPC, is set in in the historic context of the eighteenth century, an era that still dominates Bordeaux’s architectural landscape. The work focuses on an emblematic figure of rationalism, Carl von Linné (1707–1778), the Swedish botanist who created the nomenclature for the classification of most living species known in his time. More broadly, Ramírez-Figueroa examines the taxonomical practices that were developed during the scientific (notably botanical) expeditions undertaken in the wake of western colonization at the time of the Enlightenment. By linking their inherent conceptual bias to the logic of ethnic hierarchization underpinning the division of labor and the spread of industrialization – specifically in the realm of agriculture in Central America, and Guatemala in particular, under the impulse of multinational companies employing migrant labourers – he underlines their alienating potential.

At CAPC, the artist thrusts visitors into the cold and bleak atmosphere of a breeding farm where strange hybrid creatures are grown on an industrial scale. The half-human, half-plant-like sculptures populating the Nave – bunches of bananas with protruding arms and legs, a cocoa-tree-hangman, Monstera deliciosa or other species of suspiciously lush plants, an androgynous-yucca-plant and a plant-pod-midget – are simultaneously fascinating and puzzling. Made of polystyrene covered in resin, they affirm their artificiality and question the moral foundations of “enlightened” culture by exposing the crimes committed in the shadow of Linnaeus.

Curator: Alice Motard

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* Linnæus in Tenebris (text: Wingston González) is part of a series of performances by Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa commissioned and produced by Corpus, European network for performance practice. Previous chapters were Illusion of Matter (Tate Modern, Performance Room), The Print of Sleep, Life in His Mouth, Death Cradles Her Arm and Mimesis of Mimesis (If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Edition VI – Event and Duration). Corpus is Bulegoa z/b (Bilbao), CAC (Vilnius), KW (Berlin), If I Can’t Dance (Amsterdam), Playground (STUK & M, Louvain) and Tate Modern (London). Corpus is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

The performance was presented during the opening on Thursday 18 May at 7.30 pm and on Saturday 20 May at 8 pm as part of the 2017 European Night of Museums.

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Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa (born in Guatemala, lives and works in Berlin) has been cultivating an interest in literature and theatre since an early age. After initial training at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, he joined the graduate performance programme at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2013 he completed his training with a year at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Among his recent solo projects are Two Flamingos Copulating on Tin Roof, Mies van der Rohe Award 2017, Museum Haus Lange and Haus Esters, Krefeld (2017); God’s Reptilian Finger, Gasworks, London (2015); and the cycle of performances produced and commissioned by Corpus, European network for performance practice, and shown at Tate Modern in London, Kunst-Werke in Berlin and the Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen in Amsterdam as part of Edition VI – Event and Duration by If I Can’t Dance (2015/16). Recently, his work has been shown as part of Viva Arte Viva, 57th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2017); Incerteza viva [Live Uncertainty], 32a Bienal de São Paulo (2016); Burning Down the House, 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014); and in group exhibitions at Proyectos Ultravioleta, Mendes Wood DM and Marian Goodman Gallery (2016). In 2016 he was a grantee of the prestigious Artists-in-Berlin Programme of the DAAD, where he will be exhibiting in the fall of 2017.

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-> Nave of the museum CAPC
-> Disabled access
-> Price: Museum Entrance, 7€ (full price) ; 4€ (reduced price)

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