~ Allan Villavicencio
In search of the green ray

Solo show
Maelle Galerie, Paris, France
04.05 - 05.25.19

A green ray is a atmospheric phenomenon, an illusion produced by a variance in the perception of the horizon and the earth’s curve. At dawn or dusk – and only when the weather is fine – a green ray forms above the upper rim of the solar disk as it rises or sets. Its causes – be they scientific, poetic or literary – and the rarity of its appearance make it a metaphor for the horizon as promise, continuation and construction.In this exhibition, Allan Villavicencio assembles a new series of works, in a configuration especially designed for the gallery space and in affinity with this optical manifestation. Here, he continues his experimentation with painting as perception: visual perception, sensible or material perception, and physical perception. For him, painting is an accumulation of matter and sensations. His practice oscillates between a formal relation to a pictorial object, and a gestural and intuitive process that includes the traces and hazards of chance.

Taking inspiration from the spatial experimentation characteristic of Mexican muralism, from the sensations of navigation in 3D virtual landscapes, and from the energy of the urban environment, this exhibition is conceived of as a total landscape. It brings together three corpuses: a mural painting, encaustic paintings, and what Allan Villavicencio calls volume “projections” of paintings. The constant shifts between these different ensembles – between the narrative figuration of a deconstructed tropicality and the distance of abstract motifs – encourage layered readings and the ambiguity of relations. The mural section sketches a space in motion in which the notion of centre is evacuated, as is the possibility of omnisciently embracing the ensemble. The encaustic paintings, for their part, return to an ancient technique to depict fragments of visions. The volume projections constitute an array of ersatz and residues of the landscape in the space.

Devised through different procedures of excavation and aggregation, this « landscape-fragment » is infused with a tension between a sentiment of immersion and a fractured, piecemeal character whose coherence is broken in places. Based on a classical motif of art history, Villavicencio convokes a symbolic narrative of the occupation of space far from the so-called neutrality of perspective. Fictitiously prolonging Hito Steyerl’s reflections on the horizon and falling1, he brings together two systems of spatial construction: the plasticity of mural painting and the disorientation of virtual spaces. He draws on its refusal of a unified horizon, an often hallucinatory phantasmagory, a sensation of imbalance associated with a heightened and sped-up sensorial stimulation – and a political dimension of the composition.