Specta

Summertime, and the Livin 'is easy - Carlos AiresAugust 18 - September 22, 2018

About the show

Livin ‘is easy and Sweet Dreams – it’s summertime and we try to stop worrying about anything. But just below the surface – or as you can say about Carlos Aires’s works: on the other side of the coin – we find crises, power structures and everything we want to forget. Summertime, and the Livin ‘is Easy is Spanish Carlos Aires’ first solo show in SPECTA.In video, installation, collages and objects, Carlos Aires confrontes us with our dubious world order and the constant presence of the money, both in collages made of genuine banknotes, and abstract as the symbol of dreams, power and both physical and moral decay. The contrast between the state and the individual, between reality and dreams and between rich and poor are the main themes. And from above on balloons and wallpaper, our founder nations closely watch us.

In the video Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This , two policemen appear in campaign uniforms. They dance a tango version of 80’s pop song Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics in the luxurious, golden 19th-century Cerralbo in Madrid. Originally as a dance between two men, the tango developed in Argentina and Uruguay in a cultural mix between the local population and African, Italian and Spanish-speaking immigrants in the poor neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
To show us the policemen in their campaign uniform, as Aires does it in the video, is illegal in Spain. The government introduced this anti-democratic law a couple of years ago, as a result of a series of protest demonstrations. The law made it illegal to photograph, make video footage or any other visual documentation of police forces or police uniforms without the government’s permission. The video produces a mood of the darker side of the “free world” and generally indicates the ambiguity of the video of the recent years of crisis in Western society, and it poses questions about our means and goals, our fears and our desires.

In his ongoing and comprehensive series of Disasters (2013-), Carlos Aires compiles single banknotes with photos taken from mass media, which is from an event that has taken place in the country where the banknote comes from. Disasters point to the power structures and the relationship between the state – represented by the ultimate symbol in the banknote – and the individual who rebelles against or suffers from the very same community. Carlos Aires has stated that “(…) Money is the only link between all disasters and accidents created by humans, including many who seem to be natural phenomena (..)”

By destroying the true banknotes, Carlos Aires punctuates the strongest symbols on the nation states, even questioning the value of his own works and the market in which they are part. Wrapped in sweet words from pop songs and with beautiful clear colors, Aires’ fine-cut banknotes seduce us and confront us with the Macchia vellian state we are in.

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