The Magical Realism of “Wormhole” Featured at Cristin Tierney Gallery

In a presentation trumpeting the mystical and uncanny, Colombian artists Lina López and François Bucher question the nature of historical truth by developing a parallel reality in which a slight shift in perspective creates poignant experiences. “Wormhole,” the result of a collaboration that began in 2013, is now featured at Cristin Tierney Gallery, and is the inaugural exhibition in the gallery’s Black Box program, which focuses on experimental film and new media.

The pièce de résistance and jumping off point for the show is the video La nuit de l’homme (2012). The 81-minute film opens with a quote from Jorge Luis Borges’s short story Garden of Forking Paths (1941) and narrates the labyrinthian quest of a medium who relays the voice of Enki, the mischievous Sumerian god of magic, wisdom, and incantations. The work sets the scene for the world of “Wormhole,” a reality in which, as Bucher explains, “the membrane between the natural and supernatural has become absolutely permeable.”

López and Bucher create a reality in which the imagined becomes accepted. The photograph Wormhole (2015) points to a resemblance between an ancient Egyptian tomb and a Norwegian seed bank, suggesting that their similarity is proof of the way the human psyche works. Other works, such as Le Temps qui Reste, The Time that Remains (2014), and He Who Hides the Hours (2015) are wryly designated as mystical relics. Yet it is the artists who imbue these objects with an aura of magical significance. 

López and Bucher suggest that history becomes a creation of human intelligence and that the difference between myth and reality is inconsequential. However, just like their literary predecessors in the genre of magical realism, the artists use this framework not as a call not for cynicism but as a chance to enrich everyday experience.

—K. Sundberg

Wormhole” is on view at Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York, Jan. 15–Feb. 21, 2015

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