Barakat Seoul is proudly presenting Peak of Eternal Light, a solo exhibition by the Spanish artist Jorge Mañes Rubio (b. 1984).
Barakat Gallery Seoul.
May 2nd – June 10th, 2018.
Jorge Mañes Rubio considers from an ethnographic point of view themes of vanishing civilization and shamanism, forgotten places and stories of the past, all of which are given a new meaning through his work. His experiments transcend the boundaries of art, in conjunction with offering alternative perspectives on politics, society and the environment.
Peak of Eternal Light focuses on traces of ancient forgotten civilizations reimagined, repositioned and revived by modern society through envisioning the moon as an alternative landmark of the future. From the ancient civilizations wove around the moon to scientific lunar explorations, space has long been the subject of intense observation by humankind. The development of space resources, continuing since the U.S. and Soviet Union kicked off the space race launching spaceships to the moon in the late 1950s, has often been seen both as a historic human achievement in science and technology and as a profitable discovery in terms of space tourism and natural resources..
Jorge Mañes Rubio, who joined the art residency program of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2016, envisions the future civilization for a human settlement on the moon. Using as starting point an imagined narrative involving the creation of a new civilization to settle on the moon, the exhibition unfolds around Shackleton Crater, which lies at the south pole of the moon and its peaks are known for receiving an almost continual exposure to sunlight. In this attempt to create a new human civilization on a lunar settlement, the artist realizes the utopic universal desire of venturing beyond earth into the endless expanse of space..
Civilizations emerge in the process of mankind facing its own weakness in the vast sprawl of the world and trying to surmount its fear, as journeys into the unfamiliar brings along the apprehension of unknown worlds. In pondering over the question what kind of culture the future lunar settlers will have, one harks back ironically to the cultural heritage of the past – once splendid, but now destined to the faded pages of history. The artist’s perspective in finding the basis for cultivating a lunar civilization in ancient societies is both a process of anthropological exploration into the origins of human existence and an opportunity to underscore how unmeasurably small humans are within the infinity of space..
Barakat Seoul has been endeavoring to extend the boundaries of art by connecting the aesthetics of ancient art to the foundations of the past as understood by contemporary art. Peak of Eternal Light along those lines may also be seen as a journey: retracing the civilizations created by the communities of the past and inquiring into the origins of human existence, while looking ahead to the future within the perpetuity of time and space.