Sebastián Romo is a freestyle storyteller. By fragmenting and collaging the myths that already exist, he gives us a different story about the origin of communities. New poetic spaces emerge, potentially releasing intuitions and (subconscious) sensations, offering the viewer to enter affective realms where things seem quite familiar and yet, far away.
Since the beginning of his artistic practice, the exploration of roots and the raw state of things has been a recurring motif; we encounter landscapes, craft, maths and geometry, symbols, constellations and a continuous engagement with the possibility of communal sharing. What holds these divergent threads together, is the act of (re)discovery as a form of learning, a practice where the risk of failure is affirmatively incorporated. This construction of spaces, of realities and of imaginations, which has a strong political undertone, is also central to his studio ‚Atelier Romo‘, offered as a space for collaborative post-disciplinary creation in Mexico City.
For his exhibition at Grimmuseum, Sebastián Romo combines ’arte rupestre’ (cave art) with modernistic elements of geometry and abstraction, for finding new systems of thinking, but only to take it somewhere else, outside a self-contained, pure form into the mythical world of pre-historic times. By using fire and primary colours, cloth, wood and paper, he transforms the space of Grimmuseum to recalibrate the senses of the viewers towards an experience of a time long gone. Can we go ‘back’ and revisit the traces of what seems to be lost in order to leap into the present and make propositions for today?
The first room is inhabited by performative works, which are used in performances happening during the exhibition period – from handmade kimonos to white canvases to be painted collectively with the audience at the opening night. From there, we enter the cave. Watched over, protected and perhaps haunted by Salvatore the cave man, a water basin holds the ‘premisa’: a metaphor for the core of a story, or an idea that distinguishes itself from all other ideas. As a keeper of the light, one has to take care of it. The last room contains a series of fire paintings, some of them pinned with spears, some of them composed in constellations that create a negative, distorted and non-linear space.
As part of the Project Space Festival, Romo will show a performance and invite the viewers to join a gathering based on ritual elements such as dance, food, painting and fire.