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Le Grand Cafe Contemporary Art Centre presents Armando Andrade Tudela Threshold of Recovery

Le Grand Cafe Contemporary Art Centre, Saint-Nazaire presents Armando Andrade Tudela Threshold of Recovery on view 5 October 2013–5 January 2014.

Armando Andrade Tudela, Foro, 2013. 16mm film transferred to digital, 10:53 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Armando Andrade Tudela, Foro, 2013. 16mm film transferred to digital, 10:53 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Armando Andrade Tudela has developed, over a ten-year period, a visual universe permeated by notions of interpretation, displacement, and overlapping timescales, drawing on wide-ranging references from art history, architecture, design, music, and sociology.

His thinking foregrounds movement in time, decoding the different historical strata of sites, and looking at the ideological stakes conveyed by cultural objects. For instance in UNSCH/Pikimachay (2013) the artist filmed the Universidad Nacional San Cristobal de Huamanga (UNSCH), where the radical Peruvian party Shining Path originated, he proposes the modernist architecture as a base for sedimentation—to which he adds a representation of Pikimachay, a cavern in the Ayacucho Valley in the Andes, the first known habitation in Peru but also a hiding place used by the terrorist group, raising the background question of the hold of sites on the formation of communities and utopias. Here, as in the whole of his work, the memory of spaces and objects invoked refers to the idea of a past but a past that always comes out of a present, and he ‘reveals the gap between what happened (history) and what did not happen (longing, illusion).’

The sculptural series titled “Rattan” (2008) employed a material with strong craft connotations as well being a conduit multiple associations: tropical in origin, reworked as exotic idealism (Tikki design), key modernist structural component (Marcel Breuer Cesca Chair) well as the back drop to some highly charged iconic images (the hanging chair which features in the seminal sex film Emmanuelle). This tendency towards the accumulation of references, suggesting the impossibility of fixing the object in a single aesthetic framework, also allows for the construction of a non-linear memory, that oscillates between historical continuity and rupture.

These referential and temporal slippages have also led Armando Andrade Tudela to create for his exhibition at Le Grand Café an extended scenario tied to the history of Saint-Nazaire. As a counter-point to the town’s functional architecture the artist revisits experimental architectural practices of the 1950s and 1960s, specifically the architect Frederick Kiesler’s utopian project Endless House. This was envisaged by Kiesler as an organic habitation that suppressed foundations and border walls, alternating between suspended transparencies and cracked earthen crusts liberated the house from traditional structures to become a living creature. One of the conceptual foundation stones for this reconstruction is Andrade Tudela’s interest in the very writing of history, which lies according to Michel de Certeau ‘between science and fiction.’

Alongside this film will be a series of sculptural works employing different items of ethnic textiles, ponchos—a globalised craft production with a neo-hippy slant—will be shown between large sheets of plexiglass, playing with ethnographic museum conventions and recalling particular cartographies or radical architectural plans. It is another opportunity to confirm the singularity of the artistís vision and the aesthetic, political and social charge of these objects, impregnated and reactivated, from the global to the local.

Armando Andrade Tudela (b. 1975, Lima) resides in both Berlin and Saint-Étienne. He studied at the Universidad Pontificia in Lima, the Royal College of Art in London and the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. His work has been presented in São Paulo (Galeria Fortes Vilaca), Madrid (Elba Benitez), Lima (Museo de Arte de Lima), Barcelona (MACBA), Dijon (Frac Bourgogne), Berlin (DAAD), Birmingham (Ikon Gallery), Frankfurt (FKV), and Basel (Kunsthalle Basel). He has also participated in major group exhibitions in Turin, Lima, Warsaw, Vienna, New York, the Shanghai and São Paulo Biennials.

Curator: Sophie Legrandjacques, director of Le Grand Café

Le Grand Café, Contemporary Art Centre
Place des Quatre z’horloges
44 600 Saint-Nazaire, France
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–7pm,
Wednesday 11am–7pm; Free entry