Zilberman Istanbul presents Carlos Aires: I will die...As will you from December 17, 2022 to February 11, 2023.
The solo exhibition includes truly new works such as a large-scale sculptural installation, collages built of photographic prints, and a typographical work made of sliced banknotes.
Carlos Aires depicts modern disasters by bringing them to light through notable historical or anonymous characters, while also addressing societal issues through his contemporary story. He explores our knowledge’s “cultural” codes, which include individual memories, music, material culture, consumer habits, movies, and emotions such as fear and love. He examines some of the world’s most pressing social issues and calls into question the primary institutions and figures at the center of today’s hegemonic power. His works contain duality, a nasty but passionate cosmos, sophisticated but amusing.
In I will die… As will you, Aires points to the reckless act of human destruction of the planet, which also creates human’s own death. Aires is investigating the sensitive times in which humanity finds itself. Within this state of mind, and with a modern twist on the “Carpe Diem” adage, the artist advocates savoring life in all of its tints and complexities. The artist discusses a sequence of historical situations, highlighting the contrasting facets of these events. He seeks ways to transmit his narrative on culture, emotion, and aesthetics, sometimes through music, sometimes through a historical event, and sometimes through a well-known work of art.
Il Mondo, the installation that welcomes visitors to the gallery space, invites them to walk through rebars that carry sculptures from art history as well as some current icons, towards the ceiling and floor. This forest of reinforcing bars not only serves as a support mechanism, but it also braces values, icons, or historical facts that may otherwise fall on our heads. Gravestones with grinning mouths greet us, belonging to prominent and powerful figures. Each grin appears on marble plates to construct sculptures, revealing the obscurity that smiles strive to conceal. Lesson of Darkness, a five-panel collage by Aires, is an elegy to humanity who are oblivious to their mortality. Heroes contains three gold-plated bronze crowns that have become emblems of power throughout history; a trinity expressing the human struggle for fame and power. The exhibition’s title piece, I Will Die, is part of his series in which he examines the worth of money in contemporary society by modifying actual banknotes in a rebellious act of transforming them into an art piece. The artist incorporates music that motivates him in his profession by placing the lyrics of the song After I’m Gone inside the wooden box built as his coffin. The box has been traveling with him since 2011 and will continue to do so until Aires’ inevitable fate. This work presents the viewpoint that death is a natural occurrence, and as humans are constantly customizing their lives, why shouldn’t one construct his own death ritual?
I will die… As will you is a metaphor for the last century of human material culture, fetishisms, cultural and historical heritage, and the various linkages created using symbols, items, papers, monuments, and signs to validate our worldly awareness. The exhibition intends to depict the reality of life in all its beauty, complexities, and obscurities while discussing death, rather than as an act of pessimism or morbidity.