Critics’ Picks

Guillermo Kuitca, David’s Living Room Revisited, 2014, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view, Centro Cutural Kirchner, Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires

“Les Visitants”

Centro Cultural Kirchner
Sarmiento 151 (C1041AAC)
October 18–June 24

To what extent does sex drive determine the tone chosen for a carpet? And how much death drive is at play in the choice of a wall color? Guillermo Kuitca seems to have contemplated the unconscious inquiries that underlie interior design when he prepared this selection of works from Paris’s Fondation Cartier, translating questions of architectonic process into interrogations of the psychic terrains we inhabit. Often turning to now-classic images by artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen Teller, Nan Goldin, and Nobuyoshi Araki—the exhibition includes a great deal of photography—Kuitca has filled twelve galleries with works that plunge viewers into the erotic and ominous aspects of daily life.

For instance, while a sculpture by Adriana Varejão titled Linda de Lapa (Beauty from Lapa), 2004, is ostensibly rubble—a corner depicting three tiled domestic interiors, one red, one white, and one green—a closer inspection reveals that the debris isn’t made of brick or cement; the structure’s exposed materials resemble flesh and innards. With that surreal twist, Varejão spoils the aesthetic aspirations of the Minimalist grid.

Themes of macabre mundanity continue in David’s Living Room Revisited, 2014, a black-and-scarlet muraled room designed by Kuitca inspired by a drawing David Lynch made for “The Air Is on Fire,” a retrospective of the auteur’s paintings, drawings, and photographs organized at the Fondation Cartier in 2007. The installation contains drawings, paintings, and furniture by Lynch and a sound piece he made with Patti Smith (Falling Backwards Once Again, 2011). The space is dreamlike, mysterious, and somewhat suffocating.

Translated from Spanish by Jane Brodie.