Madrid

Francisco Ruiz de Infante

Galería Elba Benitez

For this exhibition, entitled “Los Huesos blandos” (The bland bones), Francisco Ruiz occupied the entire gallery as well as the patio that it shares with its neighbor, so that from the street entrance one proceeded directly into the artist’s intervention. Eight interdependent installations provided an overview of his current work and also suggested possible new directions.

The pieces that he created for this occasion, independent of thematic references, engaged their immediate surroundings; Ruiz allowed the space to act on him before imposing any limits on it, before circumscribing it. In this way, his installations always acquire a particular relevance, and the work becomes, in some sense, unrepeatable, despite certain recurrent motifs or elements. For example, he does seem to have a certain fetish for chairs. Encore je suis un Enfant (Still I am a child, 1990), comprised a set of chairs covered in a layer of gauze as if in imitation of an eggshell. Now, for the first time, he has made use of groups of small chairs, which were placed next to opposites facades of the same patio; they faced each other as if in dialogue.

Ruiz tends to use some of the most basic construction materials—plaster of Paris, wood, copper wire, electric cable, iron, rope, white paint—with which he surrounds the objects that are the building blocks of his visual language. Objects such as chairs, lamps, the photographic image, as well as the video become characters in a personal, detailed narrative.

1995: La gran pista (1995: The big track, 1995), made the viewer into the central piece of the show. This piece involved the construction of hardwood flooring and was made of doors (which interest the artist precisely because of their ability to signify both openness and closure). The room was dark, illuminated only by a videotape that was projected through one of the cracks between the wooden planks. It was the blown-up image of an insect between the leaves of a plant incessantly chewing. As this piece shows, beneath Ruiz’s desire to tackle several media simultaneously lurk doubt and insecurity, both inseparable from the vertigo of creation.

Menene Gras Balaguer

Translated from the Spanish by Vincent Martin.