Erik Tlaseca // Everything Here Still Seems To Be Under Construction And Is Already A Ruin
August 4, 2016 14:31 PM
Arnhem, city levelled to the ground in the Second World War, his renovation and the apocalyptic potential of transformation gave birth to the project of mexican artist Erik Tlaseca, member of artist-activist platform Cooperativa Cráter Invertido.
During his residency at Motel Spatie, Erik Tlaseca was drawing from his long interest in the dichotomy of the cave - as a natural phenomenon and a ruin - as a result of collapse of a man-made architecture. He used a multidisciplinary approach that he was developing over the whole course of preparations. His final installation and the whole event was a crossing of many artistic positions, ideas and discourses. In the end, he used installation, drawings, video and spoken word backed with music as an elegy for both past and upcoming decay. The resulting container-cave in the garage was just an tip of an iceberg.
Erik started his research with a series of elaborate drawings depicting the "idea of the cave" or "caveness" as a sensual quality. Combining these drawings with fantasies of urban decay, violent protests and autonomous squatting movements, he began scrying the history of Motel Spatie's immediate surroundigns - the Presikhaaf district and namely the Winkelcentrum Presikhaaf.
The whole Presikhaaf was built upon a former swamp in the afterwar period as the part of city renovation. The rubble of the ruined city was used as a foundation for the whole new urban project. Winkelcentrum Presikhaaf, an agregate of flathouses and a shopping mall became pride of the whole country and the whole renovation effort. But after sixty years, new ruins start to develop even in the former pride of the city and the whole district becomes a place where the minorities are pushed. This moment of loss and the appearance of cracks was put under Erik's investigation. He took trips to the abandoned parts of the Presikhaaf shopping mall to document the empty corridors and decaying air conditioning by a creeping camera movement. The resulting footage was used as a base for a writing, telling an post-apocalyptic story of detachment, urban decay and abandonment.
The idea of positioning an enclosed trash container into a garage itself became a sort of an experiment in politics. By probing the trust and unwritten rules of maintenance of the neighborhood, Erik intended to create a space of expection, an Burroughsian Interzone. Interzone is a term that Burroughs used for his famous Moroccan flat where he wrote the Naked Lunch. A flat occupied with his friends for the purpose expansion of the Self through extensive writing, drug use and abandoning the outside rules. Erik tried to use this idea to test the rules of the neighborhood by filling the garage with an enclosed trash container and opening it to the public. By this gesture, he created a posthuman cave, a fissure into the standartised modernist dream. He has then filled the cave with various trash - discarded e-waste, debris, pieces of concrete salvaged from abandoned Presikhaaf mall and covered it all with a layer of cement.
The resulting installation was then turned into a backdrop for an event - the footage from the ruins was screened on the walls and Erik recited his text inside, backed up with live noise music. Drawings and photos from the whole course of research were exhibited at Locatie Spatie and a further publication of them is planned. The container itself remained in place just for a short time - to be moved back to the trash with the whole installation in it...