Fernando Ortega
Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Curator: Akiko Miki
15.06.2012 – 03.09.2012


The Palais de Tokyo welcomes Fernando Ortega, a Mexican artist born in 1971 and the winner of the SAM Art Projects residency program, for his first solo exhibition in France.
For his exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, Fernando Ortega offers a new reading of the building, inspired by everyday incidents, slight leaks of water trickling down from the ceilings which occurred while it was being renovated. This accidental fall of water becomes the language that allows him to disrupt the space and make the association between elements that are all linked by water. Thus three leaks are organized in the area, one coming down from the ceiling and falling through its sunroof into an Audi where a bottle has been carefully positioned to collect the water perfectly. The effort involved in immobilizing a car in order to collect a few drops of water is absurd. Further on another leak arranged to come through the ceiling alls beside the instruments of a drum kit, leaving the idea virtual that the water could have set off the potential sound, which remains absent. The third falls on to the maquette of the Palais de Tokyo, drawing attention to the antipathetic association of leaks in an exhibition area. But this presence of water has the further function of associating all the works in the exhibition, drawing attention to the Seine that flows alongside the Palais and introducing another river which is the subject of one of the major works in this exhibition: A series of photographs shows the small boat of a ferryman on a river in Mexico, in a protected landscape. The artist tells how the ferryman played music to them during the journey, but it was interrupted each time by the shortness of the crossing. To remedy the situation, Fernando Ortega asked Brian Eno to compose a piece of music for this purpose. It is that music that is presented as a CD at the end of this group of works, and at the very moment you are looking, it will perhaps be heard by villagers on a boat on a different continent. By way of humor, distance, poetry, and attention paid to inconspicuous events that occur in real life, the artist transforms contingency into necessity, making randomness the raw material of new productions and exploiting the chance situations of everyday life. He captures events that escape all rules. This liking for the accidental sometimes leads him to abandon some of his authority to turn randomness into a quality of the work, or of its reception.

 This work was produced by SAM Art Projects