Nicanor Aráoz: Solid Sleep

The Museo Moderno is proud to present this solo exhibition by Nicanor Aráoz (Buenos Aires, 1981), a leading figure in the field of contemporary Argentine sculpture. In his artworks, Aráoz has explored the forms of the human body, creating images in which these forms are taken apart and reassembled after coming into contact with different kinds of metamorphosis involving violence, unbridled emotion or eroticism. The transformation of the subject is a central element of his work and over time his exhibitions have become filled with humanoids, larval forms and a wide array of organic references that the artist places in settings that draw on the aesthetics of science fiction, retro-futurism and cyberpunk.

Aráoz’s pieces bear witness to his concerns over how humans relate with, suffer, and inhabit an unstable, conflictive world. To address these complex issues, he regularly turns to the internet, seeing the web as a collective social dream or a high speed surrealist archive that he uses as a source from which to extract a diverse range of elements such as animé imagery, branding design, the culture and rites of rave music, video games, existential poetry, mystical traditions and biological forms, especially those with monstrous connotations.

In Solid Sleep, a project created especially for the galleries of the Museo Moderno, Aráoz has conjured a landscape featuring four large-scale pieces that present different processes of rehabilitation. The regenerative power of flora, delicacy of ceramics and emotional charge of vintage music played on a jukebox fill the space alongside the destructive energy of tornadoes, the violence of war and the aggression of synthetic materials such as polyurethane. Where in some of his previous exhibitions Aráoz worked with repressed drives – criminal, sexual or sadistic – here the artist has moved on from traumatic narratives to wonder about the new forms of life made possible by the coming together of technology and nature.

Nicanor Aráoz (Buenos Aires, 1981) has focused his artistic output on sculpture, installation, video and performance works. Through subtle processes of visual association, his pieces and exhibitions draw on references from animé, the goth aesthetic, music and criminology, among other spheres. He has taken part in the Artists Programme at the Universidad Di Tella (2010), the fifth edition of the Kuitca Grant (2011), the International Residency Program at ISCP, New York, (2017) and the Pivo Residency in São Paulo (2019). Recent solo exhibitions include Scarlet Placenta, Barro Arte Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires (2018); Because I’m never what I have, Emily Harvey Foundation, New York (2017); and Genetic Anthology, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires (2016). He has also exhibited at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, La Tabacalera in Madrid, and the Castello Di Rivoli, in Turin, among other spaces. In 2016, Mansalva published the book Nicanor Aráoz: Genetic Anthology, which is dedicated to his work.