Thursday, 11 July 2013


Armando Andrade, Gold Coast Customs, exhibition view

and Armando Andrade installing his gold coast offerings

press release:
Gold Coast Customs
6th June – 13th July 2013

There’s a certain kind of incidental architectural glass design work found in public buildings, banks and leisure centers that is easily overlooked. It forms part of our peripheral vision, adding, in a subliminal way, something ‘contemporary’ and ‘about modern design’ to our day-to-day encounters with architecture. The sandblasted patterns of Untitled (GCC) 1 and Untitled (GCC) 2 are derived from and an extension of this language of everyday/municipal abstraction. Here the gridded lines vary slightly in size, and in places the pattern breaks down, creating subtly shifting sequences across the expansive planar surfaces, while the bronze colour of the glass gives a warmth to what is being reflected. The potentially forceful impact of all this mirrored glass is substantially softened by the filter of the plastic sheeting, taped up and casually draped in such a way as to give the work a provisional status. The plastic filters too the reflection of the viewer, giving a less certain image of the self.

The Gold Coast Customs works are laid out in ways which convey a similar transitoriness, as if they were found artifacts of some sort that are in the process of being documented and the constituent parts catalogued. The two main components of each work - the shell lamp pendants (suggestive of tribal/ritual objects) and pieces of asphalt (urban wasteland) – represent the dualities of Edith Sitwell’s Gold Coast Customs, a poem set partly in the British protectorate of the Gold Coast of West Africa circa 1875. Merging the Gold Coast with 1920s London, and condensing imagery with chant-like metrical experiment, the poem generates a central argument: so-called civilised society is sliding backward in time to its savage and primeval origins, which are represented by an Africa imagined into being by European imperialism.

Together the two bodies of work in the exhibition demonstrate a superimposition of the artisanal and the standardised grid, and the vernacular and the corporate. As with Sitwell’s poem we engage with a form of syncretism where different systems of thought merge.

Armando Andrade Tudela (1975, Lima) resides in both Berlin and Saint-Étienne. He studied at the Universidad Pontificia in Lima, the Royal College of Art in London and the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. His work has been presented in São Paulo (Fortes Vilaça), Madrid (Elba Benitez), Lima (Museo de Arte de Lima), Barcelona (MACBA), Dijon (Frac Bourgogne), Berlin (DAAD), Birmingham (Ikon Gallery), Frankfurt (FKV), and Basel (Kunsthalle Basel). He has also participated in major group exhibitions in Turin, Lima, Warsaw, Vienna, New York, the Shanghai and Sao Paulo Biennials. Forthcoming exhibitions include the 12th Fellbach Triennial, Germany and a solo show at Le Grand Café Saint-Nazaire, France. Gold Coast Customs is the artist’s fourth solo show at the gallery. 

Carl Freedman Gallery
29 Charlotte Road
London EC2A 3PB
T +44 (0) 207 684 8890

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