by Adela Goldbard

PARAALLEGORIES, a video series by Adela Goldbard, will be presented during the show EL LOBO at 12-14 contemporary in Vienna. EL LOBO, curated by Oscar Sanchez, will be the first presentation in Austria of the well-known Mexican artist. The videos presented consider how the press is mediated, and what ideologies it promotes—especially during events in which violence, protest, dissidence, or repression make the news.

Adela Goldbard uses video and photography to create associative narrations, based on literature and sociopolitical topics. Inspired by her critical observations of Mexico’s press over the past five years, with particular focus on its coverage of the Mexican Drug War, Narco Life Style and the complicated nature of political corruption, Goldbard transfers criminal attacks into an artistic visualization of war, cruelty and lethal enmity.

Goldbard started her carrier doing landscape interventions that were later inspired by borrowed images from news headlines. She creates parallel universes with the help of full-scale models constructed with reed, newspaper, cardboard and equipped with pyrothechnics, like the series FANTASY ISLAND in 2012 or HELIOCOPTERAZO in 2013. Through the combination of traditional handicraft, pyrotechnics and a highly developed video technique she reenacts flashpoints in Mexico’s recent history intersecting allegory, black humor, and metaphor. The collaboration with craftsmen and phyrotechnicians from Tultepec, Mexico (just north of Mexico City), gives her work a special authenticity.

Her projects can also be related to Magic Realism and one of his most famous representatives in literature, Jorge Luis Borges, the famous Argentinian author. Matthew Strecher defines Magic Realism as "what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe“*. The surprise effect in Adela Goldbard´s oeuvre is highly important: her unvaried long shot view, the slow motion movement, the tranquility and natural sound of the ambience is suddenly interrupted by the beauty of devastation. Handmade fireworks traditions related to archaic purification rituals also appear in Goldbard’s films.

In her work there exist at least two different narrative levels created through simple and ingenuous elements that threaten the secure tranquility of the narratives with explosions and destruction. Her work is endowed with a profound meaning since the stories are based on the one hand in handicraft traditions and on the other hand in Narco gang warfare, corruption and sensationalism of the daily press. The leftovers, clouds of smoke and ashes, achieve an additional aesthetic element: the visualization of volatile sculptures.

Text by Adela Goldbard & Denise Parizek, 2017