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Martin Soto Climent: “Following the Whisper of My Shadow”

Clifton Benevento
515 Broadway, 212-431-6325
October 24 - November 27, 2010
Reception: Sunday, October 24, 12 - 5 PM
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Clifton Benevento is pleased to present Following the “Whisper of My Shadow,” a solo exhibition by Mexico City based artist Martin Soto Climent. The artist’s first solo show with Clifton Benevento furthers his investigation of movement and convergence, of design and parable, through a new body of photographs, sculpture and video addressing the transformative potential of materials.

A major component of the exhibition is “Luminous Flux,” a re-imagining of the myths of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar and “The Dance of the Seven Veils.” On a long table seven objects placed side by side precede a video depicting a woman’s shadow. The figure moves along the walls and draped furnishings of the artist’s studio, removing layers of clothing, seven in all, each punctuated by a flash of light. The formal repetition of the unit seven is indicative of Babylonian legend, in particular the lore surrounding Ishtar – the God of fertility, seasonality, harvest and rebirth – and her mythic seven-stage journey into the underworld. Luminous Flux plays with ideas of catharsis, climax and corporeal display while acknowledging the complicated relationships between myth, history, and reality. Here, Soto Climent’s investigation of renewal compellingly overlaps with his curious ability to refigure the ephemeral nature of ideas.

In “Intimate Ballet,” the artist repurposed a book with black and white images of dancers into a new series of nine photographs. Soto Climent selected source material from the 1920s as a way to align his interest to the Surrealist’s development of the collage and further it. “Intimate Ballet” both addresses and honors the formal boundaries of the source object. Instead of cutting, pasting or dismembering the page, Soto Climent torques, bends and curls the images’ edges without damage, before re-photographing the new composition. His photographs evoke a strong connection with “Moon Bouquet,” in which a pair of women’s shoes suspended from helium filled balloons floats in the air, thus connecting the historical developments of collage and “Intimate Ballet” with the lexicons of motion, movement and convergence.

Meanings, like myths, in Soto Climent’s “Following the Whisper of My Shadow,” require repetition, complication and reiteration to remain fertile, to endure. The most subtle elements of Climent’s practice often play with this tension, having the potential to collaborate in chorus as well as the freedom to come undone with or without the maker’s will.

Martin Soto Climent was born in Mexico City in 1977. Recent international solo shows include T923 (Naples), Sorcha Dallas (Glasgow) and Karma International (Zurich). Recent group exhibitions include Migros Museum (Zurich), PS1 (New York) and Museum Morsbroich (Germany). In 2005 he received a grant for an international artist’s residency at The Banff Art Center and from 1996-2002 he studied Architecture and Design at The National University, Mexico. He lives and works in Mexico City.

The exhibition will run from October 24 to November 27, 2010; opening reception is Sunday October 24 from 12-5pm. The gallery is located at 515 Broadway, New York, NY. New opening hours are 11am – 6pm Tuesday though Saturday.

Upcoming: Group exhibition “Back to the Old House” opens December 11, 2010
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