AboutTrolley Gallery is pleased to present a solo show by Mexican artist Laureana Toledo. Inspired by the poet E.E. Cummings line âYes is a world', whose the work the artist admires, the title also refers to the recent chance discovery of âJust say YES' scrawled on a piece of paper she found in her new studio. The artist then decided to follow its instruction, and âYes' became an instrumental process in the formulation of the show.
Toledo's work often seeks to reveal new interpretations of existing material and objects by visual interventions that alter the context and resulting understanding of what is presented to the viewer. The main body of work produced for this show is an installation of local newspaper headlines, billboards sourced from outside newsagents. Toledo systematically removed all but one of the words on each of the headlines she collected. After she had accumulated a substantial variety of words she then began to group the resulting sheets into phrases that reformulated the notion of a headline, and often translated more as an instruction. In doing so the starting point of short and objective simple news statements through artistic interference was given an almost poetic quality, subjective to the artist's direction. The new phrases are often optimistic, messages commanding âLove' and âYes' for example, that also play with the often overtly negative news statements. The sheets are hung in formation of their new meanings around the main part of the gallery, a bold visual statement with an altogether more alluring interpretation for the viewer, the newspapers themselves are local London ones, including the Hackney and Islington Gazettes, as such often more banal in their content and deserving of escape and re-interpretation.
Toledo's background is photography, and she has produced in recent years a series of works in which she physically removes the emulsion layer on a standard processed print, to reveal an altogether different composition, one that by removing original elements seen as superfluous she reveals another. This is again a systematic process as it was with the newspaper headlines, removing to reveal another interpretation. The process is methodical and considered. The result often visually abstract using shapes and colours, yet mathematical in its structure. The train tracks from Bologna Railway Station, Italy are isolated as they enter and leave the station, whilst Toledo examined how she could draw and make a pattern of their routes. By coincidence reminiscent of John Cage's âIl Treno' from 1978, a sound piece which recorded the journey through several towns and cities to and from Bologna station on a train.
There are also collages formed from photographs taken by the artist of buildings and music concerts, that create fantasy animal shapes, as well as contact sheets of photographs taken of the Barbican centre, where she has painted in acrylic blocks of red colour, creating patterns through the composition of the buildings in the photographs.
These works can be seen also in Laureana Toledo's debut publication âThe Limit', published by Trolley Books. As part of Art Sheffield 05, Toledo created a cover band that sang songs by local Sheffield groups, and named it after the cult Sheffield nightclub, The Limit, which closed in 1992. The band was created in Mexico - where it played one local concert, then came to Sheffield, where it played two shows before disbanding. Like most of Toledo's work, The Limit appropriated and reinterpreted a pre-existing entity. With this volume, Toledo continued to play with the idea of authorship by pirating an already iconic magazine layout - The Face - and turning it into a labyrinth of information that leaves the reader unsure if he or she is reading about music, a band's story, an artist, Mexico or even just pop culture. The book was launched at the Serpentine Gallery, London, on 11th March 2010.
For more information please contact Hannah Watson email@example.com +44(0)20 7729 6591
Laureana Toledo lives and works in London and Mexico City. Recent solo exhibitions include: Laureana Toledo/ Sam Samore (OMR, Mexico City, 2005), Laureana Toledo (MAAC, Brussels, 2006), Nombre Propios (Caja Negra, Madrid, 2008). Recent group exhibitions include: Declaraciones (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofà a, Madrid, 2005), Strategics Questions (Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlà n, 2005), Salon (S1 Art Space, Sheffield, 2006) and Black Elephant (Anahuacalli/Diego Rivera Museum. Mexico City).