We are pleased to present the first UK solo exhibition of Ecuadorian artist Oscar Santillan (b.1980).
Despite touching on culturally potent subjects from philosophy to national pride, the exhibition ultimately draws out the obscure. Unexpected events occur: the dance of a dead philosopher is unveiled, a piece of land is stolen.
‘The Intruder’ presents an inch of stone removed from the English landscape. At a glance it is seemingly insignificant and yet the material is carefully presented. Scaling the 3028ft of Scafell Pike in the Lake District, the artist has stolen the uppermost inch of the highest mountain in England. An entire nation’s height is modified and its landscape redefined by means of a single careful action.
In a larger new installation titled Afterword, Santillan connects elements as diverse as philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, a defective typewriter, and dance.
As his sight began to fail Nietzsche acquired a typewriter. The “Writing Ball” was a cutting edge device developed by the Danish inventor Rasmus Malling-Hansen. The “Writing Ball” arrived defective due to damages during shipping, leading it to produce a great many mistakes. Despite his frustrations Nietzsche continued unperturbed typing more than 70 documents. Some were abandoned but many were corrected and finalized with increasingly agitated pencil marks over the errors. Fascinated by the frustrations of one of the world’s greatest philosophers, Santillan has produced a composite of all the pencil marks from these obscure documents. The result is an expressive and gestural drawing, accompanied by a compilation on a single page of all of the errors that Nietzsche made using his beloved 'Malling-Hansen'.
By his own account, Nietzsche spent hours teaching his fingers “to dance with the Malling-Hansen”. He wrote of dancing himself “as if something supernatural” echoed out of him. A century after the philosopher’s death, a fragment of paper was taken by Santillan from one of Nietzsche’s typed manuscripts and used as a point of connection in a filmed séance. The psychic medium was asked to pose only one question to the philosopher: What was your dance like?
Santillan will present selected new work alongside the The Intruder andAfterword.
We would like to thank Delfina Foundation (UK), The Ridder (NL), STUK (BE), Kolleg Friedrich Nietzsche (DE), Goethe-Schiller Archiv (DE), and Van Eyck (NL) for supporting ‘Afterword’ And, NoMINIMO Gallery (EC) for supporting 'La Clairvoyance I'.