September 29 - December 9
Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts
Solo exhibition featuring Chilean painter and animator, curated by Julieta Gómez Blumen and Julia Szejnblum at the Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts in Boston, USA
Cristobal Cea, Ewaipanoma (still on jungle), 2023, Digital animation on oil painting.
About the Exhibition
Paradise and monsters are imaginary but we should never underestimate the power of imagination. In the 15th Century, Europeans thought they had found the Paradise mentioned several times in scripture, but instead, they had arrived at the territories we know today as the American Continent. They wrote in their diaries and letters about their impressions of native people, plants, and animals; when encountering the unknown, they described giants, man-eaters, and headless men. Paradise was exotic, rich, exuberant, and generous; and the monsters that they imagined were terrifying sinners to them. There is no Paradise without Hell and these stories about monsters justified the horrific enterprise of colonization that came next.
Cristobal Cea: No Monsters, No Paradise is an exhibition inhabited by modern post-colonial versions of those monsters. The Chilean, Boston-based painter and animator Cristobal Cea reimagines these Latin American creatures and invites them to inhabit the gallery space. The monsters walk anxiously, talk among each other, have singing battles, crack a few jokes, and make it through the day. They are not from here, but also not from there; they are imaginary, but also very real.
Monsters walk around the gallery as 3D animations, they are surrounded by big paintings that, as backdrops, show their natural habitat: a dense Latin American forest. These creatures appear to us like ghosts and remind us of the dangers of building ideas about each other from misconceptions and false information. As humans we share the fear of the unknown, the exhibition explores these human complexities and contradictions and invites us to reclaim monstrosity as a transformative force that lives in us.
About the Artist
Cristóbal Cea is a Chilean artist that works across a variety of mediums, from 3D animation to sculpture and drawing. A determination to inhabit the mediated distance that separates us from complex social, political, and historical events are a constant component of his practice, which has been part of group shows in spaces like Lunds Konsthall (Sweden), Alcalá 31 (Spain), National Museum of Fine Arts (Chile), Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Denmark) and several solo exhibitions at museums and galleries in Chile and elsewhere. He has been awarded the Fulbright Grant, the RISD Bridge Research Grant, the National Endowment for The Arts (Chile, 2010-2016-2019), the Museum of Visual Arts (MAVI) Contemporary Art Prize, the CCU Art Prize and several research and creation grants at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Tufts University.
About the Curators
Byte Footage is a project by Julieta Gómez Blum (Colombia-Argentina) and Julia Szejnblum (Argentina). They work with Latin American digital art that re-interpret and re-contextualize archival materials. Based mainly in Argentina, Byte Footage takes different forms: festivals, exhibitions, workshops, and talks in which artists, educators, theorists, and activists are invited to think about how digital materials created in northern latitudes are used and re-interpreted in Latin American Contemporary Art.