Friday, May 09, 2008

Carlos Amorales PMFA



I was mildly jolted with deja Vu approaching Amorales' installation in the Modern wing of the museum. It really evoked for me the monarch butterfly sanctuary at Agangueo, in central Mexico. The black paper swarms of moths or butterflies brought back my response to the beauty and slight menace of the sanctuary where the monarch butterflies winter. It's a mysterious place where unimaginable masses of butterflies swarm over the trees and ground in their mountain sanctuary in the Guanajanto state of Mexico. The more singular masses of butterflies are gorgeous, but when they swarm into gigantic black masses obscuring the trees you sense a dark edge. It's a mysterious spiritual journey on the top of a winding mountains road. The butterfy clumps become huge objects and organisms.

Amorales captures, for me, a bit of this natural and spiritual phenomenon with his installation. As far as I can tell there is no direct reference to the monarch sanctuary, but this Mexico city artist evoked it for me. It might just be my reference point since it surely also evokes horror scenes, like in "The Birds" when Tipi Hedron is slowly surrounded by birds who when they mass move from natural beauty quickly into frightening menace.

This is a crowd pleaser. People were stopped in their tracks. I especially like that a small group of the moths had migrated into the chapel and sanctuary of the Modiglianis. That's how the monarchs in Mexico are. As you approached you slowly noticed one or two butterflies then unusual amounts of them then overwhelming clumps.

Amorales' silouhette videos:were moving shadows, massing and unmassing evoking nature and narrative. They were quite lovely. LIke a puppet or light show more than animation. There are also three of four collage drawing adding another layer to this successful and evocative project.

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