VHILS aka Alexandre Farto

22nd March - 13th April, 2013
Opening Thursday 21st March, 6pm

Skalitzers Contemporary Art presents Dissolve, the first exhibition in Australia by Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils.

Dissolve continues the visual narrative the artist has been developing since starting the Scratching the Surface series in 2007. The fundamental premise behind these works is the act of working with the city itself as the prime material, focusing on the fundamental relationship between the individual and his surrounding environment.

Fascinated by a certain nostalgia engendered by natural decay, Vhils explores the ephemeral nature that underlies all things, but also questions the need for promoting change for the sake of change, development for the sake of development, regardless of the social, cultural and istorical heritage razed in its wake. Vhils' work sees him delving into the strata of the past like an archeologist, bringing to light certain essential elements which he fears may have been long lost along the course of time: a notion of purity, a more humanised dimension of life.

Dissolve offers a reflection on the ever growing uniform character of cities around the world and their inhabitants, but also on the cycle of consumption and waste inherent to the dominant model of development, and the safeguard of the people who lie at the heart of this transformation.

Vhils' interventions on walls, posters, wood, metal and other surfaces all speak of the same reality, sharing with the viewr a complicit look into the premises behind individual and collective identity, into the dichotomies of hand-made and mass-produced, tradition and modernity, conservation and destruction, and the notions of urbanisation, development, consumerism and waste.

In Dissolve, the portraits of ordinary citizens cut into the layers of advertisement posters are cluttered with graphic elements, patterns, commercial lettering, images and compositions which express the dazzling visual stimuli present in the city, imprinting the overpowering desires of materiality and consumption which paradoxically help dissolve the very essence of our individual uniqueness.

Based on a text by Miguel Moore, March 2013

Skalitzers Contemporary Art
140 George St (MCA Building)
The Rocks, Sydney