Mario García Torres

A verbal faux pas, a slip up in the argument, must surely have caused an awkward, perhaps imperceptible but meaningful moment of silence in an English court a few weeks ago. The event took place at the trial of singer Boy George from the band Culture Club, who was accused of having beaten up a male prostitute in his house. During the proceedings, the prosecutor asked the jury, “Did he really have to hurt him” in an ap- parent allusion to the most famous line of what is likely Culture Club’s most popular song (Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?). That involuntary echo of pop culture must have, for a second, restored the presence and transcendence of the singer in our day-to-day cultural life.

The recent work of Aldo Chaparro makes use of these phrases found in our collective imagination – song lyrics and titles – in order to reintroduce them within another aesthetic system, that of art. The piece not only offers a new reading to those momentary, personal and collective experiences, but also to create an assimilation space, similar to the silence elicited in that British court, where diverse meanings coincide. It is from here that Chaparro generates an open space where the work requires having different meanings for every experience.

Sometimes, those moments of withdrawal from the moment in order to assimilate what is happening also form part of the body of the work presented. They do no only function here as strategy but also as a point of departure in most cases. The works are based on the titles of pop songs that work together to elicit spaces of disappearance and escape. Together, this body of work by Chaparro attempts not only to posit the possibility of escape from normality but also establish the possibility of existence and viability beyond the concrete. These works attempt to suspend the ordinary for a second and make us reset our relation- ship with our environment.

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