Ciudad Encajada, installation at the IX Havana Biennial, 2006

23 de febrero de 2014

Ciudades Perdidas, Arquitecturas Híbridas

Ciudad Encajada (Boxed City). 
acrylic and crayon on cardboard, dimensions variable,
Intervention at Plaza Gerardo Barrios, downtown San Salvador, 2001
The drawings depicted houses saturated with gang graffiti in Ciudad Delgado, a dangerous area where I worked. 
The boxes were moved during the intervention, reconfiguring the overall shape, reflecting on the city's unstable nature.
Presented at the first Adobe Colectivo exhibit in 2001, then at Todo Incluido, Imágenes Urbanas de Centro América
curated by Virginia Pérez Ratton and Santiago Olmo, it was featured at the IX Havanna Biennial in Cuba in 2006.

Shanty Mall
found materials, 100 x 160 x 80cms. installation at MAP Gallery, Maryland, 2006

This ephemeral sculpture addressed hierarchical anti-social architecture and cities within cities.  
It fused modern Shopping Mall design and Mesoamerican pyramids with informal architecture. 
It was presented at the exhibition Material Matters, curated by Jason Hughes in 2006.

Imperium Precarium. Installation for the Young Art Prize, Centro Cultural de España (1st Place)
Wood, cardboard, architectural model, found materials. 2009

The relationship between rich and poor, North and South, First World and Third World is explored in this ephemeral installation where a model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater sits atop a precarious structure built with found materials which depicts a salvadorean slum village

Arquitecturas Híbridas y Construcciones Mentales (series), 23 x 29 cms. each. acrilyc marker on paper. 2013
Whitney Slum Market
Watercolor and ink on canvas,  60 x 60 cms. 2011
Juxtaposed Architectures
watercolor and colored pencil on canvas, 60 x 60 cms. 2011

In this series of drawings, Mesoamerican temples, Spanish Colonial churches and Modernist buildings are juxtaposed to create
 multi level isometrics that deal with our hybrid, disjointed societies and the importance of recuperating our history and identity.
Bauer's Whitney Museum in New York is rendered as a slum market obliquely addressing the art market in Central America.
Lo que construyas para la eternidad también se perderá en el tiempo
archival marker on paper, 50 x 70 cms. 2014

 Temporary Map of Central America
archival marker on paper, 60 x 120 cms. 2014

Elements from Mesoamerican Pyramids, Colonial churches and Modernist buildings are projected as isometrics and constructed using 
wooden pallets and found materials, referring to the way power structures are built and supported by the lower echelons of society

Tropical Cargo Building (foreground)
wood, plastic, light, found materials, 250 x 160 x 160 cms. 2012
Aerial View
wood, plastic. wall installation at Marte Museum, San Salvador, 2010

wood plastic, studio wall installation at Legal Art Residency, Miami, Florida. 2012

The Whitney Museum of Central American Art
A Post-Apocalyptic Dream (project sketch for Pulse NY 2014)

The Whitney Museum of Central American Art, a Post-Apocalyptic Dream ” offers a ‘third world’, futuristic and tropical version of Marcel Breuer's Modernist masterpiece, which is soon to begin a new cycle of life as the Whitney Museum moves to a new building. Created from easily discarded and repurposed material the sculptural installation speaks of a moving, nomadic, temporal and unexpected future for Marcel Breuer's building. Vega sees this moment of uncertainty as echoing the historical instability of Central America and Central American contemporary art. In this way, Vega work underscores the impossibility of Central America having its own museum in New York, and responds by humorously imposing his own Central American Whitney Museum in to the New York art scene. 

This project was exhibited at Marte Contemporary booth at the art fair PULSE in May 2014 in New York. It was curated by Claire Breukel and sponsored by Michel Langlais, Galerie Hilger Next, Vienna, Dan & Kathryn Mikesell, De Buck Gallery, New York. Special thanks to Pulse director Helen Toomer. 

Front view. Breuer windows

 View from the window. Tropical space
Whitney Central America Blueprints. Marker and masking tape on Mylar
The Whitney Museum of Central American Art, a Post-Apocalyptic Dream
Wood, cardboard, light, live plants, found materials
160 x 160 x 160 cms

Downtown & The Bronx
Installation at Bronx River Art Center, New York, found materials, 2009
Downtown & The Bronx (detail) this tower was inspired by the raised subway structures in the Bronx area in New York, the "rails" go through the wall and into the next exhibition room, where a small bed finalizes the journey
Downtown & the Bronx was created for the exhibition Bartered States, curated by José Ruiz at the Bronx River Art Center in the Bronx, New York

Buscando el Zen-tro (Searching for the Zen-ter)
Sculptural Shack and light maquette. Wood, translucent roofing sheets, tropical plants, icebox with cold beverages, seats. 2010

 Built for the exhibition "Habitat", curated by Emiliano Valdés for the Spanish Cultural Center in Managua, Nicaragua, this piece consisted of a penetrable  shack built at the entrance of the exhibition galleries and seven small sculptural interventions throughout the city, in areas that serve as activity centers in the very dispersed and dysfunctional metropolis that is Managua. The moquettes proposed a vertical, organized city where monuments, gardens and architectural innovations played the key roles
The main shack was a lightbox as was the central urban maquette

two of the seven sculptural interventions throughout Managua, photos: Jorge Cabrera/CCE Managua

Inverted Surveillance
Panopticam Project

Fake surveillance cameras elaborated with cardboard, wood and plastic bottles. Intervention at Zona MACO, México D.F., 2007
 Surveillance Hut. Found materials. Installed at Zona MACO, México D.F., 2006. Project sponsored by Mtv-VH1 & UNESCO

Surveillance Hut. Found materials. Installed at Espacio Tangente for the exhibition Transpolíticas. Burgos, Spain, 2006

This series of urban interventions and sculptural installations appropriate and interpret the Panopticon, a social theory developed by Michel Foucault in his book Discipline and Punish (1975). Applied in prison architecture by Jeremy Bentham and later on other institutions, they are ever-present in our societies as surveillance cameras. In Central America, real armed guards in surveillance huts are still more numerous than their technological counterpart, but the social condition that they inflict is the same, wether its real or suggested as in these fake objects.

 Surveillance Monitor. wood, cardboard, plastic toys, light. 30 x 30 x 30 cms. 2012

Panopticam Chandelier. project sketch. archival marker on paper. 2012

Panopticam Chandelier. wood, cardboard, plastic bottles, plastic threads. 140 x 140 cms. 
Private collection, London. photo courtesy: Hilger Next Gallery

The chandelier was created for the exhibition Panopticams /The Politics of Art as Life, curated by Claire Breukel at Hilger Next Gallery and part of the "Curated by Vienna" city festival, 2012. Drawing from the city's chandelier tradition, this ephemeral sculpture comments the way surveillance has entered our domestic life and become part of our everyday. The spectator is invited to gaze back and question who watches us and why.

simón vega

Simón Vega creates drawings, ephemeral sculptures and installations inspired in the informal, self made architecture and vendor carts found in the streets and marginal zones of El Salvador and Central America. These works, assembled with wood, cardboard, plastic and found materials often parody famous Modernist and mythological buildings and cities, surveillance systems as well as high-tech robots and satellites developed by NASA and the Soviet Space Program during the Cold War, (see: www.simon-vega.blogspot.com) creating an ironic and humorous fusion between first and third world, while commenting on the effects of that conflict in today’s Central America.
Born in San Salvador, El Salvador in 1972, Simon Vega graduated in Fine Arts at the University of Veracruz in Mexico in 2000 and received a Master´s degree in Contemporary Arts from the Complutense University in Madrid in 2006.

He has exhibited extensively in Europe, the United States and Latin America, including the 55th Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy; the IX Havana Biennial, in Cuba, El Museo del Barrio's "The S-Files" show in 2011and at the Bronx River Art Center in 2008, both in New York City, as well as at the BROT Kunsthalle and Hilger Next (2010 & 2012 respectively) in Vienna, Austria. He currently lives in La Libertad, El Salvador.

Studio, La Libertad, El Salvador. photo: Walterio Iraheta

Simón Vega is represented by: 

- Galerie Hilger Next, Vienna http://www.hilger.at/832_EN-artists-Detail_artist.htm,Simón,Vega
- De Buck Gallery, New York www.debuckgallery.com
- Lokkus Arte Contemporáneo, Medellín

All photos: Simón Vega, except where noted otherwise