JAVIER BARRIOS: CLONING THE GHOST
Sat., March 6 - Sun., May 16, 2021
The work of Javier Barrios at first appears seemingly decorative; flowers, landscapes, and beehives are made in intricate detail. But beyond the surface, they carry social and political undertones in their fictitious narratives. His drawings, sculptures, and installations are heavily research-based, incorporating geography, vegetation, and story-telling. His exhibition at the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, Cloning the ghost, speaks to the relationships between human beings and nature, artist and work, as it stems from the artists’ three-year obsession with orchids.
Inspired by Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief (1998) and the film Adaptation (2002) written by Charlie Kaufman, Barrios places himself as one of the characters; an orchid enthusiast, collector, and traveler. The ghost orchid (dendrophylax lindenii) is a rare and popular orchid species that only grows in the Fakahatchee Strand outside Naples, Florida. The flower plays a fundamental role in both the book and movie as John Laroche, the main character and real-life figure, travels deep into the swamp again and again in a quest for the flower. As we follow Laroche, we not only learn the extraordinary evolution of the rare species, but the fraught historical background of the Fakahatchee Strand.
As Barrios himself steps into the deep swamp day after day, he examines his own expectations in his work, realizing the parallels between desire and disappointment, plans that can go wrong, and the apparent necessity of human beings to search for incredible things, even if it means risking one’s life.
Javier Barrios was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1989 and is based in Mexico City. He has exhibited at Proyectos LA, Páramo Gallery, Guadalajara, and Museo de Arte de Zapopan (MAZ), Guadalajara. He participated in the SOMA program, Mexico City in 2016 and has had residencies at Casa Wabi, Oaxaca, and International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York in 2018. His work has been published in Artsy, Artforum, Terremoto, and Campo de relámpagos, amongst others. Barrios is the founder of an editorial project entitled “Ediciones Barrio Boy’z” with which he publishes his own work and collaborations with additional authors. He is also the co-founder of the artista run space Interior 2.1 in Guadalajara.
The project was supported by a fellowship with FONCA Jovenes Creadores (Young Creators).
The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported in part by its members, admissions, private entities, the City of Hollywood; the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation; and the Josephine S. Leiser Foundation. We welcome donations from all members of the community who wish to support our work.