Eugenio Ampudia

Nothing to gain

Dec 18 2003 - Jan 31 2004

Max Estrella Gallery presents the second solo exhibition of Eugenio Ampudia (Valladolid, 1958) in Madrid. Known for his actions and interventions carried out since 1987, as well as for his presence on the web through, Ampudia is also a curator of exhibitions and is especially interested in the media and specialized communication.

A distinctive characteristic of his videoart works is that they escape from the usual modes of exhibition, to come to life independently on concrete objects, on the exhibition space or on the specific place where a public event takes place.

With the ironic title Nothing to gain – to which we could contrast Nothing to lose – the artist has turned the gallery into an artifact or instrument through which to reflect on the premises and consequences of the very act of exhibiting. In it there is no meeting or conjugation of independent pieces created in a given period, but rather the establishment of devices that make this reflection possible. If, as he himself says, “what you hope to achieve as an artist is to turn the viewer’s mind two degrees for three seconds,” this is an optimal occasion to make sure of that intention.

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The physical space of the gallery becomes a singular piece in works such as Comprar aire I and II. In others, such as Cold Fire I and II, its virtuality sets one of the exhibition rooms on fire or burns the library of the director’s office, in a lucid metaphor of the evanescent and obsolete character of the work of art and the exhibition space in this time of crisis of thought and artistic image. In others such as Mesa de pe (n) sar or Puntapié the reason for speculation is the artist himself and the nature of his ideas or creative concepts.

Nothing to gain continues and expands on one of the fundamental strategies of the artist, that calls into question the specific location of the work of art and its potential and ability to promote a debate on the what and why of art in a time apparently convenient for its prescription.