22 May 2013 • Film
Flowers by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña
Upstream Gallery, which has represented Chilean artists Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña since 2010, is presenting an exhibition by the duo entitled Flowers. Part of this exhibition is a new video, Los Andes, which will be screened in the Latin American Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. Los Andes, like most of León and Cociña’s other works, is inspired by the religious symbolism and rituals that are ingrained within the traditional culture of Latin America. While Los Andes does not have a distinct narrative, it centres on a restless primal spirit who takes possession of a derelict office room. As it traverses the office space, it transforms into the limbs of a giant and dissolves – all as a Spanish voice lisps prophecies about ancient spirits and myths in the background.
The surrealistic aesthetic of Chilean-French filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (of The Holy Mountain fame) has been cited as a major source of inspiration for León and Cociña. By adeptly weaving together photography, sculpture, dance, illustration and performance in their films, León and Cociña create an easily recognisable, deeply moving cinematic language that encompasses both lightness and neurosis.
La Casa Lobo, the first feature length film that León and Cociña are currently working on, will also be presented as an installation in the exhibition. The artists created a backdrop for the film within the physical confines of Upstream Gallery. As such, visitors will be able to see parts of the unfinished film, along with the set itself.
Flowers will show at Upstream Gallery from 8 June to 20 July.
Upstream Gallery, van Ostadestraat 294, 1073 TW Amsterdam, The Netherlands
All images courtesy of the gallery.