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juillet 16, 2018

Jhafis Quintero is currently participating in 3 exhibitions

DiabloRosso, Ciudad de Panamá
Until the end of July

Jhafis Quintero’s etchings on copper illustrate lessons from a Costa Rican prison during a ten-year incarceration. In one, the back of a person’s head appears, the hair resembling layers of an onion, before a nearly empty clock. Text below advises forgetting important dates because time is the great torturer. Rather than emerging slowly, boredom proudly announces itself as a thematic axis.

Violence and menace form the other axis. Whereas boredom is an abstraction, violence erupts from a discrete geography. « If any cops fuck with you, kill one of the easily found rats and put its corpse near a police lookout; the smell of its corpse will convince him to change his bad attitude, » reads one etching in Spanish slang beneath an illustration of a dead rat next to a tin-roof hut.

Human faces, when they appear, stare plaintively into space without an audience, either external or internal. The figures embody an aggressive desperation and isolation that transfers to the viewer.


Wing Po SoSix-Part Practice
Until August 15

Tai Kwun
10 Hollywood Road, Central
Hong Kong

With Nadim Abbas, Erkka Nissinen, Magdalen Wong / Big Tail Elephant / Chen Shaoxiong / Luke Ching Chin Wai / Tiffany Chung / Claire Fontaine / Kwan Sheung Chi, Wong Wai Yin / Bing Lee / Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong / Liang Juhui / Lin Yilin / Roman Ondak / LH02 : Pak Sheung Chuen, Jaffe.T, Cathy Tsang, Grace Gut, Siumou Chow / PolyLester / Jhafis Quintero / SUPERFLEX and Jens Haaning / Koki Tanaka / Ulay & Marina Abramović / Bik Van der Pol / Yvonne Dröge Wendel / Xijing Men / Xu Tan

The inaugural exhibitioncurated by Christina Li and presented by Spring Workshop at Tai Kwun Contemporary, brings together works from local and international artists and collectives, a constellation of artworks which engage with the social and civil structures we collectively inhabit.

The two major keystones in the exhibition concept are the site’s history and collaboration: the unique background of the site of the former Central Police Station compound—as a police station, magistracy, and prison in the past—as well as the collaboration of two contemporary art organisations at a convergence in their timelines—the beginning of Tai Kwun Contemporary and the planned hiatus of Spring Workshop after its five-year operation.

The “scaffold”—the main motif for the exhibition—is commonly understood as a temporary support structure deployed while a building is being constructed or repaired. In its lesser-known usage, a scaffold can also refer to a construction used in the past to stage public executions and punishments. The title Dismantling the Scaffold thus brings together these two definitions in order to draw attention to the site’s previous historical function before its current transformation, all the while looking forward to its new role as a permanent cultural institution and heritage site in Hong Kong.

Under this central metaphor of the scaffold, artworks in the exhibition explore art’s potential to illuminate and unpack our relationship with society at large. They offer poignant reflections of the invisible and visible structures that constitute and organise our daily existence among our surroundings. The personal and collective artistic presentations raise questions about various issues such as social participation, commodification, exclusion and confinement, urban development, collaboration, and human welfare in both public and private spheres. Dismantling the Scaffold thus hopes to offer alternative interpretations to the social conditions which underpin our experience as human beings.

Until July 29
TMAG, Tasmania

With Janet Biggs, Nicolas Daubanes, mounir fatmi, Shaun Gladwell, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Ali Kazma, Rachel Labastie, Ricky Maynard, Robert Montgomery, Jean-Michel Pancin, Jhafis Quintero, Sam Wallman.

« Human history, worldwide, is characterized by an unending duality between imprisonment and freedom, and our humane Journey to Freedom is far from an end. The attempts to conduct our lives as Journeys to Freedom are endless, whether we consider our freedom as a way to live our lives or whether we consider it as a virtual expression of an ideal. Sometimes, even prisons may host such journeys to freedom from within.

Art is one essential freedom. Jhafis Quintero, who became an artist while in jail for ten years, states that: “Creation is indispensable to the inmates’ survival”. Creating – no matters what – is indispensable to survive incarceration in the most constrained conditions: this is also what Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige tell us in their film Khiam 2000-2007. May be creating is indispensable for everybody’s survival. Any exploration of imprisonment may be per se a journey to freedom and exhibitions on “art & prison” are one possible way to promote freedom, inasmuch such exhibitions always lead us to reflect on the binomial freedom/imprisonment.

La casa de los geckos es un paseo cronológico, íntimo y testimonial de Jhafis Quintero. Por años, Jhafis, con una reconocida carrera en artes visuales, ha ido insertándose en el mundo del arte con experimentaciones en diferentes técnicas.

Ese acercamiento con el arte se inicia cuando Haru Wells, artista y activista de la cultura, lo convocó a participar en el proyecto Al margen, que proponía una serie de talleres de arte a privados de libertad en el centro penitenciario La Reforma. En ese entonces, Jhafis descontaba una pena de 20 años en prisión, que fue reducida a 10. Como dice Jhafis con ironía, « las condenas en prisión se cuentan por días hábiles, los fines de semana son libres ». Antes de Costa Rica, había vivido en Panamá, donde nació y de donde irremediablemente tuvo que huir. Lejos de Lucila, su abuela. Y la familia.

Su aproximación al arte no pretendía romper un ciclo de delincuencia, sino explorar otras manifestaciones menos físicas, aunque igual de políticas que la violencia. La invitación de Haru Wells estaba más orientada a la interacción con discursos sociales, el conocimiento de herramientas más cercanas al arte y el ejercicio de pensar desde una periferia.

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