José Luis Torres: Question d’adaptation
Curated by Mona Filip
June 21 – August 26, 2018 | Koffler Gallery
Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 PM – 6 PM, Saturday & Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM, Closed Mondays & Statutory Holidays
Summer Opening Reception: Thursday, June 21, 2018 | 6–9 PM | FREE
Argentinian-born, Québec-based artist José Luis Torres works with sculpture, installation and public intervention, appropriating spaces and hijacking meaning through simple actions that subvert everyday materials and the conventions of handicraft. Influenced by his experience of displacement, Torres’ creative explorations focus on space and place, generating whimsical artworks where spontaneity and accumulation recur in connection to ideas of economy, survival, labour and the ready-made.
At the Koffler Gallery’s invitation, Torres creates a site-specific sculptural installation focused on three notions central to the experience of migration: camouflage, reflection and construction. Attempting to blend into the new cultural milieu and to mirror social conventions is a familiar process to newcomers. As assimilation indelibly affects one’s sense of identity, layers of individuality risk being chipped away to near invisibility, or reconfigured and rebuilt into ever more complex self-expression.
Metaphorically exploring the adaptation strategies and fluid reinvention of immigrant identity, Torres transforms the exhibition space through material interventions, building an immersive setting that disrupts visitors’ expectations. The installation unfolds as an all-encompassing, seemingly endless construction that reflects the state of precariousness and perpetual change intrinsic to the immigrant condition. Cultivating the ways in which coexisting, unplanned elements can modify each other to generate constantly evolving environments, Torres’ work enables us to re-examine how we inhabit and adjust to our surroundings.
José Luis Torres was born in Argentina and has been living and working in Québec since 2003. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts, a Master’s Degree in Sculpture and a degree in Architecture. His work has been showcased in many solo and group exhibitions, as well as public interventions in both Canada and abroad, including Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (Québec), Human Cities/Places to be (Brussels, Belgium), Museum London (London, ON), The Works Art & Design Festival (Edmonton – Alberta), Manif d’art the Québec City Biennial (Québec), UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art, (Colorado Springs, USA), Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture (Edmonton, Alberta), X-Border Art Biennial (Rovaniemi, Finland) and CAFKA – Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area (Cambridge, ON), among many others. Torres has also participated in various artist residencies in Canada, Argentina, the United States, Mexico and Europe. More details.
Image: José Luis Torres, Mutations, 2015.