LOS ANGELES, CA.- Regen Projects
and kurimanzutto are presenting Distant Star / Estrella Distante an exhibition based on the writings of Chilean born writer Roberto Bolaño (b. 1953 - d. 2003). Bolaño's writing -- lyrical, evocative, transformative, political, and powerful -- has been a common passion for many of the artists in this exhibition as well as the organizers. The exhibition is partly homage to the writer, and partly an exploration of the timbre and topicality of his works.
Bolaño is the most important Latin American writer, and perhaps writer regardless of birthplace, to emerge in English translation in the last decade. He was widely known and appreciated in Spanish long before that. Dominique Gonzalez Foerster mentioned the celebrated novel Savage Detectives in an Artforum Top Ten in 2007 -- "I experienced his intense novel as offering a way to understand not only more about my own history and obsessions but also about my relationship to radical art." To present a show of this genre we followed discussions of the writings with artists, friends who recommended other friends, friends of Bolaño's who led us to artists who knew him, notions of concrete poetry, writing, the love of literature, love, and the implied and inherent violence in art and life.
Among others, the exhibition includes Carla Rippey, who supplied the cover artwork for Bolaño's first published book and was a great friend of his in Mexico City when he lived there in the early 70s; Patti Smith, (whose blurb on The Insufferable Gaucho, reads "We savor all he has written as every offering is a portal into the elaborate terrain of his genius"), went to his home in Blanes, Spain, seeking to photograph one object, which ended up being his writing chair; Abraham Cruzvillegas whose work La Barbie roughly references the murders in Sonora as depicted in 2666; Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari's film Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright is a typewritten love story, referencing Eric Rohmer's Le Rayon Vert, as so much in Bolaño's work references the vast canon of literature that came before it.
Participating artists in the exhibition include: Carlos Amorales, Armando Andrade Tudela, Carl Andre, Wallace Berman, Alighiero e Boetti, Martin Boyce, Miguel Calderón, Alejandro Cesarco, Bruce Conner, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Jimmie Durham, Dominique Gonzalez Foerster, Daniel Guzmán, Rachel Harrison, Jonathan Hernández, Thomas Hirschhorn, Alfredo Jaar, Glenn Ligon, Cildo Meireles, Ana Mendieta, Ree Morton, Catherine Opie, Damián Ortega, Raymond Pettibon, Amalia Pica, Jack Pierson, Lari Pittman, Sigmar Polke, Carla Rippey, Anri Sala, David Salle, Mira Schendel, Patti Smith, Paul Thek, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Lawrence Weiner and Akram Zaatari.