Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s performances, videos, sculptures and installations are exercises of critical imagination resorting to fantasy and fiction to deal with experiences of personal and collective trauma, imminent threat and destruction. Although Guatemalan’s Civil War and the artist’s exile in Canada definitely informed his work from its very beginnings, his pieces allude to this history without being self-explanatory or literal. Instead, Ramírez-Figueroa confronts the spectator with uncanny props and unsettling presences in oneiric and carefully staged settings or choreographed actions and tragicomic pantomime that broadly resonate with distressed bodies in fantastic yet macabre scenarios.
In the video recorded in January 2021 for Tropical Papers, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa shares his urge to address the subject of the environment in his upcoming projects as the violence against activists in Guatemala is increasing in the last years. In the continuity of previous works revolving around grief and loss, he mentions two new large-scale installations in process both having as a focal point the imminent extinction of several plant species in Central and South America.
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa (Guatemala, 1978) lives and works in Guatemala City. His recent exhibitions include How to Breathe Forever, Onsite Gallery, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada (2019); Viva Arte Viva, 57th Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2017); Linnæus in Tenebris, CAPC, Bordeaux (2017); 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016); 10th Gwangju Biennale, Gwanju (2014); Illy Present Future, Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin (2013). He was commissioned by Corpus and presented his work at Tate Modern, London, Kunst-Werke, Berlin, and Köninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen in Amsterdam in the context of Edition VI – Event and Duration by If I Can’t Dance (2015-2016).
Olivia Ardui for Tropical Papers
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