Boot Camp with Guerra de la Paz

On view at Jack the Pelican Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.Jack the Pelican is proud host to Miami prodigal sons Neraldo de la Paz and Alain Guerra in their self-entitled exhibition Guerra de la Paz which has been called the best show ever in Williamsburg! Guerra de la Paz is a great work of visual fiction and a beautiful examination of a person’s place in history, society and the world. Their collaborative surnames translate to War of Peace, timely, no? Their very name is a conundrum, one that speaks to a society where we find our selves at war with the concept of peace. One has to pay little attention to the headlines to know something very dangerous lurks beyond our front doors. Something not so easily definable, not so simply black and white, a war that pits us against ourselves. Enter; the gallery lights are dimmed and the sound of machine gun fire reverberate through your ears from nearby video installation The Issue at Hand. Immediately center, a life size sculpture of seven children, perhaps ten to fourteen years old, circle round, playing a game most everyone is familiar with, Ring around the Rosy. They wear dresses, skirts, and childish overalls, full of motion, full of life. They are identical in their readiness to flee or to frocklic. They dance round a heavy black bomb, the wick unlit but looming as if a pause in a sentence you don’t want to hear continue. Just steps away high on a pedestal a mother holds her dead or dying son in her arms. Limp is his body; blank is the mothers’ expression. A replica of Michelangelo’s’ Pieta standing over five feet tall crafted not of pristine marble, but of worn and used camouflage. As though to echo the fact that this story is not singular to a generation but belongs more broadly to mankind, many have sat in this seat and many still will. The theme of war, however, is subordinate to the story of peace, which involves the artist optimistic belief in the continuation life. Tribute a monumental amassing of literal tons discarded clothing collected for over three years rises from the grey concrete floor of the gallery to reach the rafters of the ceiling forming a glaring recreation of youth sprung eternal; a rainbow. It glimmers, shines, and glows, the shifting softness of the hues bounces and roams insisting on filling the room and entering your soul. Treasure not included…. Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz have been collaborating under the name Guerra de la Paz since 1996. Born in Cuba, they currently live and work in Miami. They have participated in auctions, art fairs, and gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the US. Artist upcoming schedule includes the -scope New York art fair (booth #51) during Armory Week March 9 th -13 th 2006 and in June 2006 they will open a two month long site specific installation entitled Oasis organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs By Lynn del Sol For more information, please call: 305.299.1852

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