Josée Bienvenu Gallery is proud to present Constructing & Demolishing, Marco Maggiʼs third solo exhibition in New York. The show consists of seven works: Hotbed, an installation of paper that covers the entire gallery floor, and six large drawings installed as wall “poliptychs”. Each one of these multiple drawings occupies a wall of the gallery. They unfold organically in connected framed units. The 7 works could as well be seen to number 70 or 700.
Is there any difference between constructing and demolishing? Every demolition builds a new scenario; every construction demolishes an old one. In Marco Maggiʼs archaeology of the ordinary, constructing and demolishing are synonyms. His slow methodology has the obsessive qualities of a prolonged, painstaking dig. Browsing in the aisles of Home Depot, Shoprite or Staples, Marco Maggi faithfully chooses generic formats and materials – standard letter size paper, ready-made aluminum frames, plastic slide mounts, rolls of aluminum foil, clay board and Macintosh apples. The surface of these materials is then to be examined with surgical precision and excised for evidence.
Composed of linear patterns that suggest circuit boards, aerial views of impossible cities, genetic engineering or nervous systems, Marco Maggiʼs drawings and sculptures encode the world. He creates a thesaurus of the infinitesimal and the undecipherable.
In Hotbed, a work in progress initiated in 2000, Marco Maggi uses simple reams of Xerox paper, one of the most basic (and soon to be obsolete) modes for recording data. In Previous versions of Hotbed reams of blank Xerox paper were perfectly laid out on the floor in a grid mode to create corridors and avenues. The top sheet of each ream is marked with incisions; creating folds of micro- monuments that project sharply cast shadows onto the paper.
Now, the floor is a wall-to-wall carpet of white Xerox paper from which fragments of a Hotbed emerge. The scattered reams function as subversive traffic signals: ʻslow downʼ and ʻstop aheadʼ. “It is a crash of papers. I am referring to papers as in currencies, shares, indexes or Security Council resolution 1441” (Marco Maggi, March 2003) The lack of distance prevents one from determining if the landscapes are big or small, abstract or descriptive, biological or technological. Are they immerging or submerging? The floor becomes a text in Braille to be memorized while walking.
Marco Maggi manipulates scale as a tool for humanization. He creates pocket universes of capillary labyrinths and erects monuments on sheets of paper. He says “My specialty is to not understand. My vision of the world is as precise as it is mistaken and thatʼs why I draw for hours with intense attention and no particular intention” .
Prior versions of Hotbed were first shown at 123 watts Gallery (New York, 2000), Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City, 2001), Hosfelt Gallery (San Francisco, 2001), Mercosur Biennial (Porto Alegre, 2001), Centro La Caixa (Brasilia, 2002), Sao Paolo Biennial, (Sao Paolo, 2002), Museum of Contemporary Art (Santiago de Chile, 2002), Sala 1 (Rome, 2002), Dan Galería (Sao Paolo, 2002), Buenos Aires Biennial (Buenos Aires, 2002), Josee Bienvenu Gallery (New York, 2002), Sicardi Gallery (Houston, 2002), Arco (Madrid, 2003).
Marco Maggi lives and works in Montevideo, Uruguay. Upcoming 2003 exhibitions include: Hosfelt Gallery (San Francisco), Centro Cultural Reina Sofía (Montevideo), Mercosur Biennial (Porto Alegre), VIII Havana Biennial (Cuba).