In Image We Trust
Natalie and James Thompson Gallery, San Jose State University
August 31 – September 24, 2010
In Partnership with Montalvo Arts Center
Miguel Palma is a Portuguese artist who creates large-scale installations out of industrial and used objects that often take the form of intricate, self-sustaining systems. Since 1989, Palma’s projects have explored matters related with the world’s hurried technological development, proposing alternative (and ironic) paths to this hunger of new.
Palma’s work went on to be shown at the Nicholas Robinson Gallery, this January.
“Palma’s activity unfolds as that of a sculptor, draughtsman, electrician, engineer and scientist. Enamored of boy’s toys – guns, tools, trucks, cars, planes, boats – and all sorts of gadgets, Palma transforms these items of play into protagonists in his animated organisms, simultaneously reflecting the menacing monumentality of industry and critiquing its dominance over our civilization. Both fascination and suspicion abound.
In the show’s eponymous work an iron structure supports a large, rotating disc. On top of this disc a myriad of objects; male and females dolls, militaria, geopolitical maps, vehicles and tools of all kind – a chaotic mess. A fighter plane conceals a surveillance camera and records the disc’s rotation, a projection of which is screened in real time in another locale. Watching the footage it is easy to believe in the recorded image more than in the actual thing. We forget easily, but through the image, we believe. Reality is thus presented as a curiosity, as its facsimile appropriates the de facto authority of apparent verity.”