Alejandro Tamayo: A quantifiable translation of the agitation of enclosed air allowing three empty spaces to be visually compared
Art Gallery of York University, 2016
6×9 in, 160 pp, B&W, softcover
The first in a new series of modest artists’ books, this book by Alejandro Tamayo is an extension of his vitrine installation of the fall, 2015. While the installation consisted of a constant monitoring of the ambient temperature of all three vitrines, the book consists of a documentation of that monitoring: specifically, those instances when gallery staff physically recorded the current temperature. The book, in its layout, duplicates the passing of time, acting as a ledger. The location of the recordings on the page indicate the time, while the page indicates the date. It encompasses the dates September 23 through December 6, 2015, the same dates as his work was on display.
From the colophon:
Documentation of a fall 2015 exhibition by Alejandro Tamayo in the AGYU Vitrines, an exhibition space consisting of three vitrines located on the exterior of the Art Gallery of York University.
Being situated in the skin of the building, each vitrine is affected by the nature of the architecture, the aperture and the closing of doors by people transiting in the corridor, as well as by the local atmospheric conditions, which ultimately depend on planetary revolutions, solar alterations, and other elements that refuse easy identification.
My initial motivation was to subvert the notion of the exhibition space. A vitrine is an exhibition space ‘par excellence’. I wanted to show its own emptiness. But I realized that emptiness is just an illusion of the mind, in the same way that silence is also an illusion. A space that we call ‘empty’ is always full of something. So I wanted to confront this contradiction, to make the ‘nothing’ visible, and by rendering this nothingness visible to allow for a comparison of nothingness.
Many questions were raised from the realization of this work. Perhaps the most significant ones are about its own limits. The work refuses to be defined by the physical dimensions of each physical space; it leaks out into the outside, into what is not the exhibition space.
Where does the work start? Where does it end? Where are the boundaries located? Does the work extend to the limits of the Universe?
Being the only perceptible element, the glowing blue numbers on the digital displays seem to be in a middle point between two infinities: one that encompasses the coordinates of the physical universe, the other the viewer’s mind.
This publication was designed in-house and printed by Swimmers Group, a local printer and publisher run by Sebastian Frye.