Sol Calero made a big splash on the general Berlin public with her nomination for the prestigious Preis der Nationalgalerie in 2017, and although she didn't walk away with the prize, her installation made a lasting impression on almost everyone who saw it. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.
Amazonas Shopping Center, 2017, installation view Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin. Photo: Trevor Good
The spaces and atmospheres she creates are multi layered and complex, but also appear superficially appealing, even if other, darker themes are lurking beneath the surface, much like a rainforest istelf.
La Sauna Caliente, Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2016
Like us, Calero is a child of the 1980s, a lot of the spaces feel naievely, charmingly commercial. There is a layering of reference and memory that feels native to anyone raised at the end of the 20th century: a millenial memory of a 1990s reference to the Tropicalia of the 1960s and 1970s, which are themselves a very urban halucination of a jungle state of grace.
What speaks to us as designers, who are obsessed with childhood and play, is the idea of the past being another country, a country that no longer exists, but that can be missunderstood in a way that can be fertile and creative, or harmful, or a bit of both.
Sol Calero creates a world that feels both familiar and exotic, that you would like to inhabit but can't, because it's gone, and can only be partially remembered.
You can see more of the work on her website,(from which these images have been taken) and here is a list of her upcoming shows, from what we know about our newsletter readers, she might be showing in your area soon!
- Casa Isadora, Brücke Museum, Berlin
May 2018 – November 2019
- Archivos Olvidados, solo show, ChertLüdde, Gallery Weekend Berlin
26 April - 15 June 2019
- El autobús, solo show, Tate Liverpool
14 June - 10 November 2019
- Solo show, Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp
- El hecho alegre. Una mecánica popular de los sentidos, group show, La Casa Encendida, Madrid
11 October 2019 - 5 January 2020