Opening: Wednesday, 31. October 2018 | 7 pm
curated by Marlies Wirth
Thursday, 1. November 2018 | 5 – 7 pm
Wed, 21. November 2018 | 7 – 8 pm
Fri, 23. November 2018 | 5 – 7 pm
Vienna Art Week 2018 “Promising Paradise”, Special Project
Friday, 30. Nov 2018 | open til late!
Exhibition: 1. November – 30. November 2018
Franz Josefs Kai 3, 1010 Vienna


jose davila_ poster.jpg


curated by Marlies Wirth

For his first solo exhibition in Vienna, Mexican artist Jose Dávila conceived a site-specific installation consisting of recent works and works created especially for the exhibition, which correspond to his many years of practice exploiting the characteristics of opposing materials and their political potential.

Bodies balance their forces to create stability. In order to counteract the risk of instability and interrupt the causally linked sequence of action and reaction, Dávila brings his sculptures into an “impossible state”, that moment in which all forces are in perfect equilibrium. With “Joint Effort”, so the title of a series of works, the artist let the materials “work together” under maximum exertion to keep them in balance. Titled “The Act of Perseverance” another work subtly challenges Newton’s law of gravity and reveals the persistence of all matter.


„Mir gefällt der Gedanke, dass die Wissenschaft Poesie in sich birgt. Die Wissenschaft will grundlegende Fragen beantworten.“
Jose Dávila

Man könnte sagen, der Mensch habe die Welt aus freien Stücken aus dem Gleichgewicht gebracht; nun bedarf es unser aller ständiger Kraftanstrengung, um die fragile Balance unserer Gesellschaft wiederherzustellen und zu wahren. Das Zusammenwirken der gängigen Faktoren der physikalischen Gesetze und Naturgesetze wie Kraft, Masse, Beschleunigung, Reibung, Oberflächenspannung, Schwerkraft und Gleichgewicht sind wissenschaftlich wie empirisch bekannt. In den „newtonschen Axiomen“ mathematisch beschrieben, kann der Zustand unterschiedlicher Körper zueinander mit einer einfachen Regel ermittelt werden:

„Kräfte treten immer paarweise auf. Übt ein Körper A auf einen anderen Körper B eine Kraft aus (actio), so wirkt eine gleich große, aber entgegen gerichtete Kraft von Körper B auf Körper A (reactio).“

Für seine erste Einzelausstellung in Wien konzipiert der mexikanische Künstler Jose Dávila eine ortsspezifische Installation aus rezenten und speziell anlässlich der Ausstellung entstandenen Arbeiten entsprechend seiner langjährigen Praxis mit den Eigenschaften gegensätzlicher Materialien unter Ausschöpfung ihres politischen Potenzials.

Körper gleichen ihre Kräfte aus, um Stabilität zu schaffen. Um dem Risiko der Instabilität entgegenzuwirken und die kausal verkettete Sequenz von Aktion und Reaktion zeitlich zu unterbrechen, bringt Dávila seine Skulpturen in einen „unmöglichen Zustand“, jenen Moment, in dem alle Kräfte sich im vollkommenen Gleichgewicht befinden. Mit „Joint Effort“, oder mit vereinten Kräften, so der Titel einer Werkserie, lässt der Künstler die Materialien unter maximaler Kraftanstrengung „zusammenarbeiten“, und in Balance verharren. Der „Act of Perseverance“, der Akt des Ausdauerns, fordert die Newton’sche Schwerkraft heraus und offenbart dabei die Beharrlichkeit der Materie.

In seiner Ausstellung „A Simple Rule to Remember“ nimmt Jose Dávila nicht nur auf die Kräftewirkung von Material und Masse in Referenz auf die moderne Architektur- und Kunstgeschichte Bezug, sondern thematisiert auch das aus den Fugen geratene Gleichgewicht von Masse und Gesellschaft anhand aktueller gesellschaftlicher, sozialer, politischer, ökologischer und ökonomischer Entwicklungen.

Jose Dávila ist ein autodidaktischer Künstler. Er studierte Architektur am Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (Guadalajara, MX).



curator Marlies Wirth (MAK)

In November 2018 the Vienna-based curator Marlies Wirth (MAK) presents Austria’s first solo exhibition of the Mexican artist Jose Dávila in the art space FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3 – a perfect opportunity to ask the artist for an interview.

Traditionally, the notion of “paradise” denotes a place of timeless harmony, the perfect state of the world before “the fall,” which nowadays manifests itself in the consumer culture, climate change, and severe disruptions to our economic and social life. One could say that the world tipped out of balance by choice, and it is only with permanent joint effort that we can keep societies in a fragile equilibrium.

You came to be an artist departing from an architecture background. In your work, balance plays a major role, as do the opposing forces of materials. Is this an attempt to bring harmony into chaos? What is your choice of material and form based on?
Jose Dávila: My background in architecture is only academic. I spent very little time in that professional field. The materials I choose depend upon their symbolic meaning: What do they stand for? Do they convey an idea of primitiveness or modernism? Often these are materials that are normally used for constructing, elements that can be easily found anywhere. They morph into art by their function, both physically and spatially.

One body of work of yours is titled “Newton’s fault,” referring to Sir Isaac Newton and the law of gravity. Can you tell us about the concept behind it, and how human interference with the laws of physics is important for your practice as an artist?
Jose Dávila: I’m very interested in the notion that there is poetry imbedded in science. Science wants to answer fundamental questions. Between all the technical aspects of science there are moments of poetic suspension in the theories and in scientific writing. To me, this work encompasses many of my interests. For instance, it addresses the loss of innocence, the necessity to explain forces that surround us, like gravity for example, which gives shape to everything. So, of course the apple in the work alludes to the symbolism of a moment of epiphany, a point of intersection.

In the introductory text on the motto of VIENNA ART WEEK there is a quote by the aestheticist Edward Burne-Jones, saying: “I mean by a picture a beautiful, romantic dream of something that never was, never will be, in a light better than any light that ever shone – in a land no one can define or remember, only desire.”
Without a reference system, “paradise” is deprived of its existence, and is limited to an undefined non-place, only perceptible from outside, its reality unstable, a topical utopia. Do you feel that there is a relation to the current socio-economic and political situation in Mexico, the US and Europe? From your point of view, what is the role of artists when it comes to societal balance?
Jose Dávila: I feel that artists need to produce work that triggers people’s minds. It is only through this wondering that we can aspire to new worlds and realities which appear “in a light better than any light that ever shone.”


Interview between Jose Dávila and Marlies Wirth:


Die Ausstellung wird ermöglicht von
Studio Jose Dávila
KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, London

Travesia Quatro, Madrid

Gefördert von
Bundeskanzleramt Österreich


Mit Unterstützung von
Franziska Hausmaninger



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