In this video animation, nature is not immune to the neuroses of large city dwellers who live in places such as Mexico City where the artist made this piece. On the pavement stressed out shrubs scream, shudder, and moan to passers-by, as if absorbing their anxieties and undisguised sadness. The video shows a particular tree species, a bush/shrub, plentiful in cities such as Lima and Mexico City, the “Benjamin Ficus”. This simultaneously common and weird natural urban element represents contemporary cities’ restraint and control paranoia which extends even against nature, for these plants are always kept within concrete or asphalt borders and pruned in different ways and forms bordering on a kitsch obsession. The unexpected movement of these elements reveal themselves as a sign of a small revolution in everyday life.
Gabriel Acevedo Velarde was born in Lima, in 1976. He graduated in Fine Arts from Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, México. The artist studied film production and photography. His recent solo exhibitions include Quorum Power at Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2009), No matter what happens to you, we will keep growing at Y Gallery, Queens, New York (2008), Incorporación, desprendimiento at Galeria OMR, Mexico City (2008), Marathon at Galeria Leme, Sao Paulo (2008), Sinapsis Insurrección at Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2006). His recent group shows include MALI Contemporáneo at Museo de Arte de Lima (2009), Guangzhou Triennial at Guangdong Museum of Art, China (2008), I/Legítimo at Paço das Artes / Museu da Imagem e do Som, São Paulo (2008), The Culture Clash, Working Rooms Project Space, London (2008), Fuck you human at Maribel Lopez Gallery, Berlin (2008), Zoótropo at Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City (2008), Panorama 2007 at Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, FACE-UP at Galerie Adler, New York (2007), Geopolíticas de la Animación at Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla (2007), En Perfecto Desorden at Museo de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2007), The Fourth Seoul International Media Arts Biennale (2006), Contemporary Video Art from Brazil at Galerie Adler, Frankfurt (2006). He has received many awards from Fundación Jumex (2007), Rockefeller Foundation (2006), American Center Foundation (2007) and at the 15th Festival Videobrasil (Honorific Mention). The artist is represented by Galeria Leme in São Paulo. He lives and works in Berlin.