NO SIGNAL, a solo exhibition by the Mexican artist G.T. PELLIZZI.
Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna
Until 18 July 2020
The exhibition contains two related bodies of work. The first are a series of tapestries modeled after test cards used to calibrate broadcast signals and for color correction in television and film. The second group of works is a series of light sculptures using incandescent bulbs and steel conduits whose compositions are modeled after old circuit and communications diagrams.
The tapestries were created in collaboration with weavers from the town of Ayacucho in the highlands of Peru. Ayacucho is known for its rich arts and crafts traditions. It is a region that was originally inhabited by the pre-Inca Wari culture, which is also known for its elaborate textiles. For all indigenous cultures the textile was the screen on which they would weave their stories and myths. Ayacucho was the epicenter of the armed conflict and violence that gripped Peru for the better part of the 80’s and early 90’s. Today, with globalization, many indigenous communities struggle to maintain their traditional customs and cultural identity. The collapse of their local economy is also one of the primary causes of migration. Languages, traditions and crafts are rapidly disappearing. In the digital age, the weaving process, which can take months to complete, is antithetical to the immediacy promoted by today’s technologies.
Television became the screen through which new myths and ideologies were imparted. Test cards are an obsolete analogue tool once used to calibrate television monitors and cameras. They remain a testament to how film was calibrated for white skin tones. They are also stand-ins for broadcast signals, representing the control when television dominated the transmission of information. In many cases, a coup d’etat was presaged by the cutting of the television signal, as the control of information was the most effective way to maintain power. In todays globalized and information age, media communication has become more decentralized, therefore making it harder to control, but also making people more susceptible to fringe manipulations in a more fragmented society.