Pure Evil

Location and Working Hours
Open daily 11:00-19:00 Monday and Sunday Closed
Noël Saavedra
06. Jul 29. Jul. 2023 11 - 19

Pure Evil: Noël Saavedra

Noël Saavedra, through textile design, creates works that capture the subconsciousness of his generation. Like most of those who were born in Chile at the end of the eighties, he developed a fascination for Japanese anime, especially for Akira Toriyama’s manga, from which his interest in the occult, magic and, above all, for a colorful hyperchromatism, come from. After emigrating to Germany with his family, Saavedra studied textile design at the prestigious Weißensee Art Academy in Berlin, however, he soon left the classroom, choosing instead to complete his studies working directly with industrial machines in the north of Milan.

In Berlin, Saavedra also discovered that parallel reality that lives in the clubs, a space where, to paraphrase the philosopher Byung Chul Han, the logic of late capitalism that voluntarily leads us to self-exploitation is abandoned and instead reveals a visionary and collective hedonism that allows, for a few hours, rest from the neuroses that overwhelms us in daily life.

It was in one of those ecstatic dance sessions, under the influence of the techno beat and the substances that allow new neural connections that Noël, looking at a crumpled pack of cigarettes, had an epiphany. “Sometimes on the dancefloor I receive instructions to create my works, the answers that allow me to take the next step.” He knew that the pack was nothing more than a piece of garbage but it produced an indescribable magnetism in him, the plastic wrapping shone with the light acquiring hypnotic tones, it was dazzling and he wondered if perhaps he could make others see what he was seeing at that moment and transform that waste that nobody appreciated into something beautiful that they wanted to keep, into an object capable of generating the urgent need to caress it, restoring the aura that it had lost in its infinite industrial reproduction. The result is Box (1 to 9), resplendent boxes made with the finest silk velvet threads that are irresistible to the touch.

With his urinal, Duchamp introduced to the museums a mass-produced industrial product, however, no one remembers the brand of that urinal. Warhol, with Campbell’s soups, brought a brand to the museum, framed consumption as a work of art. However, perhaps it is the pack of Marlboro of Saavedra that best synthesizes the capitalism of our days, the addiction to a consumption that consumes and that, nevertheless, continues to be desirable.
A few years ago, concept artist Jenny Holzer posted the phrase protect me from what I want on a billboard in Times Square. With his work, Saavedra rejects that protection, as if he were telling us that desire is the only thing we have left and, with a hint of cynicism, he responds: give me what I want, even if it destroys me. Or, as the text in Russian that crosses the Swiss forests of his homonymous quadrupt says in a more poetic way: “My flames will also reach your paradise. Your happiness will turn to ashes in your mouth.

Saavedra made these works when the Russians were being accused of interfering in the United States elections. He decided that Marlboro should be written in Cyrillic, symbolizing, perhaps, the Kremlin seizing the degraded cowboy. Saavedra did not create that interpretation, but he knows that when intuition is allowed to work, only then is it possible to access the material that culture has inserted into our subconscious. After the war in Ukraine, this pack acquires new interpretations, now are the Russians the new cowboys with pistols on their belts?

Saavedra’s work, a form of dark pop art, mixes an ancient technique, the loom, with the latest technology used by industrial production. From a recombination of twelve threads, Saavedra has created a palette of 460 colors. This palette is a work in itself, called “Pattern Test 460”. Each color corresponds to a specific pattern that he must choose to weave the image he seeks. A warp and weft made pixel by pixel. In its search for new aesthetic languages, Rosenblut & Friedmann has chosen this union between the most exquisite textile design with the punky spirit that Noël Saavedra prints on his looms.

Alan Meller, 2023