Desert X Biennial 2019: Iván Argote

Iván Argote’s artwork for the 2019 Desert X Biennial is an interactive sculpture that overlooks Salton Sea. The title of the piece is “A Point of View”. This is what the info text says about the work: “A Point of View is an interactive sculpture created by Bogotá-born/Paris-based artist Iván Argote. It is installed at an elevation above the Salton Sea, the manmade body of water which has been California’s largest lake for the past century. The arrayed concrete scales sited near the sea’s North Shore project the viewer into the landscape. Messages set in concrete appear in Spanish and English upon each step. From the platforms the audience may communicate with each other or turn to the landscape. The greater Coachella Valley lit in its changing hourly aspects reveals a civilization scattered across the bed of an ancient ocean. A Point of View registers diurnal, geologic, and mechanized time in this section of the ever-progressing San Andreas Fault. It also addresses the long arch of memory contained in Argote’s blend of pre-Colombian and brutalist architectures. The assembled sculptures function as sundials representing time in fragmentation. Like the engraved words upon the stairways, the singular and the collective coalesce across the menhir-like structures, aimed in different directions. These temporal and verbal fragments stand before the Salton Sink as it exists in its twenty-first century incarnation protruding amidst the surrounding agricultural land and industrial water. Stretching for dozens of miles, the temporary sculptures sit in a basin where the ancient Lake Cahuilla once engulfed a Paleolithic horizon before its final recession into the desert floor in the 1600s. Seashells and imprints of marine life centuries-old can still be detected in the immediate vicinity of A Point of View, bringing Argote’s many reflections upon time and scale full circle.”

Desert X Biennial 2019: Iván Argote: A Point of View. 70th Avenue and Sea View Way, Mortmar, February 24, 2019.

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