Mar de Fondo

Iván Krassoievitch

The phenomenon known as Mar de Fondo (groundswell) is characterized by high waves that originate many kilometers away from the coast, due to the clash of wind against the ocean’s surface. A few months ago, the Mexican Pacific was hit by this phenomenon. The great waves clashed against the beaches of Oaxaca very little time before Iván Krassoievitch arrived to the place, in order to produce the pieces in this exhibition. Mar de Fondo – the title of this show – is directly related to the experience of said meteorological phenomenon, and at the same time, it seems to condense a less than paradisaic perspective of life on the coast. Instead of sea shells or corals, what the surf left behind on the beaches of Oaxaca was an immense quantity of different-colored plastic caps, which the artist collected and used for the piece Mar de fondo (tapa). Krassoievitch also assembled many pairs of sandals, substituting the soles for bricks. These pieces were made at a brickworks close to the coast. Mar de fondo (bienvenido), is a clear allusion to the harsh work that takes place in a production site under the tropical weather. A similar perspective is found in Mar de fondo (sal): two new bandanas that have faded out with the use – mainly employed to protect the artist from the sun, and keep him free of sweat during his stay. Many pieces in Mar de Fondo can be discussed in relation to historic examples of artistic practices. In Mar de fondo (diario), for example, Krassoievitch painted 27 boards of MDF, each of them corresponding to each of the days he spent on the beach. He wrote a summary of his daily experiences on them, only to immediately hide the information with a white stain. This piece can remind us of the work of On Kawara, both in its formal solution, as well as in the way that documentation can operate, arousing multiple associations. Mar de fondo (ocean wave), on the other hand, brings to mind one of the best known images of Bas Jan Ader: that of him on a sailboat, before starting a voyage along the Atlantic on which he would later disappear. As with the colorful plastic caps, this piece could be seen as another vestige, left behind by the waves on the beach.

Daniel Garza-Usabiaga