Dust bathing, 2017
This installation synthesizes many characteristic that are essential to the work of Ricardo Brey. The economy of elements, the appropriation of space, the use of materials meaningful to everyday life, and the birds, a recurrent image and symbol throughout the years in the work of the artist. The artist already dreamed to realize the work earlier, but never found the right location and the right moment to do it. Being invited for the Kathmandu Triennale opened up new possibilities : “when I received the image of the location of the Patan museum it was clear that I would make this intervention in Kathmandu. The main courtyard of the museum with in front the shrine devoted to Lord Vishnu told me that this was the moment for which I was waiting to make the work. Like in other works I refer to water in relation to baptism, here I refer to dust as a sign of purification.”
Ricardo Brey is a Cuban-born visual artist naturalized in Belgium. His artistic roots lie in the 1970s and 1980s when he was an active member of the group Volumen I which today has become associated with the emergence of a new generation of avant-garde artists in Cuba after the revolution of 1959. After extensive traveling, Brey moved to Europe where he lives and works since 1990. The invitation to participate in Documenta IX in Kassel was the starting point for Brey to move temporarily to Belgium. Among other recognitions received by Brey is a Guggenheim fellowship for Installation Art and Sculpture. From 2002 onward he made a turn in his work, while looking for new approaches towards art he committed himself to the development and presentation of large projects, Universe 2002-2006 , Annex 2003 -2009 and the most recent Every Life is a Fire 2009 – 2015 . Universe and Annex have been exhibited in European museums : Ricardo Brey, Hanging around , GEM , The Hague (Netherlands, 2004), Universe at S.M.A.K. in Ghent (Belgium, 2006) and a survey exhibition was held in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana,( Cuba, 2014) , and in M HKA, Antwerp,( Belgium,2015) . “ Every life is a fire” was exhibited in the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia ‘All the World’s Futures’.