sleeping on the roof
original press release:
kurimanzutto is delighted to announce the solo show of Daniel Guzmán, Sleeping on the Roof. After eight years of living at Carlos B. Zetina 127-19, Daniel has decided he needs a change of air and, as an epilogue, he says goodbye to his vital space with an exhibition.
“[I needed to] force myself to go out into an uncertain near future” says Daniel about this project “by creating a series of art works that would take the place of all the spaces, moments, feelings, people, passions and frustrated loves, parties and gatherings... that made my home alive. Give drawing a rest, settle scores with some old ghosts, and let things speak silently; try to embrace the world in a different way, closer to who I am now, not yesterday, not tomorrow... go and sleep on the roof of the world.”
“Sleeping on the roof is the generic title of the installation which Daniel Guzmán (Mexico D.F., 1964) produced in November 2002 in his own house after leaving for good the small dwelling where he had lived for eight years. The generic title of the installation alludes to the future of life in the open air, while the titles of some pieces such as Quiero al mundo por casa (I want the world for a home), Lonely or Viaje al fin de mi noche (Journey to the end of my night) talk about departure and loneliness. Among the works presented there was an especially moving piece, Infinite Sadness (Tristeza Infinita, 2002), a sculpture comprised of sixteen gold chains usually worn around the neck. They all hang vertically from the ceiling and on their lower end they have imitation diamond letters, which together form the words tristeza infinita (infinite sadness). The serial abstraction combined with texts and, on occasions, with precarious but very expressive ready-mades, characterise the work of Daniel Guzmán who explores the melancholy produced by having to pack and unpack our affections and our worlds with a romanticism not without irony.”
Curatorial text for the exhibition Universal Strangers, curated by Rosa Martínez at the Borusan Art Center. Istanbul. Turkey, 2003.
“I have been drawn to Daniel Guzmán’s studio by his work that I had seen earlier at the collection of Cesar Cervantes, also in Mexico City. Several of Daniel’s works stood out from the already strong selection of predominantly Latin American artists that Cervantes collects. One is a red glowing tent, Sleeping on the Roof (2002) that was immediately inside the walled garden at the front of Cervantes’s house. Cervantes told me that the work was one of his favourites, admitting that he liked to sit in it to read his newspaper and drink his morning coffee. There is a dreamy meditative quality in the emanating light and sounds that made me instantly want to explore it further.
Together we look at his projects in a notebook and he stops at Cesar’s red tent. ‘I see it like a heart,’ he says. ‘I liked the sanctuary element, but again it was a homage to something of this city. This is the material that people use in the tents on the streets of Mexico to sell t-shirts. They are the temporary structures you see on many street corners where people are making food. They are a form of protection from the elements. ‘The title is another musical homage. ‘I chose a song by The Flaming Lips, "Sleeping on the Roof," to play in the tent and named the work after it.’
Wright, K. (2010) Daniel Guzmán: Musically Driven, Music (auction catalogue), Phillips de Pury & Company, London, (pp. 60).