When I was a kid, someone told me that a man dug a hole so deep that he stepped out of it on the other side of the world. Standing myself on firm
ground, I was wondering why this man, in fact, did not fall out of the earth exiting it upside down. In his new film “As Far As We Could Get” that
contains documentary and fictional elements Iván Argote digs an imaginary channel from Indonesia to Colombia, or from the municipality of Palembang
to a town called Neiva. The two cities are exact antipodes (a rare coincidence that only six more cities share worldwide). In both locations, the artist
rented large billboards to announce simultaneously a feature film named “La Venganza Del Amor” (The revenge of love). As if in a novel by Jorge
Luis Borges the title of his gallery show in New York is announced through a pyramid of interrelated information—stemming from a billboard announcing
a fictional film, documented by the artist’s camera, we read the title of the art exhibition that we are currently visiting.
In contrast to my childhood man, Iván Argote boarded a plane to fly from South American to Asia. In either continent, and with the same directives
he met locals on a level playing field. His main focus are young adults that are coincidentally born on the day the Berlin wall came down. While
enriching a once-in-a-century event with personal biographies, Argote investigates feelings (another sheer unlimited profundity) as the tissue that
takes influence on both, history and memory.
Switching back and forth between two locations the camera records more similarities than differences, brought to the point by bouncing basketballs
always obeying gravity, thus drawing an imaginary line to the center of the world. The balls read as agents of globalization mediating between
continents but also between the world of leisure, sports marketing (the branding of basketball players began in the USA in the 1980s), Neo-Liberalism,
and Contemporary art (think Koons).
The film projection of Iván Argote is interrupted at frequent intervals to illuminate the exhibition space and notably a series of concrete wall hung sculptures, as well as a huge solitary gold nugget (a Sweet potato in disguise). The vegetable supposedly crossed seas as early as 700 AD as it sailed from the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela to Polynesia to be cultivated and eaten ever since, stating eventually an example of a highly successful cultural “incorporation”.