THE CHASE | HACER
Origami is an ancient Japanese art that involves folding a sheet of paper in such a way that it takes the shape of any other object or animal. Precision and patience are required to create replicas of such diverse and complex subjects while adhering to the rules of execution. Origamis can undoubtedly be described as small paper sculptures.
What the American artist Hacer achieves with his practice is to subvert the common characteristic of origami, which is seen as a delicate sheet of paper typically the size of a hand, lightweight and fragile, by emphasizing it and pushing it to its conceptual and scale limits. His “origami-inspired” works are formalized in large sculptures made of steel, thus overturning the essential characteristics of traditional origami: small dimensions and the lightness of the material.
The Chase is a series of four sculptures, positioned closely together along a busy street in West Hollywood. The sculptures depict a classic hunting scene between a coyote and a rabbit, divided into two phases. In the first scene, “Coyote, Stalking” is depicted as the hunter, gazing at “Rabbit, Sitting”, the latter represented in a seated position as if it has just noticed its presence. In the subsequent scene, both animals “Coyote, Running” and “Rabbit, Running” are positioned in a more dynamic pose, engaged in a “chase”… Their lives are at stake.
To complete the installation, there are four polished stainless steel crates, also positioned at a short distance, which represent the connection between our world and the surreal world of sculptures, vaguely reminding the scene where the rabbit comes out of the hat.
The ending of this story is open; the artist deliberately chose not to create another sculpture that would tell us which of the two has won and survived. Both protagonists are placed on the same level, as they represent two sides of the same coin, the hunter and the hunted, both angling for survival. The viewer can identify equally with one animal or the other without distinction because there is no true antagonist; both are simply trying to satisfy a basic and instinctive need.
Hacer seeks a delicate process of awareness: as this series of sculptures has an open ending, also our lives can always change and be defined by the choices we make.
The Chase, 2016
Installation view at West Hollywood. Courtesy the artist ©