Erick Beltrán

The work of Erick Beltrán is an investigation on the concept of edition. It focuses on the mechanisms that define, value, classify, reproduce, and distribute images and discourses to create social, cultural, political, and economic conducts and values in contemporary societies.

An emblematic drawing from the 16th century in black and white shows an elderly, confused man with a nest and a bird on his head, trying to ward off flying insects with a broom.

Outis Niemand, in Hans Weiditz and Ulrich von Hutten, Outis Nemo, Augsburg 1518

Beltrán analyzes and reflects on transversal knowledge constructions and figures, through diverse formats such as publications, installations, diagrammatic displays, or lectures.

His work for documenta fifteen, Manifold (2022), is a study of the relationship between unity and multiplicity, and of the forms and images we create to represent that relationship. “It is well-known that the individual is an idea that emerged only recently, about 300 years ago,” says Beltrán. “ My work tries to introduce a clash between Western thought structures and other ways of understanding the appearance of things in the world.” We tend to perceive things as unities: me, you, another person. Multiplicity is the totality, interrelated and interconnected, of those things. Their relationship is the tension that opens in reality as it is perceived. Are there ways to approach reality from multiplicity? Here Beltrán carries out his research.

Manifold was inspired by the theories of Furio Jesi, Aby Warburg, and Horst Bredekamp, among others, Beltrán and researchers from the School of Fine Arts at the University of Kassel conducted interviews with Kassel residents, who were asked about the image that emerges when thinking about the image of power. The goal was to generate a projection between the interviewee (the unity) and their imaginative and iconographic relationship with forms of power, as mediated by social filters (the multiplicity). The resulting sequence, on display at the Museum of Sepulchral Culture in Kassel, displays the products of this research: a complete set of images that emerged from the interviews as well as the theories and diagrams that explain its relations.

Recent projects and publications also include The Image of Power (2019–ongoing), Superposition (2020), The Double of Thousand Faces (2016), Game Piece (with Bernardo Ortiz) (2013–15), Modelling Standard (with Jorge Satorre) (2010–14), The World Explained (2008–11), Ergo Sum (2007), and Nothing but the Truth (2002–20), among others.

Invited participants

Benjamin Deist
Cecilia Vallejos
Eduardo Barrera Arambarri
Franca Brockmann
Katharina Stadler

Matthijs de Bruijne
Monika Pieniazek
Nina Shumann
Nuria Rojas Castaneda
Pol Aumedes (La Sarandaca)

Ramon Aumedes (La Sarandaca)
Tim Rudolph
Veronika Barrera
Yianqian Xu
Zora Lotta Joest

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Erick Beltrán

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