Throughout Edgar Guzmanruiz's career, he has shown a keen interest in how we perceive space, calling into question long-held Aristotelian ocularcentrism that grants sight a hierarchical superiority to all other senses. This concern developed early in his architectural career. The experience of architecture is multi-sensory that leads us to an awareness of how we occupy space.
Guzmanruiz's work forces the viewer to question the reliability of visual information, something that he addressed while at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where he focused on the relationship between Art and Architecture under the direction of the artists Gerhard Merz and Christian Megert (formerly of the Zero Group), whose work is concerned with visual perception. In the artist's early works, Guzmanruiz creates situations that lead us to make erroneous conclusions based on our reliance on sight, the result being that we question facile assumptions and become more aware of our own interaction with the work.
Once again, Guzmanruiz's architectural background gives his work a dimension that transcends mere formal considerations and takes it into the realm of the conceptual. "Architecture, as with all art, is fundamentally confronted with questions of human existence in space and time, it expresses and relates man's being in the world. Architecture is deeply engaged in the metaphysical questions of the self and the world, interiority and exteriority, time and duration, life and death." 1
Issues of temporality become increasingly relevant in his oeuvre, beginning with Circundante and continuing in Zafiro y Acero. Guzmanruiz examines the volume of interior space, as unseen by the naked eye in a way that recalls Naum Gabo. His examination not only draws attention to the fact that seemingly empty space is made of matter, but also that what we read as solid is simply a complex and porous network of molecules that is penetrable and dynamic. Because of this, we begin to question our physical and emotional place in the world that ultimately leads us to confront our own impermanence.
Amy Rudledge Jebrine, April 28th 2009
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