Taking/Giving Information. Every lasting idea has been made from an unverifiable but verifiable story

Karlos Gil

27 June 2011

Installation and video. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist

As Karlos Gil (Toledo, 1984) claims, everything can fit under the “science-fiction” umbrella: fantasy, utopia, hope, future, science, pseudo-science, political indoctrination and simple adventure. Represented in B- and Z- grade movies, in good and bad novels, humour, horror, film noir and gore, Gil has explored its many forms of expression and developed a huge archive on the subject that obsesses him: science fiction and its artistic and other materialisations.
In this exhibition, Gil presents a video that we know has been filmed in Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, in which places that the artist is familiar with are transformed into timeless, unreal spaces – like science fiction. Filmed in super8 and then digitalised in black and white in post-production, the artist sets out to control space and memory in his studio, distorting reality and creating a new environment in which to show the conflict between reality and fiction. Art can also reprogram the contemporary world and take it to new frontiers. Information can be manipulated easily enough when it is taken out of context, and Karlos Gil shows us how it’s done. Gil uses science-fiction to show the collective amnesia of our postmodern society.
The rest of Karlos Gil’s archive contains real anthropological remains side by side with others created by the artist, conceptual actions resolved by the author and collections of documents that make reference to true incidents. As Gil warns us, “art can also be used to reverse contexts.”
There are innumerable references: science fiction classics that refer to great literary masters, press clippings on true stories and fantastic inventions, and scientific manuals. Science and fantasy, combined, are the magnetic poles of Karlos Gil’s obsession, science fiction. Like Jules Verne, he believes that scientific progress will mean that some of the things imagined in science fiction films and books may well actually happen, as we have already seen over the centuries.