There are nine sculptures which comprise Tomás Díaz Cedeño’s first individual exhibition at Yautepec. The sculptures are nearly identical. Each sculpture measures two meters high by eighty centimeters wide, its profile a slight three centimeters. Each sculpture features a sheet of pigmented dental plaster, draped like pale flesh over a stainless steel support structure electrostatically coated in that peculiar beige of the early personal computer.
The sculptures stand sharply erect, bolted to the gallery’s concrete floor. The walls of the gallery are bare. The sculptures have been distributed unevenly throughout the gallery, but all are angled such that they face the entrance to the gallery. That is to say, when one enters the gallery, one is literally confronted by the sculptures. This is the scripted beginning of the exhibition; what follows is far less determinate.
The sculptures are not mirrors, but they are intended to meaningfully reflect varied – and often repressed — human desires and fears. Formally, the sculptures are intended to evoke, frontally, the scale and presence of large human bodies; that the pigmented plaster of the sculptures suggests a white flesh is also no accident. Together, assembled as they are within the space of the gallery, the sculptures may read to some viewers as an abstraction of power, or of social hierarchies. Many will attribute typically human qualities to the sculptures.
The process of creating and assembling the sculptures requires alternating moments of extreme care and aggressive force. While the stainless steel element of the sculptures is resilient, the plaster surface of the sculptures is remarkably fragile and prone to a sustained entropy, or even a sudden deterioration provoked by external factors, requiring conscious discipline in their proximity. That noted, the sculptures will almost invariably change over time. This fact may also be construed by some to comment on the nature of power.
Tomás Díaz Cedeño (b. Mexico City, Mexico, 1983) is a Mexico City-based artist who primarily creates physical objects and occasionally digital ones. His work has been featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca, The Wrong New Digital Art Biennial, as well as at various independent spaces across Mexico like Parallel Oaxaca, Lodos Contemporáneo, NO Space, La Compañía, and Otras Obras.