Miguel Vega Olivares

The sculptures of Miguel Vega Olivares revolve around themes such as inclusion and exclusion, the private and the common, containment and transgression – in a material as well as an existential and a political sense. The sculptures are primarily constructed from waste; trash and various discarded (found) objects which have undergone a process of disassembly and reassembly into these new entities. In this sense the sculptures recycle basic elements of our consumer culture which have, in fact, already been reproduced thousands of times. However, the meaning of these found objects fundamentally shifts when they are recombined within these strangely dissonant and colourful figures on the border of language and logical meaning. The different combinations of everything from plastic tubs and bowls to teddy bears and dysfunctional electronic devices also bring about a complex layering of textures, colours, spaces and contexts. Kitsch, pragmatism and absurdity exist side by side, and the distance between recognition and unidentified matter remains uncertain. Everything is loosely held together with plastic strips, heavy duty rubber bands or screws, putting further emphasis on the impression of a kind of temporary existence we also get from the different materials and elements of the sculptures. The sculptures are autonomous entities in a bodily scale occupying a space of their own. But at the same time they function as installation elements in each others spaces. They balance somewhere between autonomy and sociality, between being small, local, selfreliant ‘creatures’ and being symbols of discussions which reach far into the world the rest of us inhabit. Perhaps, fundamentally, these sculptures question what we exclude and what we take in when trying to create our self-image – as individuals and as a culture. Though perhaps they are also quite simply an invitation to a kind of exchange with the material, mass-produced (sad, festive, hypnotic) reality which surrounds us constantly, but which we will never fully understand.

Miguel Vega Olivares was born in Chile. Since 1974 he has lived and worked here in Denmark. He has taken part in numerous exhibitions here and abroad. His work is included in several public and private collections, among these that of The MAM (Museo de Arte Moderno Chiloe) in Chile. In 2010 he was awarded Else & Henning Jensen’s Honorary Grant for his persistent work with installation and sculpture.