Entering the dArk with Alejandro Franco

It’s rooted in one of the greatest myths ever told, by Christians, Muslims and Jews, as well as Mesopotamians, Sumerians, Ancient Greeks and Hindus. Granted the names have been changed, but in this case it was indeed to protect the innocents.

By innocents we mean the birds and the bees and the rest of their brethren, whether they walk, fly, slither or crawl. Those beautiful creatures which inhabit our beautiful planet and who may one day find themselves on the receiving end of Armageddon. That’s if they don’t go extinct beforehand.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, the subject is Noah; particularly his Ark, and all the beautiful creatures he kept safe from The Flood. But this ain’t Russell Crowe’s Noah; it’s more akin to something created by Joseph Cornell, had he crafted rather than sought out his treasured keepsakes. Yet in the hands of Medellin-born, Miami-based visualist Alejandro Franco, it’s still somewhat epic.

It’s also seriously whimsical and astutely concerned with the way we live now, and how the way we live now may just give way if we don’t make some serious changes. And if we don’t, well, we don’t. But no matter what we do or don’t do, Franco’s come to assure us that the things worth preserving will prevail. They just may need a bigger boat.

The story’s all there in “Entering the dArk”, a moving piece of static theater backed by the good folks at South Florida Ford and Fordistas, and soon to be seen at the inimitable Butter Gallery. This won’t be Franco’s first rodeo, but it will be his most animalistic. A round-up as dizzying as myth itself — and spun just right.

Here’s what Franco has to say on the subject at hand:

For those who don’t yet know, just who is Alejandro Franco and what does he do?

I am [a visual artist who’s] very passionate about miniatures, elements that are full of detail, theater scenography, craftsmanship, nature and subtle colors. I’ve been nurturing these passions and I incorporate them into my work.

If you had to sum up what you stand for in a single sentence, what would it be?

I stand for vocation, for finding beauty in places where it wasn’t so obvious it was there, for the poetry of the aged.

How ‘bout a single sentence summing up what you believe the purpose of art to be?

To leave a testimony as an individual who is aware of his environment.

Speaking of which, what’s the big idea behind Entering the dArk?

I’ve been developing this language of creating figures with fragments of wood and found objects. To put it into practice I am recreating the biblical scene of the animals entering the ark. The ark was replaced by a black hole, because the installation is about animal extinction; the animals closer to the hole are those closer to extinction, without being too scientific about it. The animals are created with discarded objects which represent the impact of humans in the ecosystem. The Bible can perfectly be appreciated as literature; that distances it in most cases from reality.

So The Ark is indeed the reason why you’ve capitalized the “A” in dArk?

Yes, Entering the Ark :: Entering the dArk.

Does your employing Noah as a spur, so to speak, have more to do with being Biblical or with the constellation of natural beings?

Noah represents human beings, which in many ways accelerate the process of extinction in the species. I wanted to advocate for animals in this installation because they are some of my greatest inspirations.

From where does Entering the dArk’s constellation of creatures spring from anyway?

I am very fascinated by animals, particularly in the sense of design; that was enough motivation to carry on with the work of depicting them in their physical aspect.

Are there any other particular creatives that influenced the creation of such creatures?

Yes, I am very inspired by the works of Joseph Cornell, David Hockney, Charles Matton, Robert Rauschenberg… and it shows in my work, always.

If you had to create a home for this constellation of creatures, what would it look like and where would it be located?

I really like the way the installation looks at Butter Gallery. The fact that you see the motion of the animals going in the same direction before you get to find out that they are heading towards a black hole. I like the idea of telling a visual story in more than one step. But ultimately, I would love for it to go to a place where it can be conserved as a whole.

Do you envision the creatures procreating into an even larger constellation?

No, I envision myself talking about other subjects with this same language.

Last, but not least, if you had to place a name on the entire brood you’ve created, what would it be?

Fragments of Today.

Alejandro Franco’s Entering the dArk, presented by Butter Gallery and South Florida Ford #Fordistas: August 8, 8pm at Butter Gallery 2930 NW 7th Avenue Miami. 

WORDS BY John Hood 

10 thoughts on “Entering the dArk with Alejandro Franco

  1. http://www./ says:

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  2. http://www./ says:

    Bad grammar makes this fail. The writer of this story must’ve not even graduated from high school. Furthermore, how can something be remotely creepy when he talks about receiving blowjobs while eating ice cream? Worst pasta in a long time.VA:F [1.9.21_1169](from 0 votes)

  3. Your such a huge inspiration! You’re great in what you do, and I love the confidence but yet the humility you seem to have about it. And it’s also funny how much I see myself in you. (sometimes I feel that I’m reading about a lot more successful version of me haha)Keep up the good work! 🙂

  4. Glad you went! Jimmy is the man. And Jimmy No. 43′s is hands down my favorite bar/restaurant in the city.I’m sure if he wanted to he could open up a place 100x larger, but he much rather use his energy in helping all the small businesses and happenings in the area. If anyone knows about NYC sustainable restauranteering, it’s him!Plus, he has NAM and friends over for Christmas parties :]

  5. Thought it wouldn’t to give it a shot. I was right.

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  7. When I try to scroll down on my user homepage favourites tab, the screen goes blank in the section where my favourites should be. This happens to me on both "grid view" and on "Player view". My browser is IE8 and this also happens when I try to access any other user's favourites or uploaded videos.Is this a technical "glitch" or is the Youtube 2.0 supposed to operate like this?This doesn't happen when I choose favourites from the drop-down menu from my username it still uses the "Old" YouTube layout and this problem doesn't exist.

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  9. Now much as the role of cynical old bastard comes hard to me I have to ask where is evidence of all these old bludgers dropping off the perch due to hypothermia. I sniff stolen meme in all of this. A quick google reveals that hypothermia is playing on the BBC , otherwise in Perth you have to fall in the water and stay there.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Oh yes, I’m very familiar with that web site. I’ve read it a coplue times in recent months. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to articulate my next stream of consciousness well, but here it goes .. What so irks me about these types of deconstructions about why a certain atheist became a believer is that they always seem to be searching for some sort of irrational/deluded/emotional weakness. The implied question always seems to be something like: why did this smart/intelligent person do something so stupid ? It reminds me of the many discussions I had with my atheist friend over the course of the past 6 months. He would frequently refer to me as irrational , deluded , etc . But, here I stand with an MS in Comp Sci from Hopkins (concentration in artificial intelligence) and dual major BS in both Comp Sci and Math. I’m not feeling too irrational/deluded in my beliefs and I certainly have the smarts to boot ..When it comes to discussions about the above topics (such as the cosmological constant varying as much as 1 part in 10^120 and the entire universe would have ceased to exist), my friend can’t do anything but jump to multi-verse and oscillating universe theories, because the current state of affairs (in terms of evidence for single universe and insane tuning) is just too darned -well tuned That’s all fine and good, but come on ..So, back to the web site you mentioned. Every single one of us on this planet are irrational in one sense or another. I feel like there is nothing that one can say to the author of this Atheist De-conversion article, because the author seems to have already made up their mind. I feel that it’s utterly hopeless to even enter into a conversation.Lastly, when one does things for emotional reasons (or the well being of others), despite the irrationality of certain actions, is this a bad thing? Seriously? Is it rational to jump in front of a loaded gun and take a bullet, so that my son or daughter can live? Should I choose to die so that my kids can live? Of course, it’s not rational But, I think it’s (by far) the most noble thing to do . What I’m talking about is love . Is love rational? No! Is love bad? Hell no! In other words, just because a decision is not rational, it sure as hell doesn’t make it bad I think many irrational decisions that are made because of a sense in a greater good and love are by and large, much richer, more fulfilling and ultimately, much better decisions.Am I making any sense at all here?Jason

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