White Box, New York, NY
Sep. 10 - Dec. 10, 2009


WELCOME TO THE NEW PARADISE, at White Box in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, is conceived as a solo show of the artist. It starts with the main video, and, as in Governors Island, photographs and drawings complement the setting, while banners sustained with branches create original shelters, refuge for LCD screens showing additional videos. On these banners, the figurative is melded with the abstract, an abstract coming from an extract of one of the symbols that form her imagery.

The Palm tree is presented as a key icon, simple and disturbing. It becomes part of the merchandise created by the artist, such as caps and pins, but in this case, the cliches of the palm or dolphins don’Ŵt show any feature of certain origin, there is no Benidorm, Punta Cana or Hawai, but the clean icon, pure, signifying. Barrio explores her relation to the symbols, some of which she repeats, taking part either in the iconographic repertoire of the artist, or the new "islandian" imagery, and this reiteration puts us in contact with the commercial realm and advertising language; as in the video "Bailalo," where the artist penetrates the codes of advertising seduction with a girl who strips her consecutive layers of t-shirts with a printed word on each, until they reveal the final sentence: you have to know your costumer.

Itziar Barrio develops an original deconstruction of the icons and social codes that inhabit our daily lives, distorting the quotidian to establish a re-lecture of these images-symbol, and leaving a disturbing taste in the reconfiguration of this new system. She speaks about collective identity in a semiotic society, with a language that faces the difficulty of conjugating brilliantly an elegant classicism with the most absolute contemporaneity.