Over a week ago, on October 7th, opened Matière Noire, an exciting exhibition by Spanish artist and muralist Gonzalo Borondo, his biggest to date in the heart of Marseille’s famous antique Marché aux Puces, one of the largest markets in Europe.

Curated by Carmen Main, the show is co-produced by Gonzalo Borondo himself and Italian artist and Borondo’s closes friends Edoardo Tresoldi.

Matière Noire deals with the dark matter – everything we cannot directly see or detect but allows the universe to exist – as a metaphor of the invisible in our perception. The show is a reflection upon different cultural, social and generational realities and the media through which they are filtered, from earlier forms of representations to contemporary digital technologies.

In the 4,000-square-meter exhibition, Borondo presented its universe for the first time through more than 30 in-situ artworks – animations, holograms, installations, paintings, videos – in collaboration with 8 international multidisciplinary artists under 30, all born before the digital boom: BRBR Films, Carmen Main, Diego López Bueno, Edoardo Tresoldi, Isaac Cordal, Robberto Atzori, Sbagliato and A.L. Crego, author of the exhibition’s dynamic visual content, such as gifs and videos.

The objects found on site are the raw material used for most of the works; they represent the fil rouge for the whole exhibition as opposed to the digital archive of our times. As Borondo has said: “When I entered into the market for the first time I felt like I was in a limbo of objects waiting to find a new life through the viewers’ gaze. A reserve of collective memory that inspires constant search and the feeling of being able to find something unique, belonging to own personal history”.

Divided in 3 acts – projection, perception, and interpretation – the exhibition casts doubts on the uniqueness of reality and its representations, penetrating and questioning the edges of human perception; from Plato’s allegory of the cave to a 2.0 reality which shows a world flowing behind a screen, to the free creative contribution of each artist.

During the 3-month art residency in Marché aux Puces, the artists have lived and worked together, curating and organising every detail of the show, sharing the space with the merchants of the iconic market in the heart of a disappearing neighbourhood, the dark matter of Marseille.

Borondo makes use of collective symbols and myths, and touches archetypes and latent unconscious, bringing the audience to a kaleidoscope of infinite universes to explore and capture. They are drafts of an invisible past without which our existence would not be possible, as the dark matter of our present.

Co-produced by Gonzalo Borondo and Edoardo Tresoldi, Matière Noire will be running until January 31th 2018 at Galerie Saint Laurent, Marché aux Puces in Marseille. Until October 23rd the artworks are available to purchase just directly on site.

About the artist

Born in Valladolid in 1989, son of a psychiatrist and a restorer of religious art, Gonzalo Borondo moved to Segovia, where he spent his childhood starting to draw and to express artistically at an early age. Both the idea of ‘the sacrum’, human behaviour and fragility of the psyche become soon an essential part of his imagery. In 2003 he moved to Madrid where began experimenting with different techniques within the public space. In 2005 he started frequenting the studio of the painter Jose Garcia Herranz and exploring the possibilities of painting in addition to study the old masters. In 2010 he’s invited for the first time to a public art festival in Istanbul and starts to deal with large-scale walls. Since then he has created numerous public interventions around the world: urban installations and mural interventions born from the dialogue between the context and the physical space in which it operates. At the same time he cultivates his expressive ability along with a constant and intimate research. Since 2012 he presents exhibition projects in galleries and museums all over Europe, where he express through multiple media and materials, suggesting new paths and reflections.

About the gallery

Founded by Catherine Coudert and located in the Marseille flea market, Galerie Saint Laurent aims to create bridges between different art practices. In its early stages, thanks to the art director Jean François Roux, the gallery focused its programs toward Contemporary Art through exhibitions organized with the St Tropez peninsula. Collector Catherine Coudert, who wanted to give a new image to the flea market, decided after a revelation trip in New York City that Marseille would have its 5 POINTZ. 
With Stephane de Calmels as Urban Art director, Galerie Saint Laurent has realized multiple exhibitions and outdoor mural paintings, presenting more than 50 artists from all over the world and organizing 3 editions of the Marseille Street Art Show.


More about Gonzalo Borondo on Website | Facebook | Youtube


Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.