Iñaki Bonillas
76 Frames

May 16 - July 6, 2024
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Galerie Greta Meert is pleased to announce Iñaki Bonillas’ fifth solo exhibition with the gallery, 76 Frames.

This new series of works arises from a longstanding preoccupation of the artist; the material relation of photography and cinema. The two media share a common nucleus, the still image. But where a photograph is a vessel of a moment, self-sufficient, charged with a weight of meaning, a frame of film is but one of innumerable, light-footed and fleeting links in a narrative chain. Its significance is apparent only by accumulation. It is out of this notion that this exhibition takes its starting point. Cinema is treated as an infinite archive of photographs with of vast potential for new meaning.

The works in this show comprise 20 series of short sequences of images. In these, the lives of everyday objects are related instead of the lives of the humans that film usually focuses on. The small accomplishments of a chair, or the quiet triumph of a set of Scrabble tiles spelling out a word, take on a disarming greatness. Objects are agents immersed in the adventure of changing shape, of thinking, of falling, of breaking into a thousand pieces, and often the grandiose nature of these discreet episodes elicits hilarious results. Our gaze is turned onto otherwise concealed instants, the artist rendering the modest and imperceptible visible by skewing the time it happens in.

This show is in two parts. On entering the ground floor gallery space we find ourselves behind-the-scenes, and like many backrooms, the order of things is somewhat idiosyncratic: all 76 images comprising the 20 sequences are scrambled over the walls in a seemingly random array. But perhaps this is where we can take time with the images, tease out threads that link them, observe and consider relationships that might take form.

But the main action is to be seen from the street, the gallery’s vast windows a cinematic silver-screen. Every day, the gallery staff hang two different images on panels behind the windows, and it is only here that the micro-sequences’ narratives play out in order. It is only those who pass by the gallery with regularity — neighbours, postal workers, street cleaners, joggers — that witness and understand these sequences.

Dramatic tension accumulates throughout the duration of the show; at the standard analogue projection rate of 24 frames a second, 76 images amount to three seconds of action – but these three seconds take 8 weeks to unfold.

This is the essence of narrative suspense: in a passage from one place to another, the final act is postponed, and tension arises. Time dissolves, yet against the odds, the artist makes suspense and narrative prevail.