Disregarding semiotic hierarchies, Oscar Murillo articulates a wide range of media traditions (socially engaged and participatory projects included), cross-referencing different contexts and histories. For the exhibition, Murillo extends into sculptures the automatic-drawing-like practice he has developed over the years aboard planes. Flight Drawings is an installation of hung baked corn and concrete rock-like loafs, often present in his work, recurrently associated with toil and sustenance. In clusters held together by geometrical metal structures, they appear in conjunction with glass from the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon, a reference to histories of tightly controlled markets and craftsmanship. The flocks of dense yet lightweight constellations of ‘stones’, suspended in the auditorium of the former congress hall that is now HKW, build on the symbolic associations of flight: mobility, geopolitics, borders, and identity. Addressing the governance of space, the installation stresses the tension between confinement and transgression, the organic and the man-made. Murillo anchors this work in his own family background: in the accompanying sound piece My name is Belisario, he broadcasts in a multitude of languages his father’s testimony of migration from La Paila to the US, escaping an assassination attempt due to his union involvement, finally arriving to London.

Commissioned by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), co-produced by Oscar Murillo and HKW, 2023.

Works in the exhibition: Flight Drawings (2023), site-specific installation made of corn, cement, copper wire, steel and Murano glass; My name is Belisario (2015), sound installation in eighteen languages, eighteen sound recordings including Spanish, English, Igbo, Somali, and Farsi, approx. 15 minutes each. Courtesy of the artist

Industrial Park, a performance by Oscar Murillo, takes place on 9 July and 17 September 2023. For the Souls of the Rotten Mighty: Mar, Rio y Cordillera, a band-in-residence project by Oscar Murillo runs from 30 July–12 August 2023.