A large, Monthy Python-like finger hovers at the centre of a Day-Glo installation, objects cosmically circling around it in an otherwise darkened room. But, despite the absurd appearance of much of Guatemalan artist, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s work, it masks a deeper political subject matter.
London’s Gasworks are currently showing God’s Reptilian Finger, centred around the installation of the same name, which is a response to the ‘unsanctioned mythology’ of the Mormon missionaries who were in Guatemala from 1947, who attempted to gather archeological evidence for Western influence on pre-Columbian civilisations. The central finger points confrontationally, offering judgement, but also a sense of the ridiculous — a judgement that is sent up by its own lack of grounding.
Elsewhere, Babylonian Fantasy is inspired by the conspiracy theories of David Icke, the British writer who has written extensively about the ‘Babylonian Brotherhood’ — his self-named idea of an extra-terrestrial reptilian race who originated in the Middle East (that includes George W.Bush and The Queen — perhaps he’s on to something?). The work consists of four polystyrene and resin geometric sculptures, each covered in what appears to be a dense bed of maggots, each wriggling to get to the wetly-sheened, jelly-ish surface.
It is Ramírez-Figueroa’s sense of the theatrical that really powers this work, matching the absurdity of the theories that he confronts with an equally ridiculous sense of drama, comedy and, occasionally, immersive impact.
God’s Reptilian Finger is showing at Gasworks until 7 February 2016