Xavier Robles de Medina
Brokopondo Reservoir

These paintings seek to uncover a reality that has been swept away by time – specifically narrowing focus on video footage sourced from the creation of the Brokopondo Reservoir, built between 1961 and 1964. Located near the small town of Afobaka in Suriname, the construction of the dam flooded nearby villages, driving thousands from their ancestral homes. Frames from the archival footage have been captured in monochromatic paint, including the flaws and distortions of early video technology. We get a sense of the electric buzz from a television set with his choice of hues: a uniform acrylic base of turquoise green and titanium white that is exaggeratedly bright, which only enhances and penetrates the blue-greens more subtly incorporated in the upper oil layers. Robles de Medina acts as interpreter and restorer of the grainy source images, connecting and smoothing dead areas where information was originally lost through digital compression. What we see depicted are Maroon huts shrouded by an expanse network of trees, all submerged and reflected in the extra-blurred waterscape.

Break and Barge, 2015, oil on linen, 27.5 × 59 in

Dipi Gron Tiri, 2015, oil on linen, 27. 5 × 59 in

Wart Winti, 2015, oil on linen, 27.5 × 59 in

Installation at Catinca Tabacaru New York