Nicolás Franco

b. Santiago 1973. Lives and works in Santiago.

Nicolas Franco received his BFA from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2005.  He has been a resident artist at De Ateliers, Amsterdam and Gasworks, London.  Over the last ten years, Nicolas Franco has examined diverse ways of unfolding the gaze and history through images. Central to his body of work are the notions of random encounter and memory, together with the expansion of the vocabulary of photography and painting and its perception.

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Franco does not usually capture the photographic images we see in his works. His procedure is rather to process and reuse visual objects and printed material, driven by some archivist’s obsession whose purpose is not obvious. A number of his projects between 2005 and 2015 involved reproducing photographs and transferring images from one medium to another. This visual material usually makes some oblique allusion to recognizable cultural, economic, geopolitical and technical processes that marked the course of the twentieth century. Be they scientific reports on the effects of war, erotic film stills or letters that preserve the wavering handwriting and existence of the serial killer named the Jackal of Nahueltoro. These traces are reproduced in Franco’s work from a dispassionate perspective that oscillates between formalism and conceptualism, forming a material structure where the movement of memory is warped by the agencies of the unconscious.  The idea seems to reformulate remnants of the past within an abstract, minimalist matrix that serves as alibi and camouflage for the work.  With particular attention in photography, painting and sculpture, Nicolas Franco´s work propose a meditation on the increasing deployment of technology that modulates, transforms and reorganizes the visual experience, an evocation of the technical history of the image that is crucial when images of history are considered.

His work has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions in Latin America, the United States and Europe. Museum solo exhibitions include: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Lima (Upcoming 2017); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago (2017); Museo de Artes Visuales; Santiago (2014); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago (2014); Museo del Barro, Asunción (2009) and Museo Blanes, Montevideo (2008). Recent group exhibitions include:  Resistance Performed – Aesthetic Strategies under Repressive Systems in Latin America, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst de Zurich; ARCO Solo Projects 2015; 12th Bienal de Video y Nuevos Medios, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago; El final de la Historia o el Comienzo del Storytelling, La Conservera, Ceutí; VOCES Latin American Photography, Michael Hoppen Gallery, London; Grado Cero, Fundación CorpArtes, Santiago; Ni Pena Ni Miedo, MEIAC Museo Extremeño Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, Badajoz; Trienal de Chile, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago.  His awards have included: TECNOPOL, Universidad Alberto Hurtado and University of Oxford (2016); Chilean Funds for the Arts (2016); Nominated Prix Pictet (Geneva, 2015); EFG Bank - ArtNexus, (Santiago, 2013); Beca AMA-Gasworks (Santiago-London, 2012); The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (NY, 2010, 2001); Union Latine culture et communication (Paris, 2008); Chilean Fund for the Arts, FONDART (Chile 2008, 2007, 2006); Stroom Den Haag (The Netherlands, 2001); De Ateliers, Amsterdam, Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences and Mondrian Foundation (The Netherlands 1998-2000).