Juan Antonio Olivares: Moléculas
March 2, 2018–


A stuffed bear looking at himself in the mirror

Juan Antonio Olivares, still from Moléculas, 2017. High-definition video, color, sound; 10:00 min.; Whitney Museum of American Art; purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee. Image courtesy the artist

This exhibition by Juan Antonio Olivares (b. 1988) presents his 2017 video Moléculas, along with a suite of related drawings. Moléculas relates a highly personal narrative that is part autobiographical, part fantastical reality. The work explores fundamental questions about family, loss, separation, and contemporary politics, as well as the ways in which memories acutely and even painfully live on, long after events have passed. Made using 3D animation, Olivares’s touching video is equally sensitive in its technical detail. Rendered in a muted palette, the work is set in an interior that suggests both analyst’s office and modernist living room. The work visually evokes the delicate landscape of the mind, which Olivares ultimately sees as universal to our collective experiences, particularly of loss and death. 

This exhibition is Olivares’s first solo presentation in a United States institution. The video work Moléculas is part of the Whitney’s permanent collection. 

Juan Antonio Olivares: Moléculas is organized by Jane Panetta, associate curator.

Generous support for Juan Antonio Olivares: Moléculas is provided by Jackson Tang as part of the Whitney’s emerging artists series.