Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts

Humberto Chavez: Tiempo Muetro/ Dead Time

Gallery 3:

Opening Reception: Friday, August 26, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Gallery Talk & Book Signing: Saturday, August 27 @ 12:00 p.m

An Interactive Installation by Humberto Chávez
at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

It begins with a journal – a daily log that captures the ordinary and the extraordinary, the various seconds, minutes and hours that comprise daily life. Whether it’s the brief encounter, the haphazard event or the coincidental occurrence, Mexico City-based artist Humberto Chávez takes these moments and removes them from the present and beyond the past to transfer them into tiempo muerto, or dead time, a suspended state in which time loses meaning and power. Within dead time, everyday experiences are elevated to extraordinary status, combining the rupture of desire and the sense of loss with new perspectives and renewed energy.

Chávez articulates this complex nexus by integrating images and objects – all frought with meaning and subtexts – into a three-part installation designed to prompt viewers to react and interact with their surroundings. The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is proud to present Chávez’s exhibition tiempo muerto/dead time from August 26 through October 22, 2005. An Opening Reception takes place on Friday, August 26, from 7:00 until 10:00 p.m., and the artist will present a Gallery Talk & Book Signing on Saturday, August 27, at 12:00 noon. Both the Opening Reception and Gallery Talk are free, and the public is warmly invited to attend these special events.

Chávez utilizes tiempo muerto, or dead time, to articulate his exploration of the Freudian concept of disquieting alienation, the persistent feeling of anxiety that we all experience with our surroundings and society. The artist relies on a plethora of media, including photos, video, objects, text and music, to communicate this sense of disconnect. Chávez is particularly fascinated with thrift and second-hand shops, and his visits to places such as Second Chance, an antique store located in Omaha’s Old Market quarter, serve as critical passages in the journal that provides the framework for his installation. By taking an object that has lost its original meaning and recycling it, Chávez demonstrates how individuals can create their own realities. For example, the artist utilizes the color images from a medical procedure performed on his vocal chords and displays them without sound. His voice is literally – and ironically – rendered silent, the enlarged images providing the only means with which Chávez can communicate. He also uses taxidermied animals, perserved in startling life-like poses, to impactful effect, bringing the concept of dead time to a jarring realization.

Throughout tiempo muerto, Humberto Chávez examines desire, and how this emotion works to create and destroy our perceptions of daily life. As we experience the quotidien world, we create memories; but we also recreate phantom recollections of what we believe, distorting facts with fantasy and perceptions with reality. In this regard, tiempo muerto ultimately transcends reality, altering its own gallery space into a locale for displaced desire and intense introspection. Join us at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and experience the full possibilities of self-realization inherent in tiempo muerto.

Add Bemis Center events directly to your Google Calendar. Click the button to get started.


Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 South 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
Admission and Parking: FREE
Phone:: 402.341.7130
E-mail: info@bemiscenter.org