Vampires of The Earth is an exhibition inspired by the social mediatisation of petrolium company Pemex’s fire in the Gulf of Mexico in 2021. “The day that underwater gas pipe burst, I received a hilariously performative message checking in on me,” says Ramírez, “a drop of oil came to mind, like a little tear...falling to hell.” The artist made most of the works by sampling phrases from social media, imitating how a vampire feeds and multiplies. He imposed this language on photographs and materials to create new meanings. Then he framed them using SFX materials, to create the illusion that he dipped generic thoughts and feelings in crude oil. Ramírez made every work in pairs, on the basis that this is a message between two entities, set against the backdrop of a media disaster. Other pieces include large scale black mirrors with neon, which mimic the vampire’s cycle of awakeness and slumber, by requiring electricity same as this creature necessitates blood. While also alluding to the vampire’s inability to gaze at its own reflection, suggesting that the exploitation of fossil fuels is mirror of our image.
Ramírez trades in an aesthetic of artificiality and generic emotionality, to comment on how artificial and draining these exchanges can become. This is largely a response to how ‘care’ and ‘community’ have emerged as key concepts in contemporary art, only to become another commodity. Set in a moment of crisis and using predictable gentrified language, the works compare the toxicity of crude oil with a drop of blood that allures the vampire and a tear that afflicts the entitled. While seeking to make invisible meanings visible, in the same way that fire makes gas in a broken pipe seeable. Indeed, from the voracity of extractive capitalism, to the performance of feelings on social media, Vampires of The Earth is about the dead, who carry on living.