Enric Farrés Duran

París no se acaba nunca: #Districte cinquè (Never Any End to Paris # Districte Cinquè), 2014

Publication | Artist’s book | MACBA, Barcelona

21 x 14.7 cm

Just as the writer Enrique Vila-Matas does not so much write as rewrite, so Enric Farrés Duran combines and shuffles technical and conceptual strategies, while playing with all the cultural baggage he has at his disposal. Farrés Duran has taken a book by Vila-Matas, Never Any End to Paris, and carried out what is literally a formal cloning as the point of departure for a serial project that invites us to join him on an autobiographical journey in which, as in Vila-Matas, the true and the false, the plausible and the improbable are continually conflated.

To date, three stages of Enric Farrés Duran’s Never Any End to Parisproject have been developed. In Never Any End to Paris # Poblenou, Never Any End to Paris # El Prat and Never Any End to Paris # Districte Cinquè the artist starts from a specific place – the Barcelona neighbourhood of Poblenou, the satellite municipality of El Prat and Barcelona’s Fifth District, in the Raval neighbourhood – as the basis for a series of itineraries in which as many things are brought to light as are hidden, each itinerary duly completed with a book that puts it all in order or contradicts everything.

Thus, Never Any End to Paris # Poblenou traces a route on the strength of a coincidence of initials and location, linking Can Felipa, a public art facility focused on up-and-coming artists, and a Museum of Contemporary Painting belonging to a private foundation. The intervention by Enric Farrés Duran commingled elements of the two institutions in such a way that paintings from the private museum were exhibited in an emergent art context, while works by some very young artists were infiltrated among more traditional pieces.

Never Any End to Paris # El Prat, carried out jointly with Roger Amat-Comellas, proceeded to trace a hilarious sequence of connections between localdesignation-protected agricultural products such as the renowned El Prat artichoke or the blue-legged Buff Catalana chicken and certain oversized monuments to these products found in the United States (Roger Amat-Comellas’s personal circumstances led him to take up residence in the USA), all set to the uninhibited musical backing of the 80s Oi! classic ‘Vacaciones en El Prat’ by Decibelios. The literal itinerary took the form of a group coach trip, which the artist entitledJourney to the Origin.

Never Any End to Paris # Districte Cinquè, the third instalment of the serial project, was produced in the context of the collective exhibition Invocable Realityat MACBA. In the artist’s wanderings through the Fifth District of Barcelona (in which there is no shortage of confusions with another fifth, the Vearrondissement in Paris, also a ​​university district) he engaged in an investigation whose results he then embodied in an installation of inputs and found items in the form of objects, books and sundry other elements. The installation is presented as a small stage for a performance for which we the spectators have arrived too soon; a stage on which we find a set of shelves with various elements, together with a chair, a large pot plant and a poster. We neither know nor can discover what role these things will play in the enacting of the performance we feel must be due to begin at any moment. The secret was disclosed on June 26, 2014, when, with the title Looking for Enemies, Enric Farrés Duran led a small group of people on a guided tour of the Fifth District to places of particular importance in his own biography: the Faculty of Philosophy, the Massana art school and the studio of the designer Peret, among others. There he engaged with former fellow students and co-workers and gave them the opportunity to discuss and refute his ideas from a philosophical point of view or as a kind of ‘settling of old scores’ that, in the last analysis, evidenced the intelligence of his positioning as an artist and his capacity to shake up, shuffle and manage referents, situations and formats.