Encabezado_ArtistasYobras_centro


Biografia_Centro Flecha_Der_CentroObras_Centro
Flecha_Izq_Centro

linea_baja

Hans-Peter Feldmann

Eva, 2006

Sculpture | Polychrome sculpture
115 cm
HF.0001
In creating his work, Hans Peter Feldmann usually uses images and objects that he finds easily at hand: stickers, postcards, snapshots, photographs he’s found and decorative objects. Once the material has been selected, he carries out a series of simple procedures: highlighting it, changing its context or colouring it in such a way that, rather than creating art, he seems to be limiting himself to finding it and making it visible.

In the 1970s (an era in which the media did not use colour as much as they do today) Feldman began to colour various types of photographs and some small plaster reproductions of classical sculptures. His declared intention was to make the photographs and objects more attractive, although he was conscious that this would not be to everybody’s taste. The colour, both in the photographs and sculptures, emphasised and highlighted the values and dreams they represent.

The sculptures “David” and “Eve” are plaster reproductions which seem to have been taken from an archive of the sculptural forms of classical antiquity, although it is difficult to pin down their exact point of reference. They are reminiscent of Greco-Roman statuary, but appear to have been adapted to other canons. They are reproductions from the world of popular culture; objects extracted from the cheap and sentimental world of kitsch. Before being painted, they were designed to decorate or adorn some space, which they would have done thanks to some perplexing relationship they had with the history of art and its values. The colour, vivid and without shades, is applied in a simple and flat way like children would paint. Thanks to this, these sculptures augment the seductive element associated with kitsch objects, and more evidently demonstrate their integration into the dream-filled world of popular culture.

The titles confirm that we are being presented with the myths of Western history represented a thousand times. Eve symbolises the first woman and David the hero who faced Goliath. However, one might say that they have lost (and also gained) some characteristics along the way that differentiate them from the original myths and their representations.

When seen for the first time in the context of an artistic exhibition (thus confirming their status as works of art), we have a sense that they are completely iconoclastic. And yet, we immediately feel attracted to them and find them amusing. Feldmann, with the apparent light touch that characterises much of his work, is forcing us to confront our notions of taste while also obliging us to reflect on our ideas about art and the categories and values we associate with it. The sculptures clearly demonstrate how cultural concepts are related to education and class.

In 1997, when he was invited to participate in the “Dream City” project, which consisted of invitations sent out to several artists to make public artworks in Munich, Feldmann made a new three-metre-high version of “David” that he sited on a neoclassical roundabout.

Traditionally, public sculpture has represented social values such as justice, worth and self-denial, while it is currently being used to emphasise the importance of huge corporations or how well the city is being administered. Presenting a three-metre-high David (closer to the deceptive seduction of the contemporary mass media than to the traditional or current values of public sculpture), Feldmann was playing with the perceptions of art, cultural value or excellence which are attributed to the sculptures that populate our cities.

These coloured sculptures, introduced within an artistic framework, act as Trojan horses. Seductively colourful, they easily attract us, but afterwards oblige us to revise our ideas and beliefs; a characteristic of Feldmann’s apparently insubstantial works.

 Helena Tatay


Flecha_Top_Centro


Biografia_Centro Flecha_Der_CentroObras_CentroFlecha_Izq_Centro
linea_baja

 


Header_ArtistsWork_Center


Biografia_Centro Flecha_Der_CentroObras_Centro
Flecha_Izq_Centro

linea_baja

Joan Brossa

Novel·la (Novel), 1989

Sculpture | Mixed media
40.5 x 176 x 46 cm.
JB.0002-
Almost all of Brossa’s objects have a literary content, sometimes explicit, sometimes latent. It is no secret that many of his poems, both visual and verbal, play with language (letters, if not phonemes; the alphabet, certain homophonies…) or with literature. Here, the reference to one of the dominant literary genres, the novel, is or appears to be explicit, although Brossa never worked in this particular literary form. The poet had already played on at least two previous occasions with this same highly specific reference, the substantive ‘novel’. In 1965, in collaboration with Tàpies he made an artist’s book that recounts the life of a character, one of the missions of the classic novel, but it was based on a series of official documents (from birth certificate to death certificate) that were not filled out; in other words, it was a novel without narrative content whose hero was absent from the text, for all that the hypertext framed him. (Ten years after the appearance of the original, Edicions El Mall brought out a small-format facsimile edition.) Later, in 1970 Brossa also made a poem-object entitled ‘Novel’, one of a series of Habitable Poems, which was also in the form of a book, in this case with blank pages, though these bear the traces of sentences written in pencil that have then been erased. In this poem-object from 1989 Brossa once again plays with the text and the hypertext that determine the historical reading of the novel and the semantic field in which it is inscribed. But we can say that here, in contrast to those earlier works in book form, in the conventional physical medium of the novel, the image is tensed by the artist’s intention. Brossa, lover of puns, metaphors and the traces of lost meanings, makes a very literal object, the figurative sense of which can easily be missed. Or not? The work is simple in layout, a helix with a bird in the middle. Surely the immanence of the image and the overlay of the two images are aiming at something in particular, perhaps an allegory of the flight? The helix looks like an aircraft propeller and the bird is in flight. But like his much admired Joan Miró, the titles of many of whose works do not so much explain as subvert the pieces, Brossa contrasts the sculptural game with a title that both suggests and restricts the meaning of the poem-object. A novel?

We might suppose that while in the two books Brossa made with the title ‘Novel’ he sought to question the essences of the genre, the ontology of literary narrative as such, in this case there is a double game: one of these is oriented towards the novel proper, the adventure story, and in this possible sense the artist’s enthusiasm for the cinema would not be foreign to this possible sense; the other game seeks to raise a doubt in the viewer. Here, the title and the visual content of the piece would have only a discordant relationship. And Brossa would laugh mischievously at the confusion caused by his piece.

Joan M. Minguet


Flecha_Top_Centro


Biografia_Centro Flecha_Der_CentroObras_CentroFlecha_Izq_Centro
linea_baja

 


Header_ArtistsWork_Center


Biography_Center Flecha_Der_CentroObras_Centro
Flecha_Izq_Centro

linea_baja

Joan Brossa

La clau de la clau (The Key of the Key), 1989

Object poem
8 x 20 x 20 cm
JB.0001-


In his last years, Brossa received a considerable number of awards and commissions, also in the visual field, which encouraged him to design new poem-objects. A number of the poet’s ideas that had been left visually unresolved were materialized, together with new flights of imagination, and were presented on the art circuit, especially through the Miguel Marcos gallery.

 
Although not all of these late objects are easy to connect with Brossa’s earlier work, this is not the case with The Key to the Key, a piece that takes us back to some of the metalinguistic games in which so many of the poet’s literary, theatrical, visual and objectual pieces engage. In this instance the game consists in the disparity between the linguistic register and the visual register. The title of the work is no more — and no less — than a combination of alliteration and homonymy: the statement is alliterated, repeating the same words, but to emphasize that the word and its equivalents in most Western languages have different meanings​​: a key opens a door, and a key can also open other things. We might say that the physical key affords access to the knowledge needed to understand something.


Brossa had played with the meanings of the word ‘key’ in a well-known visual poem, conceived in 1971 and materialized in 1982, in which the teeth or bitings of the key are replaced by letters of the alphabet. In this case, then, the poet is suggesting that these primary particles of signification give access — open the door — to language and thus to knowledge. There seems to be a reference here to Wittgenstein and the famous phrase in the Tractatus, ‘The limits of language mean the limits of my world,’ (5.62). We should not forget that Brossa had absolute faith in the possibilities (and also the impossibilities) of verbal language.


In the 1989 piece Brossa returns to the play of meanings allowed by the word ‘key’. The object itself is a demonstration of the double articulation of language: in this case, of objectual language: a key to unlock is needed another key and so on in infinite regress. It is not absurd to suggest that the piece would have worked without a title: the image is explicit enough for the viewer to capture the visual homophony of a key that opens the lock of another key, which in turn opens another lock… But in common with other artists — Joseph Kosuth, for example — Brossa is so attached to the expressive possibilities of language — in this case, to the expressive possibilities of verbal punning — that he ends up overdetermining the image with a title that precludes any kind of distraction: the key to the key.

Joan M. Minguet


Flecha_Top_Centro


Biografia_Centro Flecha_Der_CentroObras_CentroFlecha_Izq_Centro
linea_baja


Header_ArtistsWork_Center


Biography_Center Flecha_Der_CentroObras_Centro

Flecha_Izq_Centro
 

 


 

Ignasi Aballí

Llistats (Cine) (Lists (Film)), 1997-2005

Photograph | Digital print on photographic paper

150 x 105 cm

IA.0008-

One of the main lines of work in Ignasi Aballí’s artistic practice has to do with time, with rhythm, with the consumption of images and information to which we are subjected. At times the artist as subject virtually disappears, leaving the accumulation of dust or the corrosive action of the sun on different materials bestow form on the work. At other times he compulsively collects, gathers together and inventories, piling up materials and information from various sources and configuring a gigantic archive. But, almost always, time dilates in the processes, proffering a patient attention that is the antithesis of the haste habitual in contemporary society.

This is the case with the listings, a series of works that Aballí has been making since 1997, when he began cutting out words and numbers from the newspapers he leafs through and reads every day. Starting from a ritual act, which many of us engage in daily when we read the papers, and occupying it as a personal working space, the listings follow different lines of development. On the one hand, in being archived and grouped on the basis of certain common characteristics they offer a different reading, a mental image and a new meaning. On the other, in relocating the information, detaching it from its original context and generating a new possibility of interpreting it, a movement of performative translation is generated.

Numbers and letters; these basic units of information are the raw material of the listings. The words tend to appear in relation to numbers that indicate quantities of things: people, deaths, money, the missing, years, immigrants, drugs… what happens when these enumerations are decontextualized and framed with other similar tallies, grouping them together? If we think of their source — the daily papers — we can think of them as little snippets of reality, tiny sections of social problems and issues ordered by subject, and in so doing generate a new scenario of understanding. Going a little further, if we once again group these lists by topic or interest, we can generate various kinds of genealogy. For example, the three pieces of the Cal Cego collection, which fall within the sphere of creation: artists, works and film; could we make this the basis for an analysis of how the creative field is perceived within a certain time frame?

Engaging with the listings raises questions about the way we assimilate the information, the speed at which this appears and disappears, the different possibilities of reading or even how certain topics are covered in the mass media. What is the relationship between language, numbers, the consumption of images and information, and reality? How is that reality transformed into numbers and letters? Trying to figure out issues like this can help us understand the world around us and, above all, how this world is codified, communicated and assimilated.

Juan Canela

 


Flecha_Top_Centro


Biografia_Centro Flecha_Der_CentroObras_CentroFlecha_Izq_Centro

 

 


 


Header_ArtistsWork_Center


Biografia_Centro Flecha_Der_CentroObras_Centro
Flecha_Izq_Centro
 

 


 

Ignasi Aballí

Llistats (Artistes) ) (Lists (Artists)), 1997-2005

Photograph | Digital print on photographic paper

150 x 105 cm

IA.0006-

One of the main lines of work in Ignasi Aballí’s artistic practice has to do with time, with rhythm, with the consumption of images and information to which we are subjected. At times the artist as subject virtually disappears, leaving the accumulation of dust or the corrosive action of the sun on different materials bestow form on the work. At other times he compulsively collects, gathers together and inventories, piling up materials and information from various sources and configuring a gigantic archive. But, almost always, time dilates in the processes, proffering a patient attention that is the antithesis of the haste habitual in contemporary society.
This is the case with the listings, a series of works that Aballí has been making since 1997, when he began cutting out words and numbers from the newspapers he leafs through and reads every day. Starting from a ritual act, which many of us engage in daily when we read the papers, and occupying it as a personal working space, the listings follow different lines of development. On the one hand, in being archived and grouped on the basis of certain common characteristics they offer a different reading, a mental image and a new meaning. On the other, in relocating the information, detaching it from its original context and generating a new possibility of interpreting it, a movement of performative translation is generated.

Numbers and letters; these basic units of information are the raw material of the listings. The words tend to appear in relation to numbers that indicate quantities of things: people, deaths, money, the missing, years, immigrants, drugs… what happens when these enumerations are decontextualized and framed with other similar tallies, grouping them together? If we think of their source — the daily papers — we can think of them as little snippets of reality, tiny sections of social problems and issues ordered by subject, and in so doing generate a new scenario of understanding. Going a little further, if we once again group these lists by topic or interest, we can generate various kinds of genealogy. For example, the three pieces of the Cal Cego collection, which fall within the sphere of creation: artists, works and film; could we make this the basis for an analysis of how the creative field is perceived within a certain time frame?

Engaging with the listings raises questions about the way we assimilate the information, the speed at which this appears and disappears, the different possibilities of reading or even how certain topics are covered in the mass media. What is the relationship between language, numbers, the consumption of images and information, and reality? How is that reality transformed into numbers and letters? Trying to figure out issues like this can help us understand the world around us and, above all, how this world is codified, communicated and assimilated.

Juan Canela


Flecha_Top_Centro


Biografia_Centro Flecha_Der_CentroObras_CentroFlecha_Izq_Centro

 

 


 

 


Header_ArtistsWork_Center


Biography_Center Flecha_Der_CentroObras_Centro
Flecha_Izq_Centro
 

 


 

Ignasi Aballí

Disparition (Disappearance), 2002

Video | DVD | b/w | subtitles |
160′

 

 

 

The video Disparition (Disappearance) is part of a large project by Ignasi Aballí about Georges Perec, in which the series of posters for the French writer’s film scripts has to be included. In this case, and almost in opposition to the posters that advertise films we shall never see, he has used a screenplay by Perec, Signe particulier: néant, to make a film. As if it were subtitles, the whole script appears on the lower part of the screen, whilst on the rest we see images taken from the press and the other media. They are static images that follow one another mechanically after a fade to black and which Perec’s text seems to accompany. Moreover, these scattered images keep one common quality: the faces of all the people who appear have been erased by Aballí.

The erasing of the faces retrieves the fundamental strategy of the book La Disparition upon which Aballí’s series is based. If in Perec’s book the letter “e” has disappeared, here what has disappeared is the faces. But beyond that, what has also disappeared is the reference of the image. The original caption with which these images appeared in the press is no longer there. Made equal, without faces and without the original captions, these photos remain empty and do not refer to anything. That nothingness (“néant”) is what is indicated by the title of Perec’s screenplay.

Instead of the original captions, the only guide to a reading is the words of Perec’s script. So that in fact there is a hiatus between image and writing. In that hiatus, as with the posters, Aballí offers the spectator a chance to construct the meaning so that he can create new relations for what is happening on screen.

A last element of faithfulness to Perec has to do with what he termed the “infraordinary” (related to Marcel Duchamp’s “infralight”). In short, this succession of images picked out from the press makes up a detailed and, at times, anecdotic description of reality. Like Perec, Aballí tends to collect, classify and order that scattering.

Only that the continuous succession tends to dissolve any particular feature of each image and abandon it to a no man’s land: the succession ends up making them all the same and leaving them stripped of meaning… they mean nothing.

The series Desapariciones has been particularly significant in Aballí’s career. If on the one hand he had already worked on silence, emptiness or nothingness in works which took up the idea of painting as mistake, or had to do with the impossibility of doing anything, in Desapariciones that reflection on the material of painting and the artist’s task takes a turn in order to speculate, through film, on the possibilities of images having meaning in a world saturated with them. A kind of reflection that goes beyond the framework of art and, with quite a few touches of humour, takes on existential tones, especially in the Listados series in which the ordering of numbers of deaths or people who have appeared in the newspapers erases the meaning and their specificity.

David G. Torres  


Flecha_Top_Centro


Biography_Center Flecha_Der_CentroObras_CentroFlecha_Izq_Centro

 

 

 


 

 


Header_ArtistsWork_Center


Biografia_Centro Flecha_Der_CentroObras_Centro
Flecha_Izq_Centro

linea_baja

Ignasi Aballí

Desapariciones (Disappearances), 2002

Installation | Prolaser digital print on photographic paper and light box
169 x 119 cm (x24)

IA.0001-
 

Desapariciones (Disappearances ) is a series of film posters. The common factor is that they “illustrate” or advertise films based on scripts by the French writer Georges Perec. Screenplays Perec wrote through his life, but which in many cases were never filmed. So these are mostly posters for non-existent films. Lastly, many of the images that appear on the posters and which in theory would lead to a film have been retrieved from earlier works or works in process by Ignasi Aballí.

Perec is one of Aballí’s references and shares quite a few concerns with him. The recourse to absence, which is evident in the novel La Disparition, written without the letter “e”, the most frequent one in French, ever occurring is also persistent in Aballí’s work: pictures corrected with Tipp-Ex, traces of supposed visitors on the walls… In Perec the questioning of narrative, the fact of recounting something, would correspond to a certain impossibility of representing something in Aballí’s case, or the crisis of representation taken to extremes in pictures in which there is nothing to see. And, linked to that, a tendency to self-impose mechanical elements for the production of the work: ordering lists and classifications or writing without one letter, in one case; and lists and more classifications or preparing a painting without ever doing it (leaving pots of dried paint) in the other.

Consistent with that absence, Aballí’s film posters in Desapariciones do not refer to any film, they refer to an absence, to a disappearance. And in that disappearance, following Marcel Duchamp in Le processus créatif to the letter, it is the spectator who finishes the work, the one who, in this case, makes a non-existent film.

But, one peculiarity, the images, in theory open to interpretation, speak: of more disappearances (a blank book, a poster that has fallen down); of the unmade film itself (an empty screen or rolls of film); of mistakes, empty spaces, corrections or classifications of what the title states (La mujer destrozada, The Destroyed Woman) enumerates the parts of the body). For non-existent films, Aballí has prepared posters that speak of that same disappearance.

Lastly, the preparation of the posters also implies the self-imposition of a mechanical task, an element found in Aballí’s and Perec’s work. It is mechanical insofar as he concentrates on illustrating Perec’s scripts, just as he collects newspaper clippings (Listados, Lists). In both cases the mechanical wards off expressive or subjective elements in the work and here exhibits re-representation as a possibility of representation. A strategy in tune with writers like Enrique Vila-Matas for whom writing consists of rewriting and making consists of remaking.

David G. Torres

Flecha_Top_Centro


Biography_Center Flecha_Der_CentroObras_CentroFlecha_Izq_Centro
linea_baja