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Joseph Beuys

Difesa della Natura, 1982

Multiple | color offset on cardboard, signed by the artist
35,5 x 44,5 cm.

The relationship of the human being with nature is one of the central questions in the thought of Joseph Beuys. From 1971 on Beuys was a frequent visitor to Italy, where he developed the project DIFESA DELLA NATURA, his proposal for the emergence of a new culture in which art was to become an everyday act that went beyond the artistic context. The gallery space run by Lucrezia De Domizio and Giuseppe Durini in Pescara provided Beuys with the opportunity to experiment with different systems of agricultural cultivation – he saw agriculture as linked to the centrality of the human being liberated from all ideology of power – and to pursue this investigation of the truth through his own presence in nature. At Pescara he organized encounters, actions and debates as forms of collaborative practice, of betterment and defence. Between 1971 and 1985, Beuys carried out a series of works associated with the Difesa della Naturaproject, articulated in the following actions: Encounter with Beuys (1974), Grassello (1979), Piantagioni (1984), Olivestone (1984) and Unfinished Projects (1985).

 Encounter with Beuys (1974) is a debate in which the artist posits nature as possessing an infinite, continuous, linear time and space and a terrestrial physicality that cannot be different from or far removed from a curved, infinite, continuous and linear cosmic spirituality. In this context, he puts forward the notions of free creativity and the expanded concept of art, linked to the belief in the universal power of human creativity and the conviction that art can bring about revolutionary change. In Grassello(1979) Beuys used slaked lime (grassello) to restore his house and studio in Germany, and synthesized the reaction of the Italian material on coming into contact with German water in the formula Ca(OH)2+ H2O. The essence of the work is the journey of the material from Pescara to Düsseldorf, a process documented photographically by Durini. Piantagioni (1984) was a collaborative project combining agricultural wisdom and the ecological function of plants, organized for human purposes, which resulted in the planting of 7000 oaksin Kassel. Olivestone (1984) consists of a sculpture made from fivestone vats used by the Durini family since the sixteenth century to decant and purify olive oil. Beuys created larger stone cuboids, placed the vats inside them and filled them with 200 litres of oil from the Durini estate. As in communicating vessels, the oil seeps through the sculpture, producing a reflecting mirror effect. Olivestone combines plant and mineral elements, the solid and the liquid, feminine and masculine aspects, chaos and order, utility and aesthetics.

 From this starting point various elements, including multiples in limited and unlimited editions such as cases of wine and bottles of olive oil, graphic material, stamps, documents and so on are the material means of disseminating these ideas of Beuys in this great project holistic conceived with a view to liberating the Western world from its materialism and achieving a social harmony based on direct democracy and mutual solidarity, irrespective of people’s economic, religious or political status.

Montse Badia


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Joseph Beuys

Ölflasche, 1984

Multiple | Bottle of oil olive, with printed label
26 cm

The relationship of the human being with nature is one of the central questions in the thought of Joseph Beuys. From 1971 on Beuys was a frequent visitor to Italy, where he developed the project DIFESA DELLA NATURA, his proposal for the emergence of a new culture in which art was to become an everyday act that went beyond the artistic context. The gallery space run by Lucrezia De Domizio and Giuseppe Durini in Pescara provided Beuys with the opportunity to experiment with different systems of agricultural cultivation – he saw agriculture as linked to the centrality of the human being liberated from all ideology of power – and to pursue this investigation of the truth through his own presence in nature. At Pescara he organized encounters, actions and debates as forms of collaborative practice, of betterment and defence. Between 1971 and 1985, Beuys carried out a series of works associated with the Difesa della Naturaproject, articulated in the following actions: Encounter with Beuys (1974), Grassello (1979), Piantagioni (1984), Olivestone (1984) and Unfinished Projects (1985).

Encounter with Beuys (1974) is a debate in which the artist posits nature as possessing an infinite, continuous, linear time and space and a terrestrial physicality that cannot be different from or far removed from a curved, infinite, continuous and linear cosmic spirituality. In this context, he puts forward the notions of free creativity and the expanded concept of art, linked to the belief in the universal power of human creativity and the conviction that art can bring about revolutionary change. In Grassello (1979) Beuys used slaked lime (grassello) to restore his house and studio in Germany, and synthesized the reaction of the Italian material on coming into contact with German water in the formula Ca(OH)2+ H2O. The essence of the work is the journey of the material from Pescara to Düsseldorf, a process documented photographically by Durini. Piantagioni(1984) was a collaborative project combining agricultural wisdom and the ecological function of plants, organized for human purposes, which resulted in the planting of 7000 oaksin Kassel. Olivestone (1984) consists of a sculpture made from fivestone vats used by the Durini family since the sixteenth century to decant and purify olive oil. Beuys created larger stone cuboids, placed the vats inside them and filled them with 200 litres of oil from the Durini estate. As in communicating vessels, the oil seeps through the sculpture, producing a reflecting mirror effect. Olivestonecombines plant and mineral elements, the solid and the liquid, feminine and masculine aspects, chaos and order, utility and aesthetics.

 From this starting point various elements, including multiples in limited and unlimited editions such as cases of wine and bottles of olive oil, graphic material, stamps, documents and so on are the material means of disseminating these ideas of Beuys in this great project holistic conceived with a view to liberating the Western world from its materialism and achieving a social harmony based on direct democracy and mutual solidarity, irrespective of people’s economic, religious or political status.

Montse Badia


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Joan Morey

Non Serviam (I Will Not Serve), 2014

Edition| Poster of a performance

97 x 68 cm

 

NON SERVIAM [GETHSEMANE] † JOAN MOREY

Specific mise en scène of a performative character that takes point of departure the obtaining of olive oil from the press. On the basis of this process and the resulting production of the oil a link of an almost abstract nature is established with ‘The Desiring-Machines’, the first chapter of Anti-Oedipus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. In an exercise of appropriationism, this text is used to elaborate the script of a limited-edition graphic piece.

Starting from the commission to develop an artistic proposal on the basis of a very specific element, olive oil, Joan Morey incorporated that element into his discourse and his research work on human consciousness and behaviour, how we relate to others and how relations of power and subjugation are exercised. The notions of non serviam (the words attributed to Lucifer in the declaration of his refusal to serve the God of the heavenly kingdom) and of Gethsemane (from the Aramaic word for an oil press, the name of a garden on the Mount of Olives in the Cedron valley, in the east of Jerusalem, considered a sacred place) are, together with a number of passages from the first chapter of Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, ‘The Desiring-Machines’, the articulating axes of an action featuring elements of styling identified with control and submission, together with oil as a liquid, as a lubricant of bodies and machines, in which ceremonial patterns of exquisite elegance contrast with the brutality of the concepts on which it invites us to reflect.

GETSEMANÍ [GETHSEMANE] by Joan Morey was an event produced by Cal Cego. Contemporary Art Collection that took place in December 2014 on the occasion of the presentation of the new olive oil.

Mise en scène – Conductor actors: Ingrid Agut, Guust Selhorst. Music: La Rêveuse, Dietrich Buxtehude, Johann Adam Reinken. Styling: Mónica Zafra. Photography: Teddy Iborra Wicksteed.

Sound piece – Voice: Nicholas Chettle. Text: words from L’Anti-Œdipeby Deleuze and Guattari. Voice recording and editing: Miky SanLeon (Angel sound studio).

NON SERVIAM is a hors commerce limited-edition graphic piece printed by offset lithography in black ink on white Pop’Set paper (Antalis) containing the script of the event based on ‘The Desiring-Machines’, the first chapter of L’Anti-Œdipe. Capitalisme et schizophrénie (Paris, Les Editions de Minuit, 1972), by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.

Graphic piece – Design: Miquel Polidano, Joan Morey. Edition and text correction: la correccional (textual services). Words on the obverse: Extérieur et intérieur ne veulent plus rien dire (Outside and inside no longer have any meaning whatsoever). Models in the images: Manel Muñoz, Marc Vilajuana. Barcelona, ​​Joan Morey © 2014


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Joan Morey

(Mallorca, 1972)

 Joan Morey has produced an extensive body of performances, videos, installations and sound and graphic works since the late nineties that explore the intersection between theatre, film, philosophy, sexuality and subjectivity. His work embodies and at the same time criticizes one of the most refractory and most transcendental aspects of human consciousness and behaviour: how we relate to others, be it as oppressed or as oppressors. The dark and ominous tone of his work must be seen as a reflection of a universal human history characterized by domination, exploitation and inequality.

His art practice combines three fundamental genres of contemporary art: performance (in the form of scenarios that develop over time, in which human bodies and the audience have usually been involved), appropriation (taking and reformulating existing texts, forms and styles from literary sources, whether classical or from contemporary subcultures) and institutional critique (with which it engages and examines the ideologies and the power of our social, cultural and political institutions).                                                                                 

Morey makes use in his work of the whole spectrum of rhetorics to be found in the mise en scène, the actors, the objects, the costumes, the scripts and the spoken word. Not himself a performer in his performances, he establishes the rigid instructions that define the formal parameters the performers must respect (or suffer), effectively determining how the audience perceives the works and the precision with which these must be documented.

Joan Morey was born in Mallorca in 1972 and lives in Barcelona. He holds a BA and a DEA in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona. In 2017 he presented the performance TOUR DE FORCE at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and the screen performance COS SOCIAL. Lliçó d’anatomia [SOCIAL BODY. Anatomy Lesson] in the context of the Premi de Videocreació awarded by the Xarxa de Centres d’Arts Visuals de Catalunya, Arts Santa Mònica and LOOP Barcelona. That same year he was awarded the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona de Artes Visuales by Barcelona City Council. In 2018-2019 he presented COLAPSO, an awarded project in two exhibition chapters (at the Centre d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Fabra i Coats, and at the Centre d’Art Tecla Sala in L’Hospitalet); and a performance in the Model prison in Barcelona, ​​this being the first occasion on which the protagonist was not bodies but the panoptic architecture itself.

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Patricia Dauder

Extensions, 2012

Drawing | Composition of 6 drawings, mixed media on paper, framed in plexiglass vitrine and table (optional)
85 x 100 x 75 cm
 

extensions

Extensions is part of a series of four ‘tables’ of drawings selected and grouped by the artist on the basis of a similarity of theme or form, even though they were made at different times and in different contexts. These four groups date from 2011, from a moment of taking stock and putting in order a disperse corpus of drawings, a body of material that Dauder wanted to revisit. These are Plexiglas boxes, designed so that the drawings can be shown both vertically and horizontally.In the case of the set entitled Extensions we have six pictures taken from notebooks, drawings that were made without any specific purpose or as preparatory drawings for other pieces. In all six there are overlays, planes and layers. There is a desire to get down to ground level or to follow some horizontal, while the diagonal perspectives give a sense of escape, of movement. They could be drawings of architectural or urbanistic fictions in which the aerial view gives a sense of group affinity. These landscapes are evocative imaginary rather than descriptive and closed: subtle and complex drawings that do not disown their strangeness. In fact, for all their pseudo-architectural appearance they are drawings done from intuition, very free, and it was only subsequently that the artist found links between them.In Extensions the drawings evoke the tradition of utopian architecture and town planning and its basic typologies. There are links to the avant-garde and to pre-Columbian cultures and other vernacular traditions. They also evoke archaeological strata, in the manner of ‘negative’ constructions, dissections of imaginary plans and structures that make visible the layers with which the drawing is built up and suggest other potential forms, like ‘an architecture it ceases to be architecture’, in the words of the artist.

These are drawings done with a pencil, at once defined and unconcluded: a practice, that of drawing, which for Dauder is a parallel process, often on the fringes of the larger finished pieces. Drawing is a more primary exercise, out of which latent or buried aspects arise and are released. Drawing is experienced as an activity that is necessary for the creative process to take its course, to order impulses, to distil and visualize, from close to and from a distance, to study and reflect, even if the resulting compositions often have no specific function or destination. Some drawings are spontaneous and fast, others slow and worked on in different phases.

In the last analysis, the mystery posed by these drawings is the ability of the artist’s hand to be a channel of transmission and a translator of retinal impressions, of traces of memory, of the unequal accumulation of memories. By means of drawing, these elements may surface again in new configurations, transformed by their more or less prolonged passage through the neuronal circuits. New figures and images emerge, which in turn feed new cycles of perceptual impressions and assimilations traces that will be translated into who knows what new configurations by the hands of who knows what other artist. The fact is that when all is said and done we are pieces in a great chain of transmission of which the drawing is an occasional record, a link that fixes an instant of this tireless dynamism.

Martina Millà


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Patricia Dauder

 (Barcelona, 1973)

Patricia Dauder trained as an artist in Barcelona and Holland in the 1990s. Since then, her practice has evolved coherently in the fields of drawing, sculpture, film and the artist’s book and, to a lesser extent, photography. Her pieces are the result of slow and intuitive working processes, in which formal exploration guided by intuition and chance plays a significant part. The concept of montage is also of central importance to Dauder: her pieces often end up adopting a composite form, as sets of several elements that are closely related to one another.

Although many of Dauder’s works have as their starting point the observation of her real immediate physical environment, it often happens that, in the course of the creative process, the figurative often retreats almost to the point of disappearing, becoming a mere trace or a barely perceptible trail. And, in her practice, the idea of “trace” is linked to depth, a recurring element that Dauder explores through methods such as layering, surface scraping and the emptying out of volumes. Similarly, in her film works and in her books, the temporal dimension marked by the rhythm of contemplation which these formats demand becomes an element of exploration, through which Dauder effectively expands the meaning potential of her pieces.

Mela Dávila

 

 

 

 


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