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Antoni Abad

Punt de vista (Point of view), 1999

Installation | Computer projection on drawing table
Dimensions variable
In 1999, after making a series of video-projections in which he used animals, such as rats, Antoni Abad took an important leap forward in his artistic career (which has always been characterised by his constant explorations of new media) when he began to examine the possibilities that computers offered and their ability to generate new virtual images. Using an animal as insignificant and ordinary as a house fly, Abad has generated a whole series of works in which this insect takes centre stage. They are works which, on the one hand continued his use of video, although now within the context of computer based projections, and on the other confirmed his use of the Internet as a communications vehicle revealing hitherto untried possibilities.  

At the same time as his mass of flies swarm all over a drawing table while a hand with a pencil attempts to draw them (as is the case of “Point of View”) or make up the words I and I and I in a repeated, endless, sequence, as in “Ego”, Abad was speculating on the possibilities offered by a single fly crawling, virtually, across the top of the computer screen, bugging the icons, or even reproducing themselves to the point where, since 2001, virtual communities of the digital parasite “Z” have spread across the planet. This is a project which, thanks to its innovation in the net art arena, won him the City of Barcelona Prize for Multimedia in 2002.  

“Point of View” represents a turning point amidst his previous works which had led him from sculpture to video, making use of unusual and everyday elements such as a foam rubber sheet, metal shelving, a rat and a fly. All of these are elements that have allowed him to introduce a degree of irony towards, and criticism of, the practice of art and its conventionalism. He is also examining and redefining the role of the artist at a moment, such as the present, in which the Information Society is allowing us to break down barriers and explore very different forms for an especially wide-ranging audience. Without a doubt, “Point of View” alludes to traditional artistic disciplines (in this case drawing) and the apparent inability of the artist today to be able to draw-capture a fly. Perhaps this is an obvious statement, but it is a highly charged and profound one, as was also the case with “Ego”, in which tireless repetition evoked the notorious ego of the artist, taken in that case to the point of tautological paroxysm.

Glòria Picazo