Through the looking glass Joan Fontcuberta

joan fontcuberta 1Through the looking glass
Joan Fontcuberta


Opening Thursday, December at 19.30 h.

ACVic presents the exhibition Through the looking glass by Joan Fontcuberta in collaboration with Digital Nights. This exhibition gathers two works in which the artist uses  resources offered by the internet . Titled Googlegrams and Reflectograms, these works propose to reflect on the importance and  increasing use of images, the proliferation of artists, as well as the potential for broadcast and viral dispersion, all of which are growing exponentially with the use of  social networks.

With Googlegrams Fontcuberta constructs contemporary iconographic compositions using the browser Google. Close up, it can be appreciated that these compositions are made up of  a mosaic of thousands of images, thematically related with the resulting composition. In the exhibition viewers can create their own compositions and incorporate them in the exhibition through a projection.

collects from the internet self-portraits by people taking their own picture in the mirror, for uploading to and spreading among social networks. It consists of an overlaid projection of specular self-portraits which transforms the exhibition space, through the confluence of multiple projections, into a saturated stage where a spectacle of overflowed subjectivity occurs. The viewers can add their portrait to the exhibition with a  camera and software provided on the premises.

Joan Fontcuberta considers there are two types of photographs, decorative, and those that” make you think “. From his earliest works he has chosen the second kind. And as he said in  his recent lecture included in the cycle Digital Nights in Vic, but thinking of what?. This is the challenge and the starting point of each of his works, to articulate a set of images that drive the viewer, observer or user towards certain subjects in order to question, discuss or simply reflect upon them.

When the images multiply and multiply, the reflections must  be considered  from the outset of a significant sample. In this case the Internet is the media and the message. A multiplier media and a message that sometimes reaches us filtered (in the case of Google) or saturated (in the case of social networks). Our view is conditioned by these mechanisms. An image can make us think. The multiplication of images does not make us think harder in proportion to number. On the contrary,  it stuns and  intoxicate us.

The artist places us in front of a mirror in which  a reality saturated with visual information is reflected,  a subversive way to exercise social control . The excess of information drives away  our capacity to concentrate, to reflect, to think. This is one of the subjects consider in the exhibition. Fontcuberta explains other subjects  and relationships in the following texts:



The Internet has disseminated the notion of a universal and democratic memory , exhaustive and accessible to everyone, fulfilling the dream of the "noösphere" preached by Vernadsky and Teilhard de Chardin. The Googlegrams examine the extent to which  this utopia is not so  far away from becoming a reality.

Currently, different softwares products make use of photomosaic, a technique of digital illustration used in  design and advertising since the mid= nineties. A photomosaic is a
technique by  which an image-model is composed through a reticular structure of small image-models. At a certain distance we recognize the original, but a closer look allows us to appreciate that original is composed by a multiplicity of images. The photomosaic constitutes therefore a species of perceptive palimpsest.

With the Googlegrams some images which can be considered icons of our times are reworked through this resource, but it is necessary to connect to the web so the programme can locate through Google,the reference browser,all the disposable images according to a certain search criteria. This process allows
a relationship to be established  (poetics, dialectics, politics, etc) between the search terms and the matrix image, and between the search terms and the images associated with them at the fixed moment of the search.

The device mobilises, then, in an uncontrolled way for the operator, the logical accidents (polysemys, homonymy, superimposition of languages...) and the censorship and filters that the browser also surreptitiously imposes.

Mirrors and cameras is a work which describes the panoptic and scopic character of our society : everything is given to an absolute vision and all of us are guided by the pleasure of viewing.
With the proliferation of digital cameras and their incorporation into mobile phones a new extremely popular genre of images has turned up, as evidenced in blogs and forums on the net : numerous self-portraits taken by youngsters and teenagers in front of the mirror (in which to close the perceptive circle the camera itself appears as a recording device ). Mirrors in intimate spaces like baths, student rooms , hotels, club toilets and other leisure premises , fitting rooms of clothes shops, car rear-view mirrors , elevators...
In these photos the ludic and selfexploratory character prevails over  memory. Self photography and the dissemination of these images through social networks is part of a seduction game  and of the rituals of communication of new urban subcultures.


February 3rd at 6:30pm
With collaboration of Universitat de Vic.
Open activity
Location: Sala Mercè Torrents, Edifici C. Campus Miramarges de la Universitat de Vic

by Tanit Plana.
January 29th, February 5th and February 12th 2011 from 10am to 1pm.
Workshop fee 75 eur. One session 25 eur.
Location: ACVic Centre d’Arts Contemporànies. C. Sant Francesc, 1 Vic.

by Tanit Plana.
February 28th to March 3rd 2011, from 10am to 1pm. (setmana blanca).
Workshop fee 100 eur. One session 25 eur.
Location: ACVic Centre d’Arts Contemporànies. C. Sant Francesc, 1 Vic.

by Miquel Bigas.
February 19th 2011 from 10am to 1pm.
Workshop fee 25 eur.
Location: La Farinera, Centre d’Arts Visuals de Vic. C. Bisbe Morgades, 15 Vic.

10% discount in all workshops for members of H. Associació per a les Arts Contemporànies.
More info and registrations at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – tel. 938 853 704

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