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MANICOMIO INÈDIT

ExpoXevidom brExhibition of Xevidom
12.05 – 18.06.2022

Exhibition opening, Thursday, May 12th at 7 p.m.
At ACVIC Centre d'Arts Contemporànies (Sant Francesc, 1 Vic)

 

Ilustration: XeviDom

 


I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allan Poe

The first time I read Manicomio (Asylum), I was coming back from Barcelona by train. Carried away by the soporific movement of the carriages, there was nothing more around me than Clara and her world. Arriving at Vic station, I had changed; a work of art is capable of transforming us, of making us change.

This exhibition shows the book’s original illustrations, and mainly illustrations that form part of unpublished sequences created during the nine years that have passed since the presentation of the project at La Cúpula. Manicomio is drawn in glorious black and white, and deploys a narrative that hooks the reader from the very beginning. The cover drawing, with Clara tied down to the bed, communicates intimately with the final illustration, where the ropes have already come undone, and the chrysalis has become a butterfly; diptych of hope and rebirth, the candle that burns at both ends. In this work, Xevi shares authorship in tandem with Montse to offer us a brave, necessary story that invites us to look in the mirror, because in reality, Clara is all of us.

Manicomio is dedicated to one of the subjects that most affects our society, namely that of mental health. The spectrum of mental disorders is huge and confusing, and advances in science and technology allow for effective treatment for those affected, but it is not enough. One way or another, we are all involved in mental health, which is why raising awareness of this complex theme is so important. A misunderstood word or a hasty diagnosis can determine the course of a person's life. From now on, one of the most valuable weapons we will have to fight against the stigma, and to - in the words of the author - build up from the base, forming part of the solution, not of the problem, will be this graphic novel, signed by Montse Batalla and Xevidom.

I have rarely seen a psychotic break explained with the sensitivity displayed by Xevi and Montse. Xevi's pen-strokes, the poetry of Montse's text, the dynamic movement, the contrast of light and shadow, the harm done to Clara's mind due to a lack of empathy with her primary caregivers, and so many more details to be uncovered in a reading. This comic is not just the sum of two talents, it is an ode to hope, to the inner work that we must do, to understand who we are. 

Robert Jové


Xevi Domínguez “Xevidom” (Vic, 1972) has dedicated himself to illustration since he was very young, first with commissions and collaborations in local magazines, and since 2003 he has been working professionally with Estudi Xevidom, fulfilling commissions for clients such as Vicens Vives, Edicions 62, the Generalitat de Catalunya, TV3, or the Festival Nits de Cinema Oriental, for which he has designed the mascot since its inception, almost 20 years ago. In the field of comics, in 2010 he won, together with his partner Montse Batalla, 1st place in the Serra i Moret Citizenship Prize. This artistic couple is responsible for comics in the series En Pau, l’Arnau i l’Anna, from the Generalitat’s Revetlles amb Precaució public safety campaign (2010-2011). In 2019, his most personal work was published, Manicomio (Ediciones La Cúpula), which took nine years to complete. His latest book is On és l’Estel·la? Història de Catalunya (Comanegra, 2022).

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