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Territoris de fricció (“Friction Territories”)

From 4 December 2009 to 17 January 2010.

Curator of the exhibition: Miquel Bardagil

A look from the collection of contemporary art of the Museu d’Art Jaume Morera de Lleida. Valeriano López | Francesc Ruiz | Pauline Fondevila | Javier Peñafiel | Karmelo Bermejo | Dionís Escorsa | La Ribot | Iñaki Àlvarez | Daniel García Andújar | Alícia Framis

Frictions are, rather than a cause, a symptom indicating that certain contradictions exist in a particular area. To consider their existence means to consider the management of relationships with others and our environment, and, consequently, to adopt a critical point of view in a social context. The individual and the society take shape from a particular map of the frictions generated, from a map whose limits are set by divisions and intersections. Giving up critical thought and reflection opens the door to alienation, understood as the failure to comprehend the complexity of the modern world –immersed in the phenomenon of the so-called globalisation. Paradoxically, the society of information is characterised by opacity, which contrasts with its apparent transparency. Excess of information, banality and the control exerted by the economic and political authorities make it difficult for the public to see the contradictions and malfunctions arisen from those relationships.

Within the framework of the complexity of the modern world, Territoris de fricció suggests a reflection on the dynamics involved in social transformations, in both the individual and the collective sphere, and their accompanying processes of opposition, analysis, critical attitude or resistance. Thus, family roles, the individual, the construction of an identity, the influence of social majorities, activism related to the use of public space, the human body, control over information technologies, manipulation of the immigration phenomenon, the social role of leisure and gender-based violence constitute some of this “Friction Territories”. .

In his work Miedo (“Fear”) (2001), Iñaki Àlvarez brings up the issue of the individual’s internal fracture, which is expressed through the feeling of fear. In an intimate atmosphere, he shows us the physical and emotional fragility that becomes a barrier to our relationships with others and our environment, as well as the scars and memories that endure through time.

Karmelo Bermejo addresses the topic of the use of public space in Aportación matérica para la estatua. Diez kilos de bronce fueron añadidos a la estatua del lehendakari Aguirre (“Material Provision for the Statue. Ten kilos of bronze were added to the statue of lehendakari Aguirre”) (2005). In this work he questions the presence of symbols and the use of art within the framework of a society characterised by excess. He resorts to redundancy by adding more material – in this case, 10 kilos of bronze – that stress the overabundance that is inherent in modern society.

Dionís Escorsa shows us a post-war landscape, that of Belgrade after NATO’s bombing, in Room Service For Bombed Buildings (2004). Through the upset daily lives of a group of people who clean up a building that has been damaged by the bombs, he tells us about memory and oblivion, about energy, about the wounds and the scars of a society that must rethink itself as well as its spaces.

In Viaje a Gijón II (“Trip to Gijón II”) (2006) Pauline Fondevila takes us near the world of young people through icons of the trendy music we may have listened to on the radio, a world built on sweet and bitter dreams of hope and uncertainty, which is between poetry and reality.

Alícia Framis captures, in her work Secret Strike Lleida. 5 min. pensando en ella (“Secret Strike Lleida. 5 min. Thinking of Her”) (2005) a street action against gender-based violence in which she underlines the need for mobilisation against sexist dynamics, in a society where the old ideal of equality can only be achieved by constant struggle.

Daniel García Andújar raises the issue of information control in the relatively new Web field. Technoligies To The People NetArt Classics Collections (1999) is a defence of freedom and also a reflection upon the dynamism of the new forms of expression (the Web) as opposed to the more traditional forms of Arts.

La Ribot’s work deals with the universe of the human body. Another pa amb tomàquet (2001) shows us the artist’s naked body from a subjective point of view as it goes through the ritual of several foods being frenetically rubbed on it – a ritual marked by aggressiveness, self-discipline and body language.

Valierano López presents a modern day version of the traditional story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin in Confabulación (“Fabled Plot”) (2007) in order to address the issue of immigrant minors –one of the most vulnerable social groups. The Pied Piper’s cynicism in his playing ‘Ode to Joy’ – originally a hymn to freedom- lucidly reflects Europe’s current situation.

Javier Peñafiel discusses the subject of identity in Adivina estos dibujos (“Guess These Drawings”) (2003) and Familia plural vigilante (“Plural Watching Family”) (2005). In the first of these projects we can watch a video showing an amusing dialogue about the composition of the artist’s work and his personality, with a hint of irony on the social use of statistics –where any definition of identity eventually fades out. In the second one we can see the exchange of looks and attitudes between a group of characters set on a scene , which are isolated and, at the same time, united. It points out the highly ironic ambiguity in the relationship between adult and child characters . The definition and construction of an identity emerge as problematic issues.

In Up & Down Francesc Ruiz takes us to a nightlife environment, a universe made up of little individual and collective stories in a society in which fun has a lot to do with social status, the dynamics of consumption and spaces of freedom.

Miquel Bardagil

Organised by: ACVIC. Centre d'Art / Ajuntament de Vic / Generalitat de Catalunya. Departament de Cultura i Mitjans de Comunicació / H.Associació per a les Arts Contemporànies / Museu d'Art Jaume Morera / Ajuntament de Lleida

With the collaboration of: Centre d'Art la Panera

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