ARTIUM presents the exhibition Times of urgencies, with Pilar Albarracín, Daniel García Andújar, Cristina Lucas and Pepo Salazar
May 17, 2012
The four artists place themselves in the shoes of Picasso, commissioned to produce an apparent “Guernica” inspired by contemporary events.
Times of urgencies. Pilar Albarracín, Daniel García Andújar, Cristina Lucas, Pepo Salazar
Inauguration: Friday, May 18, 8 PM
North Gallery, from May 19 to September 2, 2012
The exhibition catalogue will de published shortly.
Exhibition produced by ARTIUM (Vitoria-Gasteiz)
With the sponsorship of Naturgas Energia, 2012 Euskadi and the Provincial Council of Alava
Activities: Concert by Pepo Salazar. 3rd WW Requiem. Friday, May 18, 9 PM. Free of charge
Friday 18 (International Museum Day), Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May (end of the inaugural week), entry with the You Decide tariff.
More information Press release (pdf)
ARTIUM, Basque Centre-Museum of Contemporary Art, presents the exhibition Times of urgencies, with Pilar Albarracín, Daniel García Andújar, Cristina Lucas and Pepo Salazar (North Gallery, from May 18 to September 2, 2012). The exhibition has been conceived as a continuation of the exhibition Time and urgency (Guernica) by José Ramón Amondarain, and in this show, the artists place themselves in the shoes of Pablo Picasso commissioned to create an apparent “Guernica”, inspired by current events. The result of the four different proposals, very characteristic of the habitual work of each artist, places the iconic and mythical value of the painting by the Malaga-born artist in a contemporary context. Times of urgencies is produced by ARTIUM (Vitoria-Gasteiz), with the sponsorship of Naturgas Energia, 2012 Euskadi and the Provincial Council of Alava.
The title chosen for this exhibition, “Times of urgencies”, refers, on the one hand, to “Time and urgency (Guernica)”, the exhibition conceived as a research project of ARTIUM and José Ramón Amondarain on the Guernica by Pablo Picasso, on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. But it refers especially to the circumstances in which these artists are commissioned to create a preparatory work of an apparent Guernica for the contemporary context.
Picasso received that commission from the government of the Republic in times of war with cruel consequences for the civil population, and today, Pilar Albarracín, Daniel García Andújar, Cristina Lucas and Pepo Salazar have received this commission at a time of economic, social and institutional crisis, “times of urgencies” that have also dealt out harsh consequences for many segments of society. In each case, all of these artists analyse the iconic value of Picasso's painting from a non-pictorial viewpoint.
To highlight the stereotypes in Picasso’s painting, Pilar Albarracín (Seville, 1968), a multidisciplinary artist whose oeuvre is imbued with the aesthetics of Andalusian culture, has focused on the figure of the horse, which has an important presence not only in the “Guernica” but also throughout Picasso's oeuvre. In Zaldikoaren heriotza (the death of Zaldiko in the Basque language), Albarracín converts the head of a horse, a kind of typical adornment, into a museum piece, questioning not only a cultural stereotype but also the situation of art and museums. The horse was, precisely, a motif that interested Picasso even in his earliest works, in which it was given a clearly iconic value. The artist’s proposal is accompanied by a black-and-white film.
On his part, Daniel García Andújar (Almoradí, Alicante, 1966) entitled its contribution to this commission from ARTIUM, Operation Rügen, the name that the German army gave to their mission to bomb Gernika on April 26, 1937 ("rügen" is the German word for punishment). The artist focuses on a historical event and based on his investigation and search for original documents and photographs, has developed a multimedia installation that traces some of the less well-known circumstances of this tragedy which would ultimately inspire Picasso's response to the commission by the Republic. Daniel García Andújar is a major exponent of net-art in Spain and his works reflect upon the role of technologies in today's society and the proliferation of communications channels, and the use made of these, in an ironic and critical manner.
In the case of Cristina Lucas (Jaén 1973), the response to this commission is entitled "From the Sky Down", a video animation in which the historic event of the bombing of Gernika is an example of the punishment of civil populations that has continued tragically throughout the 75 years that have passed since that event. The artist has prepared a cartography and historical review of similar attacks that have occurred since that time. The apparently innocent aesthetics of the works of Cristina Lucas conceals in reality a deeply critical appraisal of the economic and geopolitical powers that be.
The exhibition ends with a sound installation by Pepo Salazar (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1972): 3rd WW Requiem. Just as Picasso responded to the commission by the government of the Republic, based on his own historical context, Salazar responds to the commission by the ARTIUM by exploring the current economic and social situation, which, he states, "is leading us to a devastating process of poverty". His proposal is a Requiem for the social systems and middle classes, a metaphor of the danger of social conflict and of a kind of World War "without military offensives but with fatalities". This work by Pepo Salazar has been created in his customary style, in which he uses a broad repertoire of codes taken from music, subcultures such as punk and artistic movements such as the Avant-garde, Fluxus and Situationism.
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