AIGUA SOBRE POLS (Water on dust)
Curated by Caterina Almirall and Margot Cuevas
Natalia Domínguez (L’Escocesa)
Paula García-Masedo (Hangar)
Biel Llinàs (Fabra i Coats)
Violeta Mayoral (Hangar)
Clouds are water on atmospheric dust, an aerosol made up mainly of water evaporating from the oceans that can turn back into water in the form of rain, stone, or snow. Clouds are also the visible state of water vapor when it condenses into droplets or glass. Etymologically the word nube is linked to the idea of covering, this implies that from the Latin nubes also means veil, that which covers both a face and the sky. Aigua sobre pols(Water on dust) is a program that brings together four installations that share notions around these meanings.
The four artists in Aigua sobre pols (Water on dust) rehearse different ways of understanding and occupying a space. Pointing, collecting, hiding, falling, measuring, folding… In all of them, the gesture articulates the relationship with some aspect of spatiality. They involve us in each proposal by paying attention to how we move in this space, how we move through it, how we occupy it, how it contains us. The dialogue between them takes place in each of us and around us, like a choreography. The concatenation of gestures mobilizes us inward, to the intimacy of memory, and outward, beyond the pre-established limits. With strategies as intuitive as they are pragmatic, with exact measurements, or with theoretical approximations, they invite us to explore qualities and aspects that make the experience in a given place meaningful. This place can be specific like the pavilion premises or our own body, abstract like memory or imagination, or ethereal, like a cloud.
The Ephemeral 2022 program presents a selection of installation works that aims to offer a curated look at Barcelona’s artistic production. The program is curated by Caterina Almirall and Margot Cuevas, with the collaboration of the Barcelona Creation Factories: Hangar, L’Escocesa and Fabra i Coats.
Biel Llinàs is concerned with space, specifically with the cost of space and the possibility of occupying it and, consequently, with our way of inhabiting it. He talks about the precariousness and materiality of our lives in reduced spaces, sometimes too small or too expensive. In the specific case of the fair, he wonders about the value of the space he has been given, a market value that he contrasts with the creation of his work.
Swab Art Fair takes place in a city affected by a serious housing crisis caused by the commodification of housing at the hands of vulture funds, large landlords and real estate agencies. In this context, space goes from container to content, from a basic right to a product of speculation. Biel Llinàs’ proposal is based on two shared units of measurement: the € and the m². It is a dialectic installation formed by TVs, models and found materials that reflect on binomials such as container/content, density/diaphanity, horizontality/verticality. From a situated perspective, the trade fair stand becomes an interstice between the problem of creation and the creation of the problem.
Biel Llinàs works mainly in a specific way focusing on the city, the work space or the space he inhabits. He is interested in investigating the links between space, the individual and experience, from a critical and multidisciplinary perspective, questioning the common places we inhabit, consume and produce on a daily basis.
Natalia Domínguez explores from the installation and the object the notion of landscape, understanding it as a by-product of human activity. In this case she focuses on the cloud as an element of the landscape to insist on the formal and conceptual possibilities of abstract materialities, the corporeality of which resists to be domesticated. It is precisely this resistance that interests her: elements that are apparently impossible to trap physically. With ST (parachute) she has found in the fall a form of liberation from material as well as meaning. ST (parachute) is a parachute that has lost its function by being hooked to a structure. The shapes of the bags and the folds of the fabric refer to the rounded and pompous body of a cloud, an element that we cannot seem to contain.
Its gesture is that of something that rushes, like the cloud when condensation reaches its point and falls as rain, in a process of constant transformation of matter. The way to occupy space with an ethereal body is to understand its movement, in this case the cloud as something that is in constant transformation, a process and not an object.
Natalia Domínguez’s practice is mainly sculptural, from sculpture she works on issues related to language and meanings, the generation of symbols, codes and communicative abstractions. She understands language as something that flows, the limits of which are flexible and liquid. According to the artist “if language is a social pact, it is malleable, changeable and, consequently, chameleonic”.
Paula García-Masedo presents a series of recent works in the form of translucent surfaces to which she incorporates flowers and plants that she has collected on walks around the village where she has lived for the last year. She knows the name of each flower and the singularity of each box. Objects of containment, in their opacity they keep or hide. Her gesture is to collect, join, gather and fold the material at the precise moment when it is neither too hard nor too soft, neither too liquid nor too thick, renouncing to be perfect, but still very minimalist.
In 01/07/2021 – 20/07/2021, the space she proposes is that of the landscape, the thin translucent layers sown with almost invisible flowers are the memory of the meadows, like a vanitas, a reminder that life is finite, a sign of the transitory condition of these lives that are also ours. She proposes that we relate to the world on a human scale, collecting what fits between the palms of our hands, no more, water and skin.
She has lived and worked for the last year in a rural environment, developing a practice that is very close to everyday life and its ethics, she approaches the notions of transience and interdependence in the artistic process and its sculptural expression. She is particularly interested in the materiality and aesthetic capacity of objects to shape specific ways of living. From here he has worked on post-industrial culture and the painting of cars, to the return to the rural world and plants.
Violeta Mayoral proposes an escape. She points to a point outside the usual frame of vision, yet in full view of the world. She invites us to direct our gaze upwards, as a way of, by rotating our head, also rotating our understanding of the world around us. Together, we activate a vertical movement that blurs the space around us. It sets everything in place so that we can be the gesture and come out of ourselves. With our gesture and our gaze we generate a sky-earth axis, an axis that holds up the blue dot, a vanishing point that pierces the roof of the pavilion and projects beyond, to the celestial dome.
The sky dome is a mental construction that we create when we look at the sky. The blue sphere is not intended to be observed by anyone in particular or by a specific point of view, diverting the centrality of the gaze and questioning the way in which we perceive space and the objects that occupy it. The blue dot invites us to get out of the image, out of the subjection to which perspective keeps us bound. When we stop looking at it, it will cease to exist, it will slip away and fall into silence.
Violeta Mayoral is a multidisciplinary artist, she uses photography as a space of autonomy, to enter and leave the image, from what is performative, installative or sculptural as a metaphor of the gaze. In her work she frequently asks herself about the frames of vision that make up the image.
The practice of Biel Llinàs (Felanitx, 1994) develops between artistic creation, research and mediation, exploring the intersections between space, individual and experience. His proposals usually have a situated component, which involves a process of listening and dialogue with the territories where they unfold. From a critical and multidisciplinary perspective, especially marked by painting, he questions those common places (urban, architectural, cultural…) that we inhabit, consume and produce at a time marked by digitalization, performance and precariousness.
He has received residency and research grants from institutions such as San Andreu Contemporani, Homesession, Art Jove IB, Es Far Cultural, La Escocesa, Fabra i Coats, Unzip, the CCCB and MACBA and has exhibited in spaces such as La Capella, Centre d’Art Tecla Sala, the CCCB, the Torre Muntadas Art Center, the Casal Solleric, the Museu de Pollença, the Manacor Museum and the Felantix Cultural Center. Internationally, highlights include his participation in Primal Distance, Looking Forward (London), the JCE Biennale d’Art Contemporain 2019/21, a solo exhibition Shades of White, a Kulturni Centar Magacin (Belgrade, Serbia).
He is a founding member of NAAG Collective and has developed several projects with Ada Fuentes. He lives in Barcelona since 2012, where he works in a 5.5 m² domestic workshop. He is currently a resident at Fabra i Coats Fábrica de creación and is a PhD student at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the UB, analyzing the intersections between artistic practices and architecture when questioning the idea of the global city.
Natalia Domínguez (Jerez de la Frontera, 1990) has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Granada, has studied at the Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Tilburg, Holland, and has completed a Master in Research and Artistic Production at the Universitat Politècnica de València. She is currently an artist in residence at La Escocesa. In 2022 she has inaugurated the solo exhibitions ¿Existe la montaña? (a project developed together with Carlos Aparicio) at Mèdol Centre d’Arts Contemporànies in Tarragona and Una forma incontrolable at FACBA’22 Festival in Granada.
In 2021 she was awarded in the Premis Sala d’Art Jove, Premis Barcelona 2020 and FACBA’22. She has previously enjoyed the BilbaoArte Foundation’s 2020 Production Aid, the OSIC (Generalitat de Catalunya) Scholarships for research and innovation in the field of visual arts and has been part of the residency programs Hangar Barcelona, Snetha Residency (Athens), and UAVA/C3A Production Program at the Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, the BilbaoArte Foundation and El Ranchito Brasil – Matadero Madrid/AECID residency program, among others. Her work has also been awarded in the XXXIV Muestra de Arte Joven en La Rioja, the INICIAR-TE Program, the III Convocatòria Sala d’Arcs for exhibition project of the Fundació Chirivella Soriano and the XIV Certamen Internacional d’Arts Plàstiques del CEC.
Since 2014 her works and projects have been on view, among other centers and galleries, at ARCO’22, Matadero Madrid, PIVÔ Brasil, Blueproject Foundation, La Capella Barcelona, CAC Málaga, CAAC Sevilla and C3A Córdoba.
Paula García-Masedo has an installative approach to sculpture. Her practice incorporates existing materials from their situated condition, to pay attention to their technological, genealogical, affective and vital chains, and to the particular policities of the territories and ways of living and feeling in which they occur.
She studied the Independent Studies Program at MACBA and Architecture at the Universidad Politècnica de Madrid. She has presented her work at Casa Encendida (Madrid), CentroCentro (Madrid), CA2M (Madrid), Batalla (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), Bapore Atelier (Balmaseda, Bizkaia), Blueproject Foundation (Barcelona), Fabra y Coats (Barcelona), Centre Cívic Sant Andreu (Barcelona) or Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Madrid. She co-founded and co-directed until 2022 the independent space Pols (Valencia). She has curated exhibitions at CentroCentro (Madrid), the Liga DF (Mexico City) and Monoambiente (Buenos Aires) galleries, and the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid. She is a university lecturer, writes regularly and has published two books with Caniche editorial.
Violeta Mayoral (Almería, 1988) is an artist based in Barcelona. She studied Communication Theory at the UB (Barcelona) with a mention in Semiotics and Image Theory at UNAM (DF, Mexico) thanks to the Iberoamerica scholarship. Her work is currently represented by etHall gallery in Barcelona, and she is an artist-in-residence at Hangar.org Center for Production and Research. He has shown his work at the Joan Miró Foundation, the Reina Sofía Museum, the Center for Contemporary Creation of Andalusia C3A, Sala de Arte Joven in Madrid, the Art Nou Bcn festival, etHall gallery and at contemporary art fairs SWAB and Arte Santander. She has also published on the platforms Lateral Addittion (Philadelphia), Atmos (Montevideo) and A-DESK (Barcelona) among others. She has taught at Casa Encendida (Madrid) and in the En Residència program (Barcelona).