April 24, 2019 - Catalonia in Venice - Marcel Borràs: Catalonia in Venice_To Lose Your Head (Idols)
April 24, 2019

Catalonia in Venice

Marcel Borràs, She appropriates in present, 2019. Performance rehearsal with Marta Aguilar. Photo: Lluís Tudela.

Marcel Borràs
Catalonia in Venice_To Lose Your Head (Idols)
Collateral event of the 58th Venice Biennale
May 11–November 24, 2019

Performance: May 8–10, She appropriates in present, registration required*
Opening: May 10, 6pm

Cantieri Navali
Fondamenta Quintavalle, Castello 40

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Artists: Marcel Borràs, with Albert García-Alzórriz and the collaboration of Perejaume, Francesc Torres, David Bestué, Lúa Coderch, Lola Lasurt and Daniela Ortiz.

Commissioned and produced by the Institut Ramon Llull, the public institution that promotes Catalan Language and Culture abroad, Catalonia in Venice_To lose your head (idols) is a multi-authored exhibition curated by Pedro Azara with the artist and performer Marcel Borràs.

The exhibition explores the theory of art reception and documents the complex life of statues that have evoked physical reactions, both passionate and outraged. In a world of images, iconoclasm and iconodulia, this exhibition questions the fetishism of images as living entities that encourage powerful conversations as a way to foster human happiness or exasperation. Supported by four main pillars: performance, video works, an artist's book and an archive, and accompanied by references to poetry, literature, theatre and architecture, the exhibition documents cases in which statues from public spaces have the power to change their meaning despite their author and commissioner’s will or the passage of time and space.

The ambitious performances of Marcel Borràs, whose explorations of identity have made him one of the most renowned theatre and film artists in Catalonia, will bring the power of images to a territory where representation, action and word play a fundamental role. With Marta Aguilar, the human statue actress, She appropriates in present is a performance that will relive and contextualise, both historically and aesthetically, the experiences of statues in the exhibition. The performance will be complemented by the interactive sculpture E.Y.M: (a f****** vending machine), a response to the work which will take on its own identity.

With the documentary, EYES/EYES/EYES/EYES, Albert García-Alzórriz will present the statues examined by the exhibition, focusing on the ambivalence of image, matter and subjectivity of naturalist images expressly created for public spaces. The space design by architect Tiziano Schürch is also inspired by the murky, disturbing and devastating impressions left after a visit to a municipal storehouse to search for monuments that have been removed from public space. The worn, mutilated, profaned and irrecoverable statues offer a poignant reminder of the complexity of life.

Catalonia in Venice_To Lose Your Head (Idols) and Pedro Azara's curatorial research will culminate in an artist’s book published by Tenov publishing house, in which six of the most relevant artists in Catalonia across different generations reflect on the power of images. With designs, illustrations, poems and essays, David Bestué, Lúa Coderch, Lola Lasurt, Daniela Ortiz, Perejaume and Francesc Torres will explore how concepts such as iconodulia, iconolatry and iconoclasm are confronted with the history of public art and perception of art.

“… and the statues want to die. The stone, wrenched from stones, material that is then cut, molded or cast, constrained into an imposed form, wants to return to its mineral reign. Statues are artificial bodies. Like strange beings that ignite passions, desires and fears. Statues dominate us. They expose what we do not always want to see. We plead with them or we decapitate them. Desperate before their disdain, or grateful for their unexpected revelation, we react, by thanking them—or by serving them their final coup de grâce. Before statues, our idols, we lose the forms—and we disfigure them—so that they don't look at us anymore, so that they no longer see us reflected in their eyes.”
–Pedro Azara, curator

For further information, please contact:
Enrichetta Cardinale at Pickles PR
enrichetta [​at​] picklespr.com

*Performance takes place May 8 at 5pm, May 9 at 12pm at 5pm, May 10 at 12pm. Register at idols [​at​] llull.cat

Catalonia in Venice
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