October 17, 2020 - Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Center of Barcelona - Fall 2020 exhibitions
October 17, 2020

Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Center of Barcelona

[1] Francesc Serra i Dimas, Fabra i Coats. Cabdell de fil [Ball of Thread], 1930s–1940s. Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona. [2] Deize Tigrona in Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Bete & Deise, 2012. Still from the digital video, 41 minutes. [3] James N. Kienitz Wilkins, This Action Lies, 2018. Digital video, sound, 32 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève – Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2018. All stills © Automatic Moving Co. [4] Wendelien van Oldenborgh, No False Echoes, 2008. Still from the three-channel video installation with acoustic panels.

Fall 2020 exhibitions
October 17, 2020–January 17, 2021

Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Center of Barcelona
C/ Sant Adrià, 20
08030 Barcelona Catalonia
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 12–8pm,
Sunday 11am–3pm

T +34 932 56 61 55

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From October 17 2020 to January 17 2021, Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona will host two exhibitions, Things Things Say, a group show, and tone tongue mouth, a retrospective of artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh. Both explain what it means to have or not have a voice, to be part of, or not, official narratives. By allocating the voice or speaking, by owning or constructing a narrative, we witness the legitimisation or neutralisation of historical, labour and social realities.

Things Things Say 
Adrià Julià, Annette Kelm, James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Sarah Ortmeyer, Eulàlia Rovira, Francesc Serra i Dimas, Stuart Whipps, Haegue Yang; meaningful things from the Friends of Fabra i Coats archive.

Do you trust things to write human history? To speak on behalf of natural history? When do trivial details become vital? Things Things Say springs from the past of Fabra i Coats—an industrial complex once dedicated to the manufacturing of cotton thread. Taking on the genre of the ‘it-narrative’ in 18th century English literature—as well as the approaches of object journalism and microhistory—the exhibition tacks back-and-forth between exceptionally normal things and the extraordinary global narratives of labour, obsolescence, and the industrialisation of nature, that they trigger.

The Kipper and the Corpse (2004–ongoing) by Stuart Whipps centres on a restored British Leyland Mini from 1979, and the demise of the Longbridge car factory in Birmingham, UK. Haegue Yang’s VIP’s Union (2001–2020) consists of a gathering of furniture on loan from very important people: prominent figures from local society, including a retired factory worker and a notable Catalan politician. James N. Kienitz Wilkins presents This Action Lies (2018), a film that focuses intensely on a single white foam coffee cup from Dunkin’ Donuts. Eulàlia Rovira is creating a new work during the exhibition. A Knot Which is Not (2020–2021) enlists art things and things in the world. She doubts their reticence, trusts that they mean what they say, but not that they say what they mean.

Curator: Latitudes (Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna)

Production: Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona

tone tongue mouth.
Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Tone tongue mouth is Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s first international retrospective. The three words of the title disassemble the elements that together configure a voice sliding from remoteness to closeness. The tone, recognisable from afar but yet without semantic content; the tongue [1], a visceral organ but also a political-linguistic construct, and the mouth, the site of embodied enunciation. This juxtaposition speaks of the intention to unpack the coming into being of voice. At a macro scale, addressing a body of work, the exhibition intends to make the progressive shaping of Van Oldenborgh’s voice visible through her singular methodology and language. At a micro scale, that of each individual work, tone tongue mouth focuses on the political efficacy of strategies related to how voices are conjured up and handled, stressing the polyphonic construction of narratives and foregrounding the underexplored role of musical composition in her work.

These two scales are in fact intimately entangled. In the case of Van Oldenborgh the place from which to speak with legitimacy, the singularity of her language, is found by   multiplying it, by making it other and plural through the aggregation of voices and agencies. She does not direct films but rather sets them up as frameworks of hospitality in which subjects, stories, and materials are summoned for a collective exorcising of colonial, ideological, racial, and class inheritances that otherwise keep on reproducing themselves inadvertently.

Curator: Anna Manubens

Production: Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona and CA2M, Centro de Arte dos de mayo, Móstoles, Madrid.

[1] In Spanish and Catalan the word “lengua” or “llengua” means both tongue and language.

Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Center of Barcelona
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