Why do I dress in black if I love life so much? Teresa Matas. A review based on contemporaneity
Es Baluard presents a review of the work of the artist Teresa Matas, based on the selection of essential pieces for understanding an introspective labour of searching from the self, amidst fragility and strength. The artist, who has been active since the ‘seventies, has had an independent career removed from all classification, passing through different formats and techniques.
To take one step forward, to get ahead of a certain context, of a certain situation, of a fracture. With her face uncovered, her body in a state of alertness, the bruise and the gun grip. With her hands holding back, moving forward, embracing, blocking, preventing passage or facilitating it. This is the body and the face of a woman that — even though her eyes are indiscernible — is looking at us, at the future and at that past that coexists with our present when the colour black is synonymous with death and only art and love can challenge them or, at least, help us to make their impact on us less destructive.
Teresa Matas (who was born by chance in Tortosa in 1947) is a prolific and intense creator who has lived in Majorca since she was a child, developing there her professional and family life. In Es Baluard’s program, within the framework of our line of historiographical review of the Balearic context, there is an annual show aimed to analyze and visualize individual and collective examples of reference in the contemporary artistic practices of our close environment. After the exhibitions dedicated to José Manuel Broto, Rafel Joan and Rafa Forteza, it is finally the turn of a woman, Teresa Matas, whose work has had an influence both in our immediate environment and elsewhere.
The artist has carried out a large number of national and international projects, and many still remember the retrospective of her work held at Casal Solleric, organized by the Balearic Government in collaboration with Palma City Council, covering her oeuvre from 1991 to 2006 or her most recent show in Germany at the Kunst Galerie Fürth in 2016.
Her body of work, with a marked interdisciplinary character, includes textile installations, paintings, photomontages, ceramics, sculptures, drawings, the use of the text, performances, videos, as well as proposals in the public space. The current project is a much needed reflection on a work that began in the seventies with drawing and painting and which, in a completely personal way, has gradually embraced experimentation with objects and intimate, marginal actions that do away with the materials and accord value to the ephemeral action and to the relationship with the viewer.
In line with this diversity, the project at Es Baluard is addressed from a choral and participatory point of view, integrating different generations of female curators — both those that have worked with her for many years and are of a like mind with the artist, and a younger group, less personally close to her. This approach aims to open up to us new perspectives and ways into Matas’ work. Through the current exhibition design, her work reveals that all times can be contemporaneous and that our movement through physical spaces follows interchangeable routes, like parallel realities or prophecies from a past that was preparing for the future.