Mal Pelo. Before the Words: Temporary Shelter
“Before the Words: Temporary Shelter”, is an open and shared reflection with the Mal Pelo collective. For the third time in its career of over 30 years, Mal Pelo has articulated a de-located staging that accentuates and pushes the concept of “exhibition”, expanding their invitation to the bodies of those visiting the museum galleries. Isn’t the greatest exhibition the one that encompasses bodies? Aren’t we always being exposed to something?
This exhibition is the result of a working process carried out over various phases. The first was done in the Mal Pelo creation space, called L’animal a l’esquena [Animal on Your Back], while the second took place in the museum. In fact, ways of understanding the institution itself have also been driven to the limit, thinking of ways to inhabit and conceive it from the perspective of creation.
The project’s potentiality lies in the visualisation of bodies in exhibition, absolute, free and wild; here, exhibition is taken in the most radical, poetic and violent sense of the word. In this way, the show becomes a receiving place, a shelter, run through by parallel universes that temporarily live somewhere else. A shelter opening up to dynamics that tend to infuse other spaces, a receptor of personal memories arising from close contact.
The Mal Pelo collective, with co-directors Pep Ramis and María Muñoz, is a creative group in the performing arts characterised by shared authorship, something that is neither straightforward nor overly common; along with the question of bodies, it is one of the pending challenges of our time. Since 1989, they have developed their own artistic language through movement and the creation of dramaturgies featuring text, original soundtracks, constructed spaces and unique devices, or just as well the use of light and audio-visual resources as vibrant elements on stage.
In this setting, Mal Pelo has found an ideal place, depositing in it the need to experiment, question and share common subjects and life interests: love, time, relationships, conflict and death, amongst others. In Mal Pelo’s way of thinking about works for the stage, this set of features points to an unusual quality, to a difference or movement in relation to themselves, something that distances them from being able to be considered as mere objects. We refer to a kind of double nature whereby a chair, a plant or an animal, whether in physical form or in representation, might require us to ask the question: subject or object?
Delving into their universe leads us to an experience where time, bodies and spaces are multiplied, especially as they allow for the presence of other memories. The presence-absence dichotomy gives rise to a shared score, where everything moves with autonomy and permeability. With this, the group of creators proposes a common space derived from the idea of unfolding, where this time bodies appear without being, inviting our bodies to come and settle as well. Incessant rhythm, movement and reverberation, together accentuating the potential arising from the idea of community.