Where are we going?
This exhibition forms part of a trilogy revolving around the context of the Mediterranean immersed in unresolved individual and collective contradictions: political and social transformations that represent a change of a global nature and question the idea of frontier, altering the models of identity and management of the conflicts of a continuous present marked by migration and diaspora. Different creators and thinkers have dealt with these subjects – now openly – in the history of contemporary art, from a more encrypted angle.
In 2015 it was “La Mer au Milieu des Terres // Mare Medi Terraneum”, an exhibition curated by Cécile Bourne-Farrell; the following year, “Waste Lands”, directed by Piedad Solans, and in 2017 we present the project developed by the curator Sonia Becce, who has, on the basis of works of a pronouncedly conceptual nature, carried in new significances and questions about displacements. Becce, a great connoisseur of the work of Félix González-Torres, whose proposals influenced several generations of artists, has researched these issues to give rise to this exhibition device presented under the title of “Where are we going?”.
Text by the curator Sonia Becce
One may think of human beings as “subject to frontiers”, since right from birth they are driven to cross them either for their own pleasure, because they are forced to by nature or pressured by diverse situations. Birth is a great inaugural act that transcends the physical and symbolic barrier between dependency and self-sufficiency, an act by which one abandons the stability of a homeostatic atmosphere for the vicissitudes of a world that has everything except equilibrium. Later on in life, another limit is transposed over and over – that of the home. The door that opens and closes behind you, leaving your personal universe behind you, with the safety of your own things, the familiar, the private, to give way to the unpredictable meeting of other people, other worlds, the political and the public.
The sentence “Where are we going?” may refer to the question we repeat, as citizens, when faced with the misgivings caused by the political decisions that affect us or – another possibility – to what, alarmed by the urgent climatic catastrophe we are obviously responsible for, we ask ourselves, shattered, regarding the future of the planet, or we could imagine that the question is the one asked by an individual, a group who have met up by chance or a family, when they start to conceive of flight, escape, leaving the places where they belong, urged on by wars, social violence, economic unrest or in search of a better destiny.
For a long time now the world has witnessed migratory movements between countries where life is worth little or nothing to others where one can at least imagine that existence has a certain degree of dignity. The desperate attempts to reach other territories, to cross that imaginary limit imposed by geopolitics, causes thousands and thousands of deaths, a terrifying scenario witnessed every day from the safe coasts of first-world countries.
The works included in the exhibition deal with questioning the identity and methods of recognition of the individual, question the scopes of the country and state as custodians of personal freedoms, delve into fictional or real documents as testimonies of wars in different latitudes or bear witness to solitary or group migrant traffic as a tool of self-knowledge or a last hope.
This exhibition proposes a polyphonic conversation between videos, installations, photographs and documents, belonging to artists with extremely diverse origins. Ergin Çavuşo ğlu (Targovishte, Bulgaria, 1968), Félix González-Torres (Guaimaro, Cuba,1957- Miami,1996), Carmela Gross (São Paulo, 1946), Paulo Nazareth (Governador Valadares, Brazil, 1977), Núria Güell (Vidreres, Gerona, 1981) and Walid Raad-The Atlas Group (Chbanieh, Lebanon, 1967), activate an imaginary dialogue and call for discernment of the reasons why individuals move, struggle or risk everything – even their lives and those of their loved ones – for ideals, fatalities or simply out of desperation.