Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma presents «Mal Pelo. Before the Words. Temporary Shelter» 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.
The project, curated by Mal Pelo in dialogue with Imma Prieto, opens to the public on March 10th at 7 p.m. and will be on view in the Exhibition Hall A of Es Baluard Museu from March 11th to August 28th, 2022. Furthermore, the Museum organizes an exclusive visit for Members of Es Baluard with the artists on March 10th at 6 p.m.
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.
Imma Prieto, Es Baluard Museu director, says: “The process that we have generated with Mal Pelo collective is part of one of the lines of research on, in and from the institution-museum. The experience generated with Mal Pelo helps us to think in relation to the institution. What does it mean to inhabit the museum? And, to exhibit? Our vocabulary revolves around the exhibition but, what is it? What or who is exhibited? We understand immersion within the exhibition space as a home, as a place that invites you to stay and to be. It is the first time that a collective has spent a whole month in our exhibition halls, they have moved completely: materials that will stay but also tables, computers, chairs that will leave when the assembly is finished… An assembly that we have also opened to local students by organising weekly visits to the creation process ‘in situ’.
The exhibition will only be activated when the bodies of the visitors become space companions, when the public ventures to walk through the different landscapes that they have generated. We conceived this project with multiple hands, or bodies, to let it mutate organically in a participatory process”.
“The Mal Pelo exhibition accentuates the Museum’s substantial will of being a space for reflection and thought, in dialogue and evolution. The visitor will find objects, video, text, drawing, installation, sound… and with their own body in movement, they will be part of the scene, of this refuge built by Mal Pelo”, the director adds.
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.
Mal Pelo have received the 2002 National Dance Prize awarded by the Generalitat de Catalunya for the show “L’animal a l’esquena”; the 2009 National Dance Award in the creation modality awarded by the Spain’s Ministry of Culture in recognition of the company’s trajectory in the field of choreographic creation and opening new paths in contemporary dance; the City of Barcelona 2017 dance award and the Critics’ Award, Barcelona 2018, for the show Bach, among other awards.
Since 1989, Mal Pelo have presented, among others, the shows Quarere (1989), Sur Perros del Sur (1992), Dol (1994), La Calle del Imaginero (1996), Orache (1998), El Alma del Bicho (1999), L’animal a l’esquena (2001), Atrás los ojos (2002), An el silenci (2003), BACH (2004), ATLAS (2005), Testimoni de llops (2006), He visto caballos (2008), Tots els noms (2010), Caín & Caín (2011), L’esperança de vida d’una llebre (2013), El cinquè hivern (2015), 7 Lunas (2015), The Mountain, the Truth and the Paradise (2017); On Goldberg Variations / Variations (2019), Inventions (2020) and Highlands (2021).
The Museum’s bookshop will feature a special selection of books by John Berger and Erri de Luca, since both have collaborated directly with Mal Pelo and are part of the collective’s imaginary and work.
This project has the collaboration of AICO Servicios Audiovisuales and Fundación Balearia.