Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma presents «Personae: Masks Against Barbarism», an exhibition that structures and defines the identity of the Museum Collection based on a line of research focused on the human body understood as a reflection of the socio-political situations of each era. In this sense, the project relocates the focus on the meaning of “person”, based on the work developed by a group of artists on the defense of fundamental rights.
The exhibition, curated by Imma Prieto, will be on view in the Exhibition Hall C of Es Baluard Museum from November 26, 2021 to November 13, 2022.
Based on one of the key pieces of the Museum, the set of puppets and drawings made by Miró around the text by Alfred Jarry Ubu Roi, «Personae. Masks against barbarism» raises why, since prehistory, human beings have needed to create a mask in order to express themselves from contexts and situations that require the embodiment of other identities.
Thus, the show indicates different scenarios (ritualistic, shamanic, classical theater, as well as historical contexts in which the political situation censored the difference) to bring to the public a multiplicity of manifestations that present the representation of the human being as a reflection of a space-time of which it forms part as a common thread. Thus, it delves into the research that brings us closer to the creation of identity from an analysis rooted in the relationship established between body, individual and image.
“It is worth noting how throughout the 20th and 21st centuries the gaze around the subject has been transformed and how this transformation has given rise to a new imaginary. Approaching the way in which the human body has been represented allows us to ask ourselves who we are or, above all, what makes it impossible for us to be”, explains Imma Prieto.
“In times in which the weight of morality and dogma become modus vivendi with the sole purpose of vetoing freedom of expression, the exhibition re-places the focus on the meaning of ‘person’ leading us to a space in which multiple contradictions that continue to characterize our societies, from those in which the human being is still oppressed by political issues to others, closer, in which in the name of a false freedom our identity is reified by the dogma of the new mercantile dictatorships”, she adds.
The exhibition is presented from three different areas and features works by artists such as Marina Abramović, Pilar Albarracín, Karel Appel, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Miquel Barceló, Per Barclay, Georg Baselitz, Christian Boltanski, Robert Cahen, Miriam Cahn, Pepe Cañabate, Maria Carbonero, Francesc Català-Roca, Toni Catany, Lluis Claramunt, Carles Congost, Esther Ferrer, Bel Fullana, Ana Gallardo, Alberto García-Alix, Daniel García Andújar, Ferran Garcia Sevilla, Amparo Garrido, Susy Gómez, Núria Güell, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Rebecca Horn, Wifredo Lam, Jana Leo, Robert Mapplethorpe, Nauzet Mayor, Manolo Millares, Joan Miró, Amedeo Modigliani, Jean Marie del Moral, Shirin Neshat, Antón Patiño, Pablo Picasso, Joan Ponç, Charo Pradas, Bernardí Roig, Francisco Ruiz de Infante, Antonio Saura, Gabriel Serra, Josep Maria Sert, Antoni Socias, Antoni Tàpies, Endre Tót, Eulàlia Valldosera, Darío Villalba, Robert Wilson, Wols and Francesca Woodman.
The first area has as its starting point the set of materials that are part of the research that Miró carried out on Ubu Roi and that concluded with the theatrical adaptation Mori el Merma (premiered at the Teatre Principal de Palma in 1978 in collaboration with Joan Baixas). The characters do not skimp on nepotism and a certain decadence filtered by high doses of irony.
This area closes with the collaboration, unpublished to date, that the creator Robert Wilson has made from a rereading of Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry and Joan Miró. The result has been the sound piece, UBU SOUNDS THE ALARM, which accompanies the characters accentuating the dementia and decadence of contemporary societies, while recovering that ability of the mask to be through the look and the voice.
The second area focuses on a series of pictorial manifestations, mostly made from the second half of the 20th century, which introduce us to the transformation that the representation of the human body has undergone. Amputations, fragments and alienated faces create a universe from which to think of oneself to provoke the understanding of the lack of civil rights that would allow us to speak of a just social contract in which citizens can be free.
Finally, the exhibition presents several proposals, most of them made between the 1970s of the 20th century and today, which are based on a reflection originated in the identity question. Thus, this third area delves into works, times and contexts in which the person claims their lack of freedom.
Within the framework of parallel activities to the exhibition, the Museum organizes the performance cycle «[Comfort (Voyeur) Control]», curated by Tolo Cañellas, with artists and collectives such as Itziar Okariz, Esther Ferrer, Toni Hervás, Palomar and Susy Gómez. This program will start on December 18, 2021 and will run in a phased manner until September 2022.
On the other hand, the Museum organizes an exclusive visit for Members of Es Baluard with the curator on November 25 at 6.00 pm. The Members enjoy guided tours with curators and artists, visits to artists’ workshops, conferences, store discounts, among others.