Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma presents «Rogelio López Cuenca and Elo Vega. The Islands», an exhibition that explores, from a geopolitical perspective, the power relationships between the North-South axes, shifting the reflection on Western colonial exploitation to the more immediate present related to leisure and the so-called tourist model.
The project, curated by Imma Prieto, will open to the public on October 22nd at 7 pm and will be on view in the Exhibition hall B of Es Baluard Museu from October 23rd, 2021 to February 27th, 2022. On the other hand, the Museum organizes an exclusive visit for Members of Es Baluard with the artists and the curator on October 22nd at 6 pm.
“The Islands” shows, for the first time, a set of unpublished collages where different representations manufactured by the advertising industry and which land in pop culture through tourist images, typical of advertising codes, promotional posters, photo clippings or movie captures.
The hawaiian shirts, a series of mannequins that occupy the hall, are part of the stage also next to a video installation that reflects these colonized landscapes that serve as spaces for tourist exploitation today.
The exhibition enunciates the way in which such contemporary issues as colonialism, racism, tourism, gender, class and consumption are intertwined in the collective subconscious hiding, through market dynamics, a inequalities history. Thus, it proposes a resignification of exploited spaces, where the idea of the white man of the colonial stage today is disguised as tropical colors and joys.
“Approaching the tourist imagination means approaching a world view based on enjoyment and pleasure. The iconography to accompany desires and aspirations blends perfectly with codes intended, almost subliminally, to shape our view”, the curator explains.
“If this is the result of the sum of multiple experiences, knowing and acquaintance, we must be aware of the treacherous assumption that leads us to think that everything we desire and think comes from our own free will. It matters to ask what relation exists between the wishes and behaviour patterns resulting from the indoctrination fostered by neoliberalism”, she adds.
Finally, the project by Rogelio López Cuenca and Elo Vega is a critical eye to the appropriation of territories, but also at the construction of an otherness that not only maintains its hegemonic position through material elements but also symbolic domination. The potential of the proposal lies in the sharp question posed by the visitor: Are we able to break down the boundaries that encode our gaze?
Elo Vega (Huelva, Spain, 1967) and Rogelio López Cuenca (Málaga, Spain, 1959) are visual artists and researchers. Doctors in Research in Art and Humanities, their artistic practice focuses on the analysis of the mass media, the construction of identities and cultural criticism; work that they develop using procedures typical of both the visual arts and literature or social sciences.
Creation and research are inextricably woven into their work, in the form of audiovisual productions, exhibitions, publications, interventions in public spaces or online work: artistic projects that are at the same time devices for criticizing culture and a political instrument.
For more than a decade they have been collaborating in critical rereading of the processes of manipulation of history and the construction of collective imaginaries. Among the most recent are Málaga monumental (Universidad de Málaga, Spain, 2020), Calma urgente (MNCARS / L’Internationale, Spain, 2020), The prodigal son (Museu Picasso. Barcelona, Spain, 2019), Golden Visa (Barcelona metro, Spain, 2018), Málaga 2026 (La Casa Invisible / MNCARS, Málaga, Spain, 2018), Prima petra (Museo ICO. Madrid, Spain, 2017), El agua y los sueños (Fundación Cerezales / MUSAC. León, Spain, 2017), Dark Places (CAAC. Sevilla, Spain, 2017), Guía monumental de Granada: Mármoles con caracteres extraños (Centro José Guerrero / Editorial Cien Gramos. Granada, Spain, 2016), Los bárbaros (Sala Alcalá 31. Madrid, Spain, 2016), Quilombo #1 (MACBA. Barcelona, Spain, 2015), Valparaíso White Noise (CRAC Valparaíso. Chile, 2014), Mapa de México (CCEM. Ciudad de México, 2010), Saharawhy (CAAM. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 2012) o Historia de dos ciudades (CCCB. Barcelona, Spain, 2010).