Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma presents “Aimless. Confronting Imago Mundi”, an exhibition that structures and defines the identity of the Museum’s Collection based on a line of research centred on the representation and projection of the world in its contemporaneity.
The project continues the museum’s line of research initiated in the exhibition “Memory of Defence”, in which the idea of delimiting a space identified on the basis of cultural and symbolic issues, among others, as the Mallorcan cartographers did 700 years ago, was put forward.
Taking Cresques Abraham’s Atlas (1375) as a starting point and based on the interest in recovering the medieval legacy and placing the emphasis on being able to imagine the world, just as the cartographers did, the curator Agustín Pérez Rubio has proposed to carry out a contemporary reading, rethinking the legacy and questioning the ways of representing the world that has come down to us today.
The exhibition opens to the public on 2 February at 7 p.m. and can be visited in Es Baluard Museu’s Exhibition Hall C from 3 February 2023 to 21 January 2024.
This new interpretation of the Es Baluard Collection, enhanced by loans from private collections from the island, is grounded in the idea of disorientation and dislocation as strategies to be deliberately adopted in the quest to dismantle the construction of the history of humanity and representations of the Imago Mundi (the Image of the World) that have come down to us. Further to this, through understanding works of art as modes of representation, it strives to halt and eradicate the perpetuation of the colonial, imperial, racist and sexist matrix of Eurocentric thought, as found in our concepts, writings and images.
The exhibition is divided into four rooms. In the first, under the title “Transcending the Copernican turn”, the Cresques Atlas is presented. This is followed by the idea of rewriting history, under the title “Dismantling the Linguistic Turn: Invisible History”. The third room, “The colonial legacy in contemporaneity”, rethinks and questions the colonial legacy that has reached us in museums and, finally, the room dedicated to “The future of the past: when consequence becomes cause”, which presents a reflection on how artists are vindicating questions of oppression, racism and immigration, making these processes visible and evident, which also has a healing aspect.
Imma Prieto, director of Es Baluard Museu explains that “this project is a milestone for the museum. The exhibition “Memory of Defence” included a series of historical cartographies from different archives, such as the Arxiu del Regne, the Archivo Militar de Palma or the Archivo de la Corona de Aragón, and we tried to bring the Cresques’ Atlas, but it was not possible due to a series of permissions. It is a work that we have continued until we managed to bring the copy from the National Library. What interests us is not only the content, which is a wonderful document from 700 years ago, but the gesture: how a series of cartographers in 1300 were able to imagine the world, not only geographically, but also from a singularity that appeals to the multiplicity of identities and cultures”.
“In this sense, the project has two parts. On the one hand, the conceptual framework generated by the museum itself, which focuses on this piece that, for the first time in history, returns after 700 years to the Balearic archipelago. And, secondly, we asked the curator Agustin Pérez Rubio to consider, from the point of view of artistic practice, what it means to imagine the world today. In a way, the aim is to continue to open up spaces for reflection and thought about our contemporaneity”, adds the director.
For his part, Agustín Pérez Rubio, curator of the exhibition, points out that “starting from the work carried out by the medieval geographers, who were visionaries and understood that their task was to capture what it was to be in the world, we have constructed this “Aimless” journey, a conscious, broken narrative that takes a speculative form, finding its way to facts, stories and micro-histories so as to understand changes in and questioning of our manner of seeing, narrating and representing. It thus confronts the actions and wishes of artists and potential ways of approaching works of art while likewise rejecting them (whether formally or conceptually), leading to a time-space dislocation that breaks with the rational, modernist positivism of Eurocentrism.
The exhibition features works by the artists: Ignasi Aballí, Cresques Abraham, Andreu Alfaro, Kader Attia, Irma Blank, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Andrea Büttner, Miguel Ángel Campano, Juana Francés, Meschac Gaba, Ferran Garcia Sevilla, David Goldblatt, Shilpa Gupta, José Hernández, Erika Hock, Iman Issa, Alfredo Jaar, Voluspa Jarpa, Steffani Jemison, Tadashi Kawamata, Kcho, Bouchra Khalili, José María de Labra, Moshekwa Langa, Richard Long, Ibrahim Mahama, Ángeles Marco, Manolo Millares, Joan Miró, Robert Motherwell, Wangechi Mutu, Guillem Nadal, Miquel Navarro, Ernesto Neto, Gabriel Orozco, Jorge Oteiza, Claudia Peña Salinas, Gala Porras-Kim, Hassan Sharif, Nida Sinnokrot, Joaquín Sorolla and Adriana Varejão.