David Ferrando Giraut, Speech Prosthesis (An Alchemical Conversation), 2014
Producións e Procesos na Colección DKV / Productions and Processes in the DKV Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Vigo (MARCO) brings together work from the DKV Seguros insurance company by Patricia Dauder, Misha Bies Golas, Rosalía Banet, Mira Bernabeu, David Ferrando Giraut, Alex Francés, Martín Freire, Karlos Gil, Núria Guel, Alicia Kopf, and Eulália Valldosera, all winners from the ARTERIA DKV program. The show aims to provide an overview of current Spanish visual art production.
Misha bies Golas, The heavens are not humane, 2015
This piece by Misha Bies Golas works from Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal, a novel that was initially censored by the Czech government when it was written in 1976. In the book, a reclusive old man named Hanta works as a paper crusher and uses his paper bale machine to obsessively compile pages from beautiful, rare, and forbidden texts. Hanta says, "The heavens are not humane, and nor is any man with a head on his shoulders... I press one page after another, and deep inside each of them I put a book opened on the page on which the text is most beautiful." Bies Golas' paper bales are tied together with plastic strips and stacked on top of each other like the ones seen in industrial settings. Though mostly made of cardboard pieces, they are also studded with colorful images from Western art history, pop culture, and glossy advertisements. This visual material emerges amid the compacted crush with no real distinction between one image and another, or between these images and the cardboard filler. The piece feels like body-sized chunks of the internet made manifest inside of the museum. Bound up in an endless cycle of production, consumption, and disposal, this mass produced and expendable image stuff remains stuck for the viewer to squeeze between and search. Bies Golas' work is more of a wink than Hanta's worship- an enjoyable treasure hunt.
mira bernabeu, panorama of goods and services, dénia hospital, 2013
Mira Bernabeau's Panorama of Goods and Services is a photographic record of a year and a half of observation at the Hospital Marina Salud in Dénia, Alicante, Spain. Hundreds of photographs come together to form an extensive case study of the hospital facilities and staff. No images capture patients. Rather, as the title of the work implies, Bernabeau meticulously documents the panorama of material (including equipment, workers, and even waste) that makes the place a site of commercial exchange that supports human life. The exhibition's wall-sized photographic displays juxtapose images of staff and machines together in wide matrices, that, while categorized by physical location and medical unit, draw connections across hospital areas that blur lines between specialties and diagnoses. Within the context of their labor, hospital employees demonstrate of variety of postures, from posed to visibly exhausted. The spectrum of attitudes suggests the struggle to self-identify within a work place based on restoring and reassuring others. Bernabeau's most intriguing photographs document the contents of trash bins from every part of the hospital building, including the cafeteria, surgical departments, and even the ONCE lottery seller's trash. Carefully labeled with each trash can's place of origin, these groupings of discarded items go beyond the overlapping gloss of medical uniforms and technological equipment and into the specificity of needle sharps, cucumber slices, bloody gauze, tongue depressors, and lottery tickets. These photographs succinctly excavate the subtleties of hospital life by disrupting its biggest boon: utmost cleanliness. It is uncomfortable, surprising, and rewarding territory.
David Ferrando Giraut, Speech prosthesis (An alchemical conversation), 2014
Cued by the Spanish government's controversial 2013 decision to revise its energy laws in ways that penalized the renewable energy sector, David Ferrando Giraut's Speech Prosthesis (An Alchemical Conversation) is a mesmerizing take on political process, scientific thought, and human time. Ferrando Giraut looks at philosopher Bruno Latour's concept of 'speech prosthesis,' the processes by which scientists give 'voice' to the natural phenomena that impact human life. The multimedia installation features the voices of scientists, experts, activists, and philosophers speaking about the condition of Earth's endangered environment interlaced with otherworldly sounds composed by the musician Nigel Lang. The four natural elements (fire, wind, water, and earth) are reflected in four triangular speakers as well as a massive four channel video, where man made products such as water coolers and fire starters slowly rotate and float over four brilliant colors. Presented in this way, the objects in the video shift from being shorthand points in human history to mystical talismans of innovation and power. The piece's entrancing audiovisual environment inject its scientific and political discourse with an irresistible sensuousness that reworks messages we may often hear, but not like this.