Philipp von Rosen

Anna Malagrida

31 Oct - 19 Dec 2009

© Anna Malagrida
Amman XIII (Four Seasons)
(From the series: Vistas veladas), 2007
Pigment Print, framed
146 x 186 cm

Opening on October 30, 2009 at 7.00 pm
Exhibition from October 31 to December 19, 2009

On Friday, October 30, 2009 at 7.00 p.m. we will inaugurate our second show with the Spanish photographer Anna Malagrida. Malagrida, after having studied in Barcelona and Arles, lives since 2004 in Paris. With the series of photographs Intérieurs (2000-2006) and Paysages (2006) as well as with numerous institutional single and group exhibitions she won international publicity. One determinative element of her works can be seen in the reference to the paradigm of paintings that function like a view through a window, a paradigm that was so important to the Renaissance. However, Malagrida does not reduce her works to this art historical reference, but charges them with more facets of signification. For instance, she is accentuating in her works the fragility of the relation between man and environment and she is playing with the border between the public and the private space.

In the pieces of our exhibition, that is, the photographs of the series Vistas veladas (2007) and the videoinstallation Frontera (2008), the artist deals with different appearances of cultural and territorial borders beyond the frontiers defined between countries in the real world.

The photographs of the series Vistas veladas that we show in the upper spaces of the gallery show views from the windows of western styled luxury hotels in Amman (Jordan) down to this oriental city formed by differences. However, the artist does not show us simple cityscape, but makes visible the distance between the inner and the outer world by using a supposedly lamentable damage of the negatives in the way that she lets this damage become a part of the piece: in order to get into the hotels she had to pass – with her entire photographic equipment – through the airport-like security checks in the lobby. When she developed her film material, she realized that her photographs – contrary to what the security personal had promised – was partly overexposed due to the exposure to the x-rays. Instead of attempting to correct these imperfections digitally, she had the pale negatives developed. Now, on the images, the sea of houses appears pale, as if it was behind a white, tight veil in which the imaginary border within the city, respectively between the world of the western hotels and the eastern daily world within Amman is manifested.

In her videoinstallation Frontera that we show in the lower space Malagrida uses red smoke to deal with the invisible presence of history in a seemingly untouched nature at the former frontier between France and Spain.

The installation shows the prospect of a mountain scenery in the Corbières in the South of the Pyrenees, where numerous wars between Spain and France have taken place. Out of the blue, one hears an explosion and sees – without understanding the cause for the explosion – red smoke expanding until the landscape is covered. The dense smoke generates a feeling of anxiety and an idea of the blood that seeped in the ground at this location. In the same time, the viewer is dislocated into the awkward state of a daydream. Because of the slow movements of the smoke time seems to be halted in a way that our notion of time is changed; in the end, the smoke dis- and the landscape reappears.

Tags: Anna Malagrida