12 Apr - 11 Jun 2011

Exhibition view, ProjecteSD, Barcelona
Dora García, Joe Scanlan and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina
12 April - 11 June, 2011

ProjecteSD is honoured to present Forever, an exhibition that brings together works by Dora García, Joe Scanlan and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina. Forever is the first exhibition ever held of these three artists and the first presentation of the work of North-American artist Joe Scanlan in Barcelona.

The exhibition is titled after the work by Dora García Forever. In 2005 a webcam was installed in one of the exhibition rooms of the FRAC Lorraine, potentially allowing the artist to observe continuously and for an undetermined period of time (forever), the interior of the art centre. A new version of the work, New Forever (2011), has been recently installed and developed for the New Museum in New York, in the context of the show Museum as Hub: “An accord is first and foremost only a proposition”.

Forever deals basically with the question of what “forever” means to an artist, an institution, and to an art work, and deals with the possible reversal of the conventional line artist > artwork > institution > audience into audience > artwork > artist. In Forever it is the institution and the narratives it generates what becomes the subject matter of the artist’s work. These narratives are presented to the public by means of an on-line diary and a series of books.

Forever will be shown for the first time in its full presentation: the images currently generated at the two institutions, FRAC Lorraine in Metz and the New Museum in New York, captured in real time will be shown at ProjecteSD. The contracts signed between the institutions and the artist, and all the Forever series books published to date will be on view and available at the gallery.

The work and the idea of “forever” in its broadest sense is the link used to articulate the works of Joe Scanlan and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina in the exhibition. Every artist interpreting and playing with this concept in a different way.

Joe Scanlan’s research in recent years reveals his constant reflection on transient and ephemeral states. This poetic dimension is always combined with an on-going interrogation of issues related to craftsmanship, economics, consumption and politics. In Scanlan’s work the critical, metaphorical and practical components form a coherent whole. The work by Joe Scanlan at Forever, SoLongSolSoLong, was first exhibited at the Institut d’Art Contemporain in 2007. Originally conceived as a specific project paying a tribute to Sol LeWitt, Scanlan uses his own vocabulary to address the relation between his work and minimalism. The artist defines the work as a: fifteen panels “painting” that can be arranged in different shapes to spell out different messages. For the presentation at ProjecteSD, Scanlan has decided to present the set in the following letter combination: “Sssoollloonngg”, as a reference to “so long” and linked to the idea of “forever” and its infinite dimension. The work will be installed in a way that a multiple display of the piece will be occurring during the time of the exhibition; a feature which is inherent to the work. Each visitor to the show will have the chance to see a different arrangement of the same work at different times all along the exhibition period.

The second Scanlan’s contribution to Forever is Snowflakes (the 10th). The “snowflake” drawings have figured in the artist’s work over the years. Displayed now in a computer screen, Snowflakes (the 10th) is an inventory of new 80 drawings, all of them drawn on the 10th day of any month in any year, a set of intricate kaleidoscopical shapes in white and icy blues and greens. Their DNA is related but there are also chance combinations, ruptures. At any size, the snowflakes are absolutely, geometrically perfect, mesmerizing and infinitely expandable, in time and space. Snowflakes (the 10th) proposes an interesting connection with the idea of forever.

The work of Isidoro Valcárcel Medina has never been limited to formal aestheticism. Since the seventies, his work has evolved from objects that might become art merchandise to a dematerialisation encouraging the appearance of an attitude which transforms awareness of perception, not so much into an artwork as into an art experience. That attitude is what has enabled him to interrelate life with art, and art with a provocative critical reflection on reality. Reflecting on the idea of forever, Valcárcel Medina has proposed to create a new work: Cuándo, dónde... y si es preciso, cómo (When, where...and if it is necessary, how). The work is based on a text by the artist where he debates and plays with the idea of time and space. Notions which appear in Valcárcel Medina work in a recurrent way. The full text is displayed as an object, printed on a table for the visitors to read it. Together with it, there is a set of 17 double drawings spread over the table and which are linked to some fragments in the text. To fully view and understand the piece, the participation of the visitors is required. Each set of drawings has to be unrolled to be seen and read, as they need to be displaced over the table to be able to read the text on it.

The three artists presented at Forever share a similar attitude in the way they approach art practice: the reference to language, the idea of temporariness, the will to extend the limits of the art object and in a way subvert art practise, and some performative aspect. In all the works shown at Forever, there is a sense of circularity, repetition. Things change, but stay pretty much the same. The idea of certain elusiveness and the open-ended aspect of the work is also present. They are works where experience is always available but shifting, where the viewers are required to complete the work for themselves and allow the works to gain meaning and depth over time.

Tags: Dora García, Sol LeWitt, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, Joe Scanlan