In celebration, the experimental laboratory of the Joan Miró Foundation revisits some of its more representative exhibitions
The Joan Miró Foundation experimental laboratory Espai 13 has witnessed the passage of many artists and curators and celebrates more than 35 years of existence with an exhibition entitled A place where artists have the right to fail in an effort to revisit a most productive era in artistic innovation. The space, originally created in 1978 with the name Espai 10 and renamed Espai 13 in 1989, is a platform that has borne witness to the passage of more than 500 upcoming artists and, as the title of the exhibition suggests, has served its purpose as a platform for artists to try out, rethink and experiment with new cultural methodologies.
The exhibition’s curator, Manuel Segade, has chosen to organise the exhibition around seven themes: pictorial phenomena, sculptural objects, culture and nature, body phenomenologies, post-colonialisms, processes and events, and the uses for popular culture. The exhibition, then, serves as both a sample spectrum of the subject matter explored and the development of contemporary art during this period as well as a dialog among artistic generations.
The exhibition includes pieces by renowned artists (Brossa and Tàpies collaborated on the initial Espai 10 project and Jaume Plensa held his first solo exhibition in Espai 13 before his leap to international fame) as well as artists currently struggling to open doors, and the dialog among the pieces is exemplified by their separation into different subject areas. For example, the pictorial section contains “light bulb” paintings by Xavier Veilhan and abstract paintings by Alfons Borell in counterpoint to a piece by Vik Muniz which, while it has the appearance of a painting, actually uses silver gelatin. In the body phenomenologies section, the AIDS, General Idea and Pantalón preservativo posters by Ana Laura Aláez sit alongside the Barcelona Toro Performance photos of Jordi Benito. In the main room, processes and nature are fused in El mar de Fina Miralles, a piece which will paint itself during the course of the exhibition, and El perfil of Esther Ferrer, a body sketched in Indian ink which occupies an entire wall and which will gradually disappear.
It is worth noting that the exhibition has not interrupted the rhythm of the smaller room as the Espai 13 exhibition will continue as normal and those willing to take a closer look will find a sample of the Preventative Archaeology series curated by Oriol Fontdevila which invites artists to reflect on the concept of collective memory.
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