Martí Peran

  • Oriol Vilanova, Diumenge (Sunday) (detail), 2017, postcards. Installation view. Photo: Roberto Ruiz.

    Oriol Vilanova

    It has long been said that contemporary art is made from the residues of the semiotic hyperproduction that has turned culture into a giant flea market: Everything is a recycling of something that has been previously produced and abandoned, and is waiting to return to the sphere of circulation. That’s even more the case for Oriol Vilanova than it is for most artists. Extending Asger Jorn’s practice of aesthetic vandalism, Vilanova operates literally as a ragpicker. Every Sunday the artist arrives with religious punctuality at the market of whichever city he finds himself in—Brussels, Barcelona,

  • Antoni Abad, Leido, 2005, video projection, color, sound, duration variable. From the series “canal*GITANO,” 2005.

    Antoni Abad

    Antoni Abad’s project began in Mexico City in 2004 and thus far has encompassed a total of thirteen episodes in twelve cities. The procedure is the same each time: Members of a community misrepresented by stereotypes and subjected to discrimination are offered instruction in the use of mobile technologies; a sort of editorial board is organized to define the guidelines according to which members of the community provide content to an Internet site that represents them as they wish to be seen. The groups that have participated include Roma communities in Lleida and León, Spain; sex

  • Jordi Colomer, Prohibido Cantar/No Singing (Obra didáctica sobre la fundación de una ciudad paradisíacal) (Prohibido Cantar/No Singing [Didactic Work on the Foundation of a Paradise City]), (detail), 2012, still from the seven-channel video component of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising portable screens, speakers, wooden corridor, lights, and aluminum doors.

    Jordi Colomer

    At the back of a dark space in what were once the cold storage rooms of the old Madrid slaughterhouse, or matadero, seven glass doors opened onto a corridor leading to a dark chamber. Here, looped on screens arranged like placards, were the episodes of Jordi Colomer’s Prohibido Cantar/No Singing (Obra didáctica sobre la fundación de una ciudad paradisíacal) (Prohibido Cantar/No Singing [Didactic Work on the Foundation of a Paradise City]), 2012, which together construct a fragmented narrative of the rise and fall of Eurofarlete, a fictional urban paradise, which can be read forward to the end

  • Peter Piller, Immer noch Sturm (Still Storming) (detail), 2012, suite of six ink-jet prints, dimensions variable. From the series “Immer noch Sturm” (Still Storming), 2012.

    Peter Piller

    Storms at sea and waves of history. A long series of photographs of choppy seas and of landscapes devastated by the battles of World War I. It was impossible not to suspect that a secret genealogy lay behind this exhibition showing the sublime and devastating force of nature alongside lands ravaged by the barbarism of man. The Sturm und Drang literary movement is conventionally associated with the notions of freedom of expression, productive genius, and love of nature, but alongside the misadventures of the young Werther, Georg Büchner sensed the consequences of that same unstoppable Drang,

  • Ibon Aranberri, Exercises on the North Side, 2004–2007, color film in 16 mm, 22 minutes. Production still.

    Ibon Aranberri

    Organigrama” (Organogramme) is a transparent exhibition that combines various installations in the gallery space, exposing the multiple possible intersections between them and revealing both the production processes and their results in the here and now. It’s like a musical score with entropic dynamics, a stage on which the works are organized and collapse, recombine and multiply. It offers, then, a reminder that it is still possible to intelligently rethink the exhibition apparatus not in order to neutralize artworks by means of a hermetic presentation, but in order to delve into their narrative

  • John Latham, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1971, still from a black-and-white film in 16 mm, 6 minutes. From “Atlas.


    “Atlas: How to Carry the World on One’s Back?” is a project conceived by Georges Didi-Huberman for the Reina Sofía (it will travel to the ZKM in Karlsruhe and the Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg). The operation underlying the project is ambitious, yet simple and plausible: to use the panels of Aby Warburg’s “Mnemosyne Atlas, 1925–29, to define what might be called the “atlas drive,” a voracious strain of archive fever (to borrow Jacques Derrida’s phrase) that has spread throughout Western culture since what Karl Kraus called “the last days of mankind,” and to illustrate this argument with a

  • Anne-Lise Coste

    Last winter, Anne-Lise Coste undertook a sort of exorcism of five years that she spent in clinical treatment during her youth. Working quickly and obsessively, she produced a large series of drawings (and one sculpture) that deals with that early traumatic experience. The result, on view in its entirety in an exhibition titled “5 days 5 years,” was disturbing and vehement, if perfectly closed off and cohesive, making this one of the season’s best shows in Barcelona.

    The series, titled “There,” 2010, does not constitute a documentary reconstruction of the episode in question, nor does it make

  • Ion Grigorescu

    Ion Grigorescu has recently received well-deserved recognition, the culmination of which—following his participation in Documenta 12, 2007, and other big international exhibitions—was the first retrospective of his work, at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland, this past year. Such reevaluations of the Romanian artist’s long career, though, have centered on his production from the 1970s, paying particular attention to the political context of the rule of the Ceauşescus, which deeply affected Grigorescu’s videographic work and even his isolated and marginal performances. Nonetheless, what

  • Thomas Bayrle

    “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” was, surprisingly, the first retrospective of the work of Thomas Bayrle, but it was worth the wait. The only question is why it took so long. Curated by Chus Martínez, this exhibition was exhaustive enough to make up for lost time, including more than 250 works from 1964 to the present. Though this oeuvre makes use of an array of supports and formats (silk screens, collages, acrylics, sculptures, 16-mm films, wallpapers, and more), it is wholly coherent, due to a certain stubbornness and discipline that could fool us into forgetting that Bayrle’s work

  • Javier Peñafiel

    In 1999, “Egolactante”—a strange character with an elegant profile despite its large head—was gestated in the imagination of Javier Peñafiel. In the ten years that have ensued, it has barely changed. Restless in appearance, Egolactante is, in fact, chronically nervous. Though one might think this is due to some emotional or political vulnerability, it is really because Egolactante has decided to live with the fiction that has been installed in its mind. The sum of these powerful components—spastic body and intellectual prowess—make Egolactante into an incarnation of the new Homo aestheticus.

  • Francesc Torres

    Da Capo—the musical notation directing a player to return to the beginning of the score—was an apt title for MACBA’s retrospective recapping over forty years of work by Francesc Torres. The result was vast, a sort of installation of installations. Although the Reina Sofía in Madrid held an anthological exhibition of Torres’s work in 2001, this latest exhibition has made the true magnitude of his oeuvre apparent, demonstrating his art’s ideological coherence and uncompromising formal rigor. The show was accompanied by a collection of Torres’s writings, which, until now, have been hard to find;

  • Jordi Bernadó

    This small, impeccable show complemented and updated “World Wide Works 1993–2007,” the comprehensive survey of Jordi Bernadó’s work presented at the Centre d’Art la Panera in Lleida in 2007. At Galeria Senda’s exhibition, Bernadó showed new photographs of Rome, Dubai, Barcelona, and other cities, as well as a small selection of earlier works. Almost all of the photographs shown came from different series, but there was an underlying thread that unifies the scenes: They all looked like stage sets. The ruined house in Detroit #01, 2006, the rocky structures of Roman fountains in the diptych Fontana