barcelona

José Maldonado

Galeria Antoni Estrany - Mercedes Vila

José Maldonado asserts the primacy of language, as the prerequisite and dwelling place of things, by quoting a verse from the Spanish poet Luis de Góngora, “Las Cenizas de la amada las que cuenten el paso de las horas” (The ashes of the beloved that mark the passage of time), which he realizes in visual images. His installation Vanitas (Vanity, 1991) appropriates space through the construction of a doorless enclosure, visible only through its windows. This allows the viewer to look into an inaccessible interior landscape where sensuously suggestive images generate an optical illusion. Some of the walls function as mirrors, thus making it difficult to discern between the original and its simulacrum. There is a table with an hourglass and a sealed envelope placed on it in the middle of each half of this space; the contents and addressee remain unknown. Each half of the enclosure is a replica

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.