Barcelona

Erick Beltrán

Galeria Joan Prats

Erick Beltrán’s “Serie Calculum” (Calculum Series)—“an essay about the concentration, the density and the creation of value,” as he puts it in the gallery press release—is a curio collection, compiled by the artist between 2006 and 2008. Because it refers back to idiosyncratic and arbitrary findings, a Wunderkammer such as this is meant to produce amazing and surprising effects. And since its premise is one of subjective categorization, it is also a way of actively generating provisional theories about our classification of the world and our writing of history.

Apart from a few large maps and a slide show, all the works in Beltrán’s series are small objects, semantic machines of a sort that develop narratives about the construction of value. One of the most striking is Plusvalía (Surplus Value), 2008, a diminutive die fabricated in Barcelona that, we discover, is actually made of human bone

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