One of the premises for launching this new site was that, apart from being a container, it somehow became a work of art on its own.
Applying the Internet MEME communication code to the homepage was the solution proposed by Bendita Gloria graphic designers to a project that, having memes as a central subject, was not yet formalized in a way that made me feel comfortable. Therefore, Homeme is both an entry to my website and a solution to a project that remained in limbo. My website is not a work of art in itself, but its homepage is indeed.
Taking a selection of MEMEs that remind me of a series of works of art to which I find affinity, I intervene those works of art (recognizable to the learned audience) with the MEME text corresponding to the original reference.
In its roar, the omnivorous nature of our society does not discriminate—which is not the same as not differing—between cultural inputs reserved to minority audiences and those addressed to a mainstream audience. This melting-pot of expressions are portrayed in an agglutinating way in this series of photos of works of art (some of them already a photo) that outline the amalgam, the cover and the mix of curiosity and entertainment with the possibility of reflexion.
Picture: House Attack, an installation by Erwin Wurm. 2006. Museum Moderner Kunst (MuMoK), Vienna.
Picture: Ascot (Sunglasses and Top Hat) GB. ENGLAND. Think of England. Martin Parr.
Picture from the sculpture-installation Rubber Duck. Floretijn Hofman.
2. Dance Statement
Dance Statement is a sound meta artistic piece that place my statement in a electronic instrumental basis of a dance music hit.
My statement is about inserting popular culture elements in the artistic frame in order to analyze the meaning of “culture”.
Replacing the track lyrics by the English locution of my statement, made using a TTS (Text To Speech) software, I convert my artist statement in a dance artist statement “for all kind of audiences”.
Postproduction: Blai Barba and Marc Serra.
3. Play to the gallery
Exhibition text-piece (fictitious gallery)
4. Searching for a cultural experience
Can a work of art somehow help us find a way to discover who we really are, existentially and culturally?
Is referential art—the type of art initiated by a tribute, a homage, appropriationism—the prevailing model in the current art practice?
Can culture cure some of the evils of society?
If a work of art is sensationalist and entertaining, does it become debased?
Taking these four far-reaching unanswered questions as a departure point, I present this simple installation that you yourself generate. It is inspired on the parascientific world of alternative medicine, via chromotherapy, and focuses its attention on the act of searching.
Installation: artificial fog, hand torches and text.
(shown at Poblenou Open Studios.
5. Bigger and Unique
Bigger and Unique is a meta- and post-photography work of art, a ‘cover’ of an ‘original’ IKEA photo and its attributes as a representation of reality. This photo of a photo visually emphasizes concepts that—in an essay-like way—are literally transliterated in the text accompanying the work of art. Abilities and shortages of the photographic medium—being them the difficulty of an alleged photographic objectivity, the tensions between the image and the off-camera field, the impossibility of ‘building’ through the framing, or the 2-dimensionality of photography, among others—are ideas that coexist in the text with reflections and verifications about the visual culture in the image, cultural consumption products and false choice era fostered by the liquid modernity we are living in.
Photographic print, 360x500cm.
Picture inside picture by Bill Philip.
P2P. Contemporary Practice in Spanish Photography.
Teatro Fernán Gómez. Centro Cultural de la Villa.
Remembrance video while writing text.
Doraemon. The landscape cutter (sorry, I just found it in Catalan).
6. Studio Stadium
Studio Stadium is a big format immersive photographic work of art. The viewer is invited to flow within an image that conveys messages combining references that we feel as belonging both to the audio-visual communication field (via the image of an audio-visual production set) and to the football universe, impossible to unlink from a whole system of images that not only support its success but also grant the continuity of the game.
The holographic nature of this photo frames the character of the contemporary sensibility, governed by the showbiz. And football is nothing but showbiz. Controlling the visual information conveyed and the psychology of colour (like if it were a natural landscape), Studio Stadium aims at seducing the audience and immersing them in an state of placid, calm conscience that, together with gallery text, fosters the connection with the meaning every one gives to ‘culture’.
The photo of this void, of a to-be-built reality, invites us to fill this void with our own thoughts about the limits defining ‘culture’, as well as invoking a critical point of view with regards to the role contemporary art has in society.
Taking advantage of the cross-cutting nature of football, Studio Stadium subliminally points to an allegedly alien subject, i.e.: the social status of contemporary art nowadays. Thus, ‘the art of football’ becomes ‘art and football’ in this project.
Print size: 2,4×3,6m
7. Football Club
The sound and light installation Football Club is a drift from my photo work Studio Stadium. In a completely immersive format, the musician and artist Alberto Bernal has especially created an electronic composition generated by the sounds recorded during a football match. According to his own words:
This audio track is built using the same technique I usually use to other works of mine, consisting in a re-reading of an original raw material via a double saturation: its massive superposition in multiple layers, on the one side, and the continuous iteration of micropassages through a loop window that slowly wipes the material in its whole length on the other side. As a result, a sound fabric is created, a fabric that oscillates between the semantics of the raw material (in this particular case, a recording of an sports celebration) and the new work emerging from saturating it.
Football Club combines two totems of collective entertainment: football and ‘club culture’, in order to become a ‘foot-ball club”.
Broadcasted via a quadraphonic system, the sound —which sometimes approaches white noise—is synched to the LED spotlights via a interactive software, generating a swaying light.
From the festive and hedonistic point of view, Football Club invites the audience to enter in an estate/stadium prone to questioning the value of culture, and —coming to terms with one of the meanings of ‘culture’—enlarging the ‘set of knowledge that allows an individual to develop its critical judgement’.
Quadraphonic Football Club track in 2 channels (stereo mix)
(use headphones for a better listening )
The 11’44″ track was running on in loop till 90′
(with a little bit of time off).
Concept and set up: Marc Serra http://www.marcserra.net
Music: Alberto Bernal http://www.albertobernal.net
Interactive sound-light and quadraphonic set up: Jan Mech http://janmech.net
Football Club installation at Estruch. Live Arts Factory. Sabadell, november 20, 2014.
Interactive sound-light and quadraphonic set up by Jan Mech. janmech.net
8. Mimes and Memes
Mimes and memes is a work of art revolving around the idea of understanding culture as encapsulated information conveyed via cultural replicators, i.e.: MEMEs
This project poses the hypothesis of a possible success of the reflective act through an image incorporating a text message and going viral. Mimes and memes explores the phenomenon of cultural evolution in a society governed by images. Like a mime artist replicates emotions through gestures, an Internet MEME does it via an image and a text.
In Mimes and memes, the catch lines refer precisely to the image culture, unspoken meanings, beliefs and degree of knowledge with regard to the mechanism of visual representation and the possible rapport between photo and text messages.
9. The Stunning Gallery
The Stunning Gallery is an installation project consisting in modifying (tuning) several design elements of an art gallery interior. Instead of leaving my mark within the gallery context, here the modifications made in the container itself become the artist’s ‘signature’.
Adopting Nicolas Bourriaud’s postulate, this work of art conceives the gallery as a place open to a dialogue about the hypothesis posed by the author: art as a salvation for relationships.
With a ‘minimal’ intervention in the space, the audience is invited to think about the ‘culture of aesthetics’ and the personal meaning they bestow to the critical mind that distinguishes us as individuals.
Like the owner of a car ‘tunes’ it to customize it and have a consumerism experience different from that of his/her neighbour, The Stunning Gallery resorts to the phenomenon of popular culture —a urban tradition— in order to activate a dialogue about cultural products and their consumption with the audience.
Tinted gallery windows.
Vertical opening door.
Metallic golden painted lights and xenon lamps.
Window corbel aileron.
UV neon light in wall baseboard.
Prototype at my studio. Hangar.org
10. Esto lo puede hacer cualquiera [Anyone can do it]
(text coming soon…)
Installation view at my studio (Hangar.org)
11. I’m making Bart
In an appropriation gesture, in ‘I’m making Bart’ I borrow the audio of John Baldessari’s ‘I’m making art’ video —an artwork where, through his conceptual video, the artist questioned those who, in turn, questioned conceptual art, thus laughing at himself and therefore at everyone else.
My video takes an ad hoc hypothesis of a mass critical with video artwork that doubts about its usefulness as a contemporary artistic expression medium as a reference point. Staged by a toy —an image within the urban popular iconography offered by street vendors—, it transports through its mantra —‘I’m making Bart’— not by making any assertion, but generating an ambivalence between what we see and what we think.
Exhibition display sample.
12. Inexplicable Odeur
Inexplicable Odeur explores the increasingly obvious disconnection between the natural world and its attributes as a metaphor for the lost ‘naturalness’ of interpersonal relationships, a contemporary bargaining chip.
In a 1.0 phase of the work, Inexplicable Odeur poses a reflection on the perceptive drift we experience when relating to some attributes of our natural environment.
Through a made-up universe of fragrances, this work of art aims at sensitizing the audience as critical recipients.
In the 2.0 phase of the project, a collection of plants will be created. They will not be selected by their fragrance, for they will be nanotechnologically modified and instilled with a new perfume.
Going over a reversed way —from manmade to natural—, a new perfumery format is put forward, one that approaches sculpture.
Inexplicable Odeur. Documentary pictures from the installation at La Capella. BCN Producció ’10.
Platycerium bifurcatum. Interior of a high-end sports car scent.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia. Underground tunnel scent.
Polyscias elegans. Toner essence.
Botanic illustrations by Joaquim Conca.
- Is art’s admiration of science proportional, symmetrical?
- In the presence of a technological gadget with impressive qualities, do you find it easy to enter into dialogue with the other subjects around you in the space?
- Do you believe in the possibility of a technological culture capable of activating manifestations of conceptual art that are close to the absurd?
- Immersed in the digital age, what do you regard as an ‘interface’?
- When a conceptual proposal is materialized, where do you focus your attention: on the magnetism of the material or on the suggestion of the concept?
- What do you think of the following statement? the electronic environment is based on the 2D and 3D universe, but an idea has an infinite number of dimensions.
Vernissage installation documentary picture. Hangar Open Studios. Barcelona, June 2015.
Vernissage documentary video
Installation documentary video
14. Sound e-cosystem (work in progress project)
:-/ Sorry. Translation coming soon…
(Stereo Mix. For a better listening use headphones or listen the track amplified)
Octophonical + subwoofer installation documentary photos. Hangar.org. Paratext 5.
In our attempt to understand the concept of «culture» and its limits in this era of cultural production, we endow the work of art with a clarifying responsibility.
My work sways on that slippery field representative of a culture generated by —instead of for— the masses where the mirage-like work of art seems a reflection of a place rich in social experimentations and preserved from the uniformity of behaviours. But a mirage is nothing but a mirage.
Considering a fact or proposing an ad hoc hypothesis as a starting point, my work puts forward an amplified reality, which tries to represent a fact parallel to one we know or accept. Thus, I translate to the exhibition space inputs from the popular culture, usually filtered through absurd or a seemingly senselessness. My projects —where I re-enact a presumptively improbable encounter between entertainment culture and a culture of a reflective nature— aim at provoking questions that force us to precisely rethink the meaning of culture and the position and functionality of art in the collective imagination.
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