Rotations #1 The Route
àngels barcelona gallery
03.07.13 – 27.09.13
This second solo exhibition in àngels barcelona gallery was divided into two separate shows. In July and September two proposals, respectively, refer to two different moments of this transitory act that are linked to the artistic experience: the route and the exit.
In relation to the route, as is habitual in the artist’s work, Saladrigues invites us to entangle ourselves in a situation that is slightly improbable, setting aside the utilitarian expository structure.
The plastic bubble wrap, which is typically used when transporting artworks, now completely covers the floor of the exhibition space. One could imagine that the gallery was undergoing renovation, or that the floor was being protected for being covered with a different material, the same way archaeological artefacts remain buried for a period of time.
However in this case, the artist is not interested in the material’s traditional uses but rather in activating its physical qualities: the fact that the small air capsules explode under pressure. This is, of course, well known. More than once we all have held a piece of bubble wrap in our hands, and have played by popping it just for pleasure, almost unable to stop.
But it is an entirely different situation when the material is on the floor of a space you wish to enter, in which you find yourself engaged in a sort of inevitable participation, where you cannot avoid making noise while walking around, revealing your presence and leaving an audible trace of your movements.
Perhaps you would have preferred to go unnoticed. Or on the contrary, perhaps you would react with excitement, trying to pop more and more bubbles, walking on areas that haven’t been stepped on yet, and thus changing the typical route through the space, alternating the way in which you would normally circulate through it.
Returning to the subject of walking (this minimal physical gesture needed to visit an exhibition), Saladrigues subtly guides us toward a physical recognition of the place, where our condition as spectators makes us involuntary performers, or sound makers. This turn could potentially be read as a participatory accent or a willingness to incorporate the visitors into the exhibition, but actually puts pressure on conventional relationships between artistic production and consumption. In doing so, by making the spectator a producer, the public is casted as a driving force of an uncontrollable and intangible factory, where not only the gaze, but also the route and circulation is work, forming the different shifts, entrances and departures, the spaces we inhabit.
And who better than Eloy Fernández Porta, with a spoken word during the opening, to speak on the mechanisms of the standardization of behaviours and emotions through the power dynamics of these turbulent capitalist times?
We’ll need to wait until September 5th -the second part of the project- for leaving this exhibition. The exit from a gallery, an art space or a museum is akin to leaving the factory. That which, beyond its doors, encompasses the spaces we inhabit, and multiplies itself in different times and flows, actions and shifts.