States of Grace, Barcelona (Catalonia), Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

2016 May 21 - June 12

Solo show.
Curator: Carolina Ciuti for Loop Festival 2016.
For its first presentation in Barcelona within the context of the LOOP Festival, States of Grace has been redeployed with a double screening logic intended to reinforce its integration in the space of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. The focus of the series has been entirely restructured and reformulated due to the double dialogue established, on the one hand, by the different montages that have been gathered, which have been arranged in perfectly synchronized pairs for the first time, whereas their relationship had hitherto been more independent and random, and, on the other, between the video works and the religious paintings in Romanesque architecture where they are projected (a reconstruction of the narthex of the church of Sant Vicenç de Cardona whose paintings, mainly executed on the overhanging vaults of the three central sections of the atrium, were leased permanently to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya on the very same year that Alfred Hitchcock shot his film).

On the one hand, the presentation of the montages as diptychs diverts the linear and chronological approach of the altered Hitchcock sequence, as well as the one that could result from the succession of scenes by Leonardo that have been reworked in each one of the montages. They present a challenge to the narrative (and more strictly cinematographic) dimension favoured by their successive, isolated approach, thus emphasizing the aesthetic issues brought up by the series and highlighting the plastic bonds they establish between each other. On the other, the context of the demonstration provided by the narthex in which the images are integrated implies a specific filter of perception which, by reinforcing the sacred dimension of the montages, displaces the loose equilibrium between the superimposed images being confronted. Above all, it sets the works in the series within a historic continuum, returning them to a highly codified iconographic tradition which, through the numerous perspective effects that can be drawn between them and the pieces in the museum, raises the question of their inherent depth (regardless of whether it arises from the complex work carried out on broadening their scope, both concerning the montages and the images used, or from the very principle of the stratifications favoured by the overlays). The nature of the media of the projection, the fact that it falls within the broader field of Romanesque collections or that of the collections of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya as a whole, provide States of Grace with its historical and emotional baggage, subtly smoothing its chronological wrinkles. The experience of perception emerges largely transformed from it, inviting the works to acquire a timeless dimension that transcends any possible attempts to categorize them, through the interpretation filters proposed by their architectural and pictorial environment (since the narthex, which hosts the installation, can be seen both as a museum element within a larger whole, and as a metonymic figure for the church of Cardona).

By inviting spectators to take possession of it, the series displays a dizzying temporal dynamic, as if it were caught up in the noticeable tangling of its stratifications, or in the expression of its formless, sensual and monstrous tremors.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Palau Nacional
Parc de Montjuic
08038 Barcelona (Catalonia)
Tue – Sat : 10 AM – 8 PM
Su : 10 AM – 3 PM
Phone: +34 936 22 03 60

Picture: Aitor Estévez

Copyright © 2016 Laurent Fiévet