Nada temas, dice ella. Exhibition V centenary of Santa Teresa

 

 

 

The National Sculpture Museum, on the occasion of the V Centenary of the birth of Teresa of Jesus, first opened together three Colegio de San Gregorio, Villena Palace and the Casa del Sol -the headquarters - to host this tribute to Santa and women whose spirituality and mysticism has influenced many artists of all disciplines.

 

 

 

 

"Fear not, she says" can be seen in this privileged position of Valladolid until February 28, 2016 and includes the participation of 21 contemporary artists selected by curator Rosa Martinez, director and curator of international biennials such as Venice or Istanbul and now in charge of this exhibition, among which are: Marina Abramovic, Anila Quayyum Agha, José Ramón Ais, Pilar Albarracín, Francis Alÿs, Miquel Barceló, Dora Garcia, Cai Guo-Qiang, Anish Kapoor, Waqas Khan, Kimsooja Cristina Lucas, Bruce Nauman, Nikos Navridis, Eglé Rakauskaité, Soledad Sevilla, Josefa Tolrá, Eulalia Valldosera and Bill Viola. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of them have created specific works for this exhibition and others have mixed their works with unique pieces from the historical collection of the Museum, being an eclectic displays of ceramics, drawing, video, performance, installations and interventions in public space.

 

 

 

 

 

"The exhibition it is not intended as a narrative or descriptive exercise on the life of Teresa of Avila, but claim her status and her word as a woman. The selected works are connected with her audacity, boldness and tenacity to realize that the most important mission of every being is to find the purpose of life itself. And that purpose is precisely the force that drives artists to shape their visions, again and again, testing, destroying and restarting. The conscious and continued cultivation of their own gifts make the artists undertake ways to try to reach the ecstasy of true creation [...] The artists and works in this exhibition demonstrate their multiple ways of approaching the mystery of existence, as indicated by the subtitle of the exhibition: "When art reveals mystical truths". Mysticism is a difficult way of approaching reality and it is understood as the highest, the truest, the mystery of communion between self and the whole. "
Rosa Martinez. Fear not, she says (text from the book published on the occasion of the exhibition)

 

 

Among the specialised professional profiles that we find in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the field of visual arts, one of the most recent occupations is that of the curator. The ‘80s put attention on the role of the artist, with its innovative character and the enhancement of its figure as an essential articulator of creative proposals, while the end of the century moved the interest towards the exhibition centres themselves and their work as custodians of current production and as spaces to accommodate all proposals. The change of millennium strongly introduced in this panorama the role of the curator. Perhaps together with a social identity crisis, perhaps with the complexity that contemporary projects are currently acquiring, the need for building, articulating and delving into artistic discourses became evident.

Although the functions entrusted to this profession are not entirely new, since previously they belonged to conservatives, critics or experts according to the themes, the role has gained solidity because it combines all these purposes while allowing the specialisation of other professionals in their fields of competence. Now, as some curators themselves point out, the genuine spirit of this figure, who was born to facilitate the understanding of the discourse, create narratives within a sometimes chaotic and scattered context, mediate between the works and the spectator and create bridges between contemporary art and society.

The art of our day raises a multitude of unknowns for the visitor who must face proposals many times away from the aesthetic standards, which gives way to uncertainty and confusion; but, in turn, these works employ a closer language, materials and even compositions detached from the sophistication and the technical display of yesteryear, something that, far from favouring proximity to the message, generates some distancing. What we have just described is part of the very essence of current art. The questioning of the formalist guidelines and the recourse to tangible elements that are more utilitarian than embellishing are the new criteria of creation, where, above all, the message to be conveyed stands out.

Likewise, another inherent characteristic of the work of our time is the artists' concern for more immediate themes, for social, political and economic issues that seek to create a narrative and conceptual revulsion, leaving behind the aesthetic priority or, rather, making of the message its own aesthetic. In this context, strange as it may seem, contemporary creation encounters a linguistic barrier hindering the viewer's understanding. And to this circumstance, the abundant current production is added, covering a wide range of themes that are nothing more than a transcript of our diverse and globalised society.

The curator helps to facilitate this understanding by articulating a coherent discourse that allows the grouping of related ideas to set up the message. This requires to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of the art, the lines of work of the creators, the most recent aesthetic proposals and the real demands of society to bridge the dialogue and allow the approach to art. If art deals with the same issues that concern us all, how can we not share its postulates? Cultural mediation requires the work of the curators to open a small window for reflection and to enable a space for exchange and idea generation. We share the thought that José Guirao expressed in a recent interview: "The curator is someone who reveals something new, and it would be a mistake for curators to become managers."

Understood this way curator’s role, many institutions have joined the trend of creating specific calls for new professionals to give light to their proposals. Let us remember, as an example, the call "Unpublished" of La Casa Encendida, or "Curator wanted", of the Community of Madrid or the call of Curating of La Caixa.