\"ALL PROCEEDS OF THE WITHOUT REASON\" ANTHOLOGY OF CARMEN CALVO

Grave charming passion, 2014 Mixed technique: collage and photography 120 x 90 cm. Collection of the artist © Carmen Calvo, VEGAP Madrid 2016

 

 

Carmen Calvo (Valencia, 1950) is a Spanish conceptual artist. Formed at the Fine Arts University of Valencia, she has won such prestigious prizes as the National Fine Arts Award in 2013. Carmen's work reflects her life; her three geographical points have been Madrid, Paris and Valencia. These three cities are present at the different stages of her dossier. To exhibit in the 1980s in the art exhibition "New images from Spain" at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, was her springboard. Since that time his career took off until today, and this places him in the international artistic scene.

 

 

S / T, 1969. Mythical technique: gouache on wooden board 90 x 65 cm. Collection of the artist © Carmen Calvo, VEGAP Madrid 2016

 

 

The exhibition recreates a compilation of 77 works from an anthological perspective. The eclectic layout of the room, curated by Alfonso de la Torre, encompasses different disciplines such as painting, sculpture, drawing and installations. The most characteristic of this sample is its chronological and structured organization. Divided into 5 parts, these sections help the viewer to draw a global image of the artistic feeling and to know the artist herself.



The first part, "An archeology of the imaginary", refers to his stay in Paris. We talk about the 80's and the way to represent it is with paintings and elements of sewn clay. This part reminds us of the passion for the archeology of the artist and her relationship with the world of ceramics, since one of her first works was created in her factory.

 

 

Untitled, 1996-1997. Mixed technique on blackboard. Set of 21 pieces of 100 x 130 cm each. National Museum Collection Reina Sofía Art Center © Carmen Calvo, VEGAP Madrid 2016

 

 

The second section, "Ceremony and object", makes a jump forward in time of 10 years. Based on the 90´s, it makes a ceremonial turn towards the relationship between the artist and the object. A clear vestige of how they influence when creating her work and the meaning that she gives them. The third section, "Cannibalism of the images" is directly related to photography, one of the main characteristics of his work. The manipulation of the photos holds no secrets for Carmen, and is one of her trademarks. Since the mid 80´s it is one of the most recurring techniques, to enlarge and alter its original features, a delight for the senses.

 

 

Silence II. I promise you hell, 1995. Collection National Museum Reina Sofía Art Center © Carmen Calvo, VEGAP Madrid 2016

 

 

The fourth section, "The hallucinations are innumerable", dedicates his speech to the work on paper, collage and drawing. And in the last chapter but not least, it winks at the multimedia content. This field, well loved by the artist, reveals his love of cinema and music. Two artistic modalities that have always accompanied her. With this last data we can give meaning to all his work. For this reason she has created the work "Et pourlèche la face ronde”. This is the best farewell, for an exhibition full of looks within itself and to spread the delight of the arts.
 

 

 

 

 

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.