WE TALK TO MÒNICA SUBIDÉ ABOUT HER LAST WORK: “THE DESIRE TO BE A DEER”

There, inside the forest, where everything is dense and leafy, inhabits the fantasy of the stories. The machinery of the imagination beats in the heat of a light sifted by the tops of the trees, under whose branches, lying in the sunset light, magic takes place. The stories that host our dreams feed on the emptiness that the mystery leaves in its way so that we fill it with new stories. It is a perfect tension between innocence and maturity, between the desire to play and the awareness that all this is part of an unreal world. But the door is open and, although someone warned us once that we should not enter, we can not avoid it.

Mònica Subidé

Los niños de papel, 2019

Óleo, lápiz y collage de papel japonés sobre lino

54 x 65cm

Mònica Subidé

Los hijos del rey bufón y sus buitres, 2018

Oil, pencil and collage on wood

80 x 110cm

Mònica Subidé

Jardín de Luces, 2019

Oil and collage on linen

54 x 65cm

The eyes of animals are crystal spheres that curve and reflect the environment. The green leaves form superimposed fans, like vegetable screens that yield sweetly in our path. We advance in search of a refuge, a haven in the middle of the grove where we can rest our exhausted mind of so much information. And so be able to think. Silence (which is not true silence) fills with faint sounds, and we enter loneliness accompanied, in a path without fixed direction that takes us to the bottom of our being. We face these images with the feeling of having seen them before, but not in real life, but in the reality of our dreams. They are dream pictures that remind us of fairy tales, enchanted forests, spring evenings, being lying on the grass while we watch the clouds pass by.

Mònica Subidé

Alma de ciervo, 2019

Oil and collage on linen

38 x 55cm

Mònica Subidé

La princesa ladrona. Niñas pez, 2018

Oil and collage on wood

25 x 18.5cm

Mònica Subidé

Travesia en el bosque de Nolde Mirocco. Serie exploradores, 2018

Oil and collage on linen

114 x 146cm

The often difficult task of theorising about painting loses its meaning again on this occasion. These snatches stolen from a dreamy mind lead us to a conceptual contradiction. Let's glimpse suffering, but also placidity and serenity. A natural and delicious calm, not without frights and scares of the soul when you think of existential truths such as freedom. Our mind can play tricks on us, look for the misunderstanding between state and situation, create the fallacy of being free but locked in oneself. No. Let's get rid of artifices. There, inside the forest, where nobody sees us, we are what we really are and surrender to our own life, contradictory and elusive as it is.

···

We asked Mònica about his latest work that is on show in Bea Villamarín Gallery, a pictorial proposal that takes us to an almost oniric world where time seems to stop.

In previous works, you have explored the connection between life and death. The allusion to the emptiness you make in "The desire to be a deer", is it also a reference to that dichotomy between opposing elements, such as childhood and adulthood, consciousness and unconsciousness?

I have never considered that there was a dichotomy between childhood and adulthood or consciousness or unconsciousness. For me, in both cases, we must accept the first to live the second. The allusion to the void, always talking about me, is just that state where you intend to stop and vanish, in the concept of idea-mind, to be in a déjà-vu. They are difficult emotions to express in words and painting. Abstract emotions that speak of emptiness in humans are always complicated. I am very interested in human being and emotions, so childhood is something that fascinates me because it is the beginning towards life and where we take the road. I usually interpret emotions in stories; narrating in painting is more like writing. On this occasion, there are many pieces where I do not want to tell, just lie down, be in a state of déjà-vu. When I started about four years ago with a new pictorial language, my nine-year psychoanalysis was just over. It was the beginning to try to interpret childhood ideas and dreams.

 

What does the deer represent as a concept in this pictorial series, is it the observer or is it the observed being?

Always for me, it is the observer; it is the link between man and his soul. The deer in many different occasions in my pieces always represents the wild animal that we are, and that desire to be free, without knowing what a world in freedom is. It is an act of protest, poetic, dreamlike, subtle, trying to be freer in our everyday world, in small things.

Mònica Subidé

Flor azul, topo marron, 2019

Oil and collage on linen

22 x 27cm

Mònica Subidé

Cuenco amarillo con girasol verde, 2019

Oil and collage on cardboard paper

40 x 58cm

You have stated that you feel comfortable with large formats, have you chosen the medium size for any reason for this collection?

I was working for years in very large formats; I am increasingly interested in the medium format for a simple matter of privacy. I really wanted to be able to present nearby, less spectacular pieces and force the viewer to stop a few minutes, in front of the pieces. The large format is often a fast-track-look format. I wanted a slow exhibition because the last three years have been very intense, with a lot of production, and little time to reflect. I wished I could find a closer dialogue between one’s self and painting. With this, I do not mean that I am not interested in the large format, but it is a very different mental state, which on this occasion, I did not feel when painting. I believe that this exhibition came at a time when the physical and mental exhaustion of recent years forced me to lie down and rest, reconnect with myself, review my trajectory in order to continue advancing, and be able to reinvent new ways to transmit that feeling of emptiness.

 

The cultural agenda gradually recovers after the health-crisis halt and art lovers are eager to enjoy the rich cultural offer that the different spaces and museums throughout our geography have to offer. In addition, one must remember that these centres have made an enormous effort to adapt to the demands that the new situation imposes and have created abundant online-accessible content to overcome confinement. We bring you a selection of content that can be visited both in person and through the web. There is no excuse for not enjoying contemporary art again.

Olafur Eliasson, “En la vida real (In real life)”, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao continues with its exhibition dedicated to Olafur Eliasson and offers numerous resources to understand not only the exhibition but also the work of the centre in the assembly and installation process. The website allows us to expand content with interviews with the artist, the download of the audio guide and the vision of the curator Lucía Aguirre, who offers us different video-pills on the pieces in the exhibition.

"Olafur Eliasson: in real life" brings together a part of this artist's work since 1990 through sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colours. Likewise, the integration of elements such as moss, water, ice, fog... put the visitor in a situation that confuses the senses and tries to challenge the way we perceive our environment and move in it.

Regina de Miguel, “Isla Decepción”, 2017

The Botín Centre in Santander hosts the exhibition "Collecting processes: 25 years of Itineraries" which brings together the work of 25 of the 210 scholarship recipients who, to date, have enjoyed the Botín Foundation Plastic Arts Scholarship, started in 1993. With the works Lara Almárcegui, Basma Alsharif, Leonor Antunes, Javier Arce, Erick Beltrán, David Bestué, Bleda and Rosa, Nuno Cera, Patricia Dauder, Patricia Esquivias, Karlos Gil, Carlos Irijalba, Adrià Julià, Juan López, Rogelio López Cuenca, Renata Lucas, Mateo Maté, Jorge Méndez Blake, Regina de Miguel, Leticia Ramos, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Teresa Solar Abboud, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Jorge Yeregui, David Zink-Yi, the exhibition is a good example of up-to-date and young contemporary art contributed by artists with very diverse profiles.

Clemente Bernad. Series “Ante el umbral”, Madrid, 2020

The Reina Sofía Museum wanted to create a visual chronicle of what the confinement and the tragic numbers of infected and deceased have meant for the lives of many of us: a tale of pain, nostalgia and uncertainty made by the photographer Clemente Bernad. This exhibition, curated by Jorge Moreno Andrés, is entitled “Before the threshold”, a title that expresses the strange sensation that occurs when faced with something new and unknown, something that we cannot control or avoid, and that we all must go through. The alteration imposed on our lives unexpectedly is reflected in the streets, transformed into places of solitude and abandonment where life has been paralysed.

Mario Merz / No title, Triplo Igloo, 1984 MAXXI Collection

At the IVAM, the exhibition "What is our home?" brings together works from the IVAM collection and the MAXXI centre in Rome to propose a reflection on the space we inhabit seen from a personal and social perspective. It is about investigating the value that these spaces have as a home or refuge, as well as part of a city or community.

The exhibition, curated by José Miguel G. Cortés, also wants to delve into the feeling of those who feel like foreigners anywhere, because they do not identify with the habits or customs of the society, they do not fit into these social patterns, and home becomes the only shelter space that can adapt to their identity needs.

Martha Rosler, frame from “Backyard Economy I-II”, 1974 © Courtesy of Martha Rosler, 2020

Es Baluard Museu is committed to video creation and performance and hosts the monographic exhibition “Martha Rosler. How do we get there from here?” dedicated to this New York artist who pioneered the use of video as a mechanism for social and political analysis. This exhibition includes various works, from video to photography and several publications, which synthesise her main lines of discourse. Her concern for public policies and the social equality of women has led her to actively participate in numerous social movements in La Havana, New York, Mexico DC or Barcelona, and these experiences are present in one way or another in her work.

With the curatorship of Inma Prieto, a selection has been made within the abundant production of this artist, which presents one of the most coherent careers in towards-the-new-Millenium contemporary art.

Image from file, via meiac.es/turbulence/archive/acceso.html

The MEIAC - Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, host the works of the prestigious international digital art archive "Turbulence", a platform dedicated to network and hybrid art. In view of the inevitable closure of this institution, the MEIAC has offered to host all this valuable content collected since 1996. The uploading of the file also served as an opportunity to restore numerous pieces and convert formats so that files that had become obsolete remain readable by new systems. A huge job of conservation and updating that can be enjoyed online today. The archive is made up of hundreds of digital works from around the world that can now be visited remotely.