Exhibition CAAM - Los Balcones 11. Planta 2
Since 17 October 2019 to 1 March 2020
The unanimous enigma of time, the body, feminism, nothingness, chance, reflection on art and prime numbers are all core themes of her poetics. They run through her work in a unique way, reconciling repetition with meaning, mathematics with absurdity, the infinite with the ephemeral, critical thought with humour, and creativity with boredom. They are part of life, which Esther does not see as separate from her work.
Until the 1980s, actions were her main artistic activity, which is why she is considered “the first and most important Spanish performance artist”. This exhibition includes the projection of a selection of her performances, in which her body is the main instrument and the extraordinary performer of an absurd “visual music” that she plays on the objects that populate her domestic life. The exhibition is structured around three iconic installations.
PI. To Esther, it represents her obsession with searching, with experimenting, with numbers with infinite decimals. This installation is a projection of the number pi on a screen, digit by digit, second by second, continuing until the end of the exhibition. Time flows through this clear and powerful “installation” that is also a form of visual poetry, a complex, sensory and conceptual aesthetic experience.
From Duchamp, we know that a “work of art” is defined as such by its intention, the artist’s subjective responsibility and the frame in which it is presented. The context alters our perception.
En el marco del arte (“In the framework of art”): a mirror, a frame and an inverted sentence activate the viewer’s sensitivity and curiosity, take us out of our comfort zone and introduce us to the world of contemporary art.
La parte de los ángeles (“The angels’ share”) comes from a French legend. Throughout the process of decanting wines and spirits from barrels and casks, the amount of liquid used to shrink. The lost alcohol was known as “the angels’ share”.
Alcohol, water of life or firewater, gradually evaporates during the exhibition. This work is an olfactory experience as well as a visual and conceptual one. As the days pass, the scent of the spirits pervades the installation, and then the room, eventually expanding throughout the whole museum. A work in process... the process of evaporation.
Carlos Díaz Bertrana