Carrying the name “Proyectos”, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is launching an exhibition program that aims to exhibit the most recent, or in progress, works of current artists -both domestic and international-, whose importance lies in their unusual and original ideas. The inaugural exhibition is also the posthumous exhibition of last works by Pepe Espaliú (Córdoba, 1955-1993) who makes his homosexuality the pretext for survival in a world (and society) that he knows and feels excluded from.
When he was diagnosed HIV positive in the early 90s, Espaliú turned his HIV status into the axis of a meditation on illness, death, pain and fragility. Beyond a committed art, Espaliú’s work shows, in the words of art critic Manel Clot, a "progressive trend that radically dilutes margins and borders between two activities - the artistic and the existential -" in such a way that it is in the existential (and in particular in his experience of AIDS) where we find the keys to access the fundamental means to a work where the very artist could not differentiate between art and life. The result is a work where personal references became everyone else’s references, as noted by Clot.
The exhibition is made up of drawings and pieces that are halfway between sculpture and installation, he uses cages and crutches as exclusive lexicon and conceptual climax in his career, in addition to the video Nido (his last action, where he sheds his clothes, like a return to original nature). All these works constitute powerful objectual and visual metaphors, on death, dependency, pain, isolation and displacement. In this way, in Paseo del amigo II and El nido, both from 1993, the use of crutches reaches a strong poetic sense, and as happens in drawings that are explicit references to homosexuality, all this is the artistic depiction of his disease, elaborating his work to become, in the words of Manel Clot: "a space of autobiography, the piece as a double for the artist, the artist as a reflection of the social, the piece challenging the social, the work as the voice of the artist."
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