Since graduating in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona in 1994, Carles Congost (Olot, 1970) has shown his work in numerous exhibitions, both inside and outside Spain. Congost belongs to a generation of young multidisciplinary artists interested in the variety of formats in which contemporary art is displayed in the early twenty-first century. The spontaneity that characterises his work, the assuming of disparate influences and the ability to produce his works using different media such as video, music, drawing or photography, make him one of the most active artists on today’s art scene.
This exhibition is presented as part of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía programme activity in support of young artists, especially from the national scene. For this occasion it has transformed its Espacio Uno into a movie theatre where visitors can attend a screening of the movie trailer for Kratter's and the film Love & FX, both from 2001. This installation, named Popcorn Love by the artist, has placed a huge bed to accommodate spectators, as well as a popcorn dispenser. Through these elements the artist tries to reproduce the collective and ritual experience associated with viewing films in cinemas. In this way Congost establishes a connection between the seventh art and video art, noted for its enormous versatility and for its absence of a closed exhibition format.
Kratter's (2001) is a three and a half minute long trailer for an adventure movie which takes place in the interior of a volcano in danger of erupting. There we can find the protagonist, played by the artist as a teenager, and the "Lord of the Cave", an inhabitant of the cave that enters into conversation with the youth where he warns that the real threat is not his current situation but his next step into adulthood. The play, inspired by Hollywood style cinematography is a comic reflection on the sense of responsibility and the imposition of decision making in adult life. The figure of the teenager serves as alter egos for the young artists who are faced with their own dilemmas regarding entry into the art market. Congost adds autobiographical details such as the name of the video which refers to the trendy club in Olot during his adolescence.
Exhibited with this trailer is Love & FX (2001), a seven minute ten second long video piece that mimics the aesthetics of audio-visual products created for teenagers like TV series or video clips. The scene takes place in a gym where a group of young people face their inability to communicate with each other while they are protagonists in a series of strange events such as the appearance of a pink smoke which fills the room.
Both pieces reflect the artistic interests of Congost about cultural products and social consumption. His irony-laden diagnostic used to reach his audience are the same tools that the market uses to engage their consumers. In this way the artist alludes to the similarities between high and low culture, a classification that his work suggests is obsolete.
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