Throughout the history of art, creation and madness seem to be intrinsically linked. Plato talked of two types of madness: clinical and creative, associating the latter with prophets and poets, and since then creation has been constantly viewed as the product of distinctive or unique psychological states that create monsters (art). If going against the grain and distancing oneself from set structures and rationales is madness, then the artist feels at home in this particular state of difference. The work of Marina Núñez (Palencia, 1966) for this exhibition represents the end of her distinct approach to the world of the feminine representation of madness, something she has been addressing over last few years. Núñez does not tackle this anomalous state morbidly, nor does she depict it with brutality; madness is explored in a metaphorical sense, mirroring a distorted image of the female in a world she is distanced from. Madness is addressed as an alternative, a state with which to understand and counter the dominant idea of sanity in an unjust and contradictory world.
The exhibition is made up of five different series on the theme of madness. The first features life-sized women figures, cut out of different fabrics, wearing white habits and with bright red flesh - their bodies a support for the pain of their difference, expressed through unusual gestures. The second series comprises photographs of women imprisoned in pre-Roman forts, isolated from the other structures that define common living conditions. The third displays women's faces holding instruments of torture in their mouths, a symbol of the castration of free expression. In turn, the fourth portrays a distressed woman staring into space as she holds out her rigid hands. The fifth, and last, shows three women imposed on a black background under a spotlight; three women reacting in three different ways to their own reflections: recognition, fascination for the approach of death and a state of ecstasy.
The striking impact of these works is depicted through the common calling of the figures that do not talk about one specific matter, but a collective place of action and human feeling. The painting is devoid of rigidity, with the fabric itself the only support, and layers the photographic image to create two or three interpretations. Therefore, the tactile nature of the painting is heightened while at the same time attempting a direct approximation of what is presented.
Museo Reina Sofía Publications
1 December 2023 – 10 March 2024
Ulla von Brandenburg
29 November 2023 - 11 March 2024
15 November 2023 - 4 March 2024
The Turning Point
4 October 2023 - 26 February 2024
27 September 2023 - 22 January 2024
Call It Something Else
Something Else Press, Inc. (1963-1974)
27 October 2023 - 9 February 2024
Text and Image, a Perfect Symbiosis
José García Tella Through His Personal ArchiveLibrary and Documentation Centre