Thirty-nine photographs from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía collection, produced during the Eighties and Nineties, are displayed at the exhibition Nueva Tecnología, Nueva Iconografía, Nueva Fotografía which is presented by the Juan March Foundation at the Museu d’Art Espanyol Contemporani in Palma and will afterwards exhibit at Museo de Arte Abstracto Español in Cuenca. A total of thirty-six artists are present due of the diversity coming from a single medium: photography.
The popularisation of photography in recent decades has meant that more issues are included in what becomes a true reflection of the questions and concerns of our societies. Thus, this exhibition develops around the two most common themes among national and international artists from the Eighties and Nineties. The first is the body in relation to gender and the "I" and secondly, rural and urban landscape and architecture.
The representation of the body in art history has been fundamentally linked to the male view of femininity. The artists represented in this exhibition break with this tradition, valuing other forms of representing femaleness. There is a reflection on the self that leads to self-analysis, self-awareness and self-representation through the photographic image. Here belong artists like Cindy Sherman, who transforms herself into different stereotypes of different nature to address the issue of identity, Yasumasa Morimura, whose work belongs mostly to the genre of self-portrait and Robert Mapplethorpe, immersed in the nuances and intensity of what is sexual.
The relationship with the body at its most symbolic is the purpose of Tunga’s work; Helena Almeida shares with Tunga the connection of corporeality with performative. Meanwhile, Daniel Canogar and Juan Pablo Ballester turn to the figure as a concrete representation of what is human. Despite the substantial difference between their work, there is an implicit reference to loneliness and isolation in both.
The works of Ana Laura Aláez and Hannah Collins are full of irony and resort to various attributes of female seduction to demonstrate women’s different roles in serving as a sexual fetish. Other works present in this first section dedicated to the body are: lesbians photographed by Carmela Garcia, artistic intervention of a woman's legs by Susy Gómez, male prostitution photographed by Philip-Loca diCorcia, poetic fragmentation of the body at work by Paloma Navares and humorous metonymy by Gonzalo Puch.
The second thematic section of the exhibition is landscape. Intellectualised through architecture, retrieved through the memories and constructed from set design, landscapes have inspired artists like Andreas Gursky and Axel Hütte. However, the conception of the landscape in the late twentieth century does not focus exclusively on portraying nature. The allusion to architecture as a landscape in photography is represented here by Thomas Ruff, Jan Fabre, Bill Henson, Sergio Belinchón and Gabriele Basilico; it refers to an experience of the landscape as a product of human intervention. In any case, the poetic hue of the landscape is retained despite the fact that the scenarios are constructed, as in the case of the mountains inside a suitcase by Chema Madoz, scenography proposed by Joel-Peter Witkin and Gregory Crewdson, or even when the landscape is reduced to an object as is the case with inventions by Joan Fontcuberta and Ana Prada.
Finally, ethnographic landscape is another of the disciplines practiced by more contemporary photographers. This is seen in the work by Xavier Guardans who depicts an African-American wedding in Alabama or with photographs by Tina Barney taken of her own family, a paradigm of America's upper class.
Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca
18 May – 13 October 2022
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4 May – 5 September 2022
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Alejandra Riera (*)
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Against the Extravagance of Desire
23 March – 29 August 2022
From Posada to Isotype, from Kollwitz to Catlett
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11 February – 10 June 2022
Isidoro Valcárcel MedinaMuestras documentales, Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación