Opening: 11.10.2019, 8 pm
Exhibition: 14.10 - 16.11.2019
Curator: Székely Sebestyén
This exhibition presents a chapter from the artist’s overarching project. “The End of Caresses” represents the timeline for his recent works, drawings, performances and sculpture-installations dealing with issues of late capitalism. Thus, one of his works, “Machine”, puts into operation a mechanism which is preparing for an era which, hopefully, will not be dominated by money. The machine sorts 1 cent coins according to their shades of colour, creating an absurd situation in which money loses its conventional financial meaning. A computer program archives for “eternity” an image and every detail of each sorted coin.
The inspirational trigger of the works exhibited is the Biblical story of Pharaoh’s dream as related to Joseph (Genesis 41), according to which Pharaoh “saw seven fat, healthy cows coming up out of the river” and being eaten by “seven thin, bony cows”. In this image Enric recognises the cyclicality of nature and society, the “eternal return” understood as the self-regulating law of a universe with limited resources. Miniature drawings from the series “Small sketches for large actions” capture an arcane ritual in which humans and machines are shown manipulating an unusual public monument: two upside-down bulls stuck together by their feet. The procedure of the ritual is that people periodically dig up the monument and invert it in such a way that there is always only one part of it visible: the thin, bony bull or the fat, healthy one.
This anti-monument proposes a dynamic approach toward monuments: a whole community could be involved in periodically turning the sculpture over. Thus, performance and temporality form part of it. This takes performance and performers back to the era when there was as yet no money, an era dominated by astrology and agriculture. The art of that time was indeed based on cyclicality and participative performance. “Eternal return” shows one of the major and strongest features of Enric’s practice: the alternation of rest and action in his performances. Thus, one can see a static sculpture in a certain period – an artwork according to the classical definition – and then later can see this activated and employed as the machine of some new ritual.
The exhibition is dominated by large-scale aluminium sculpture-installations. The surfaces of the recycled aluminium plates are engraved with well-known mythological scenes that have Taurus as their main actor, yet as a slaughtered victim. From the body of the aluminium plates – a material of the modern age – the image of Taurus has been cut out, with the result that the animal is present in the work only by his absence.
“The End of Caresses” takes place as follows: Taurus, the object of desire (and a disguise assumed by Zeus when he set off on one of his journeys of desire), and hunted, first in Sumerian and then in Greco-Roman myths and present too with many meanings in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, can no longer be touched or owned, becomes immaterial.
The caducous bull-shaped cut-outs form the raw material for the above-mentioned anti-monument, which Enric hopes to be able to create one day.
The exhibition at Quadro 21 Gallery, this “chapter” of “The End of Caresses”, would appear to coincide with a period in which the artist is rehearsing the stories and fantasies people have expressed down through the ages through the image of Taurus. He is neither illustrating nor making a collage of narratives. Rather, he is making a collection of mythological images, a scenographic landscape for his lengthy processes, in which he includes the human heritage as an opensource storeroom, while leaving all the meanings active.
What is beyond doubt is that from this landscape, from these engraved plates, the Bull is missing at this present moment. Maybe he has become so thin and bony that he is now invisible - but he may soon reappear…