On the 8th of December 1976, Josep Pla started the interview in the iconic programme A Fondo with a “vague critique”. Quoting by memory André Gide ”The deepest thing a human has is his surface” he criticised the name of the TV show, asking himself what to do: “Something deep that probably doesn’t exist or something intelligible and superficial?” Dichotomies apart, the proposal of Enric Farrés Duran is made of backgrounds and surfaces.
The exhibition completes the trilogy initiated by Enric Farrés Duran in which the void becomes the protagonist of the exhibition. If we exercise our memory- or we check the documentation area of the exhibition – we find that in proposals such as Paper playing a part: Make Nothing Out of Something (Los Angeles, 2017) the artist generated a series of expectations with the collection The papers of The Century. The artists invited us to visit a totally empty exhibition room emphasizing the connoted space of the California garage – the space of the entrepreneur where everything is possible – presented on that occasion as a huge bluff. This type of disappointment was repeated months later in Porto. At the space Uma Certa Falta de Coerência, Farrés organized Lay with a corpse to become invisible, an exhibition for dogs. In this case, the exhibition was not empty, in fact it was full of works but due to the materials used -smells, pheromones, microsounds-, these were only perceivable by dogs and became invisible for us humans.
This invisibility has often been present in Enric Farrés’ artistic practice and, in fact, in Something deep that probably doesn’t exist is the protagonist. A year ago Enric met an artist who is a painter. When visiting his studio, the artist explained him that he earns his living with a peculiar business. He paints 60x60cm wooden backgrounds that are rented and used by Instagrammers in the field of food photography as backgrounds for his meals. Backgrounds that allow to see things better, that highlight visual features and that, in conclusion, achieve higher visibility in social networks in the form of likes. Gastronomy placed on top of paintings that circulate through a photo accurately composed. Once the business was explained, this artist made Enric swear that he would never reveal his identity. The invisibility here becomes double: the thing that is not on the surfaces and the person who wants to remain occult as a secret producer of the perfect conditions for something to be seen.
It is precisely these conditions that Enric Farrés bring into play in this exhibition, underlying the artificiality of the construction of the wall that allows the placement of the painting at the height of the people who pass by on the street (Empathic structure, 2018) or simply placing properly these pictorial surfaces for rent (Background I, II, III, IV, 2018) that while here, will act as abstract paintings, and when the exhibition finishes it is likely that they go back to its owner. This fact highlights the performativity of the exhibition and of the market, since it depends on it that the works remain or disappear. Finally we realise that these surfaces strategically placed –and bearing in mind the conjuring exercises by Enric Farrés such as An exhibition to look at Centre d’Art La Panera or Nothing is mine at Bólit in Girona –they can seem something that is not, but, in fact, if we look properly at the exhibition, we can not deny that the proposal is extremely intelligible and superficial: if these backgrounds enable us as figures, all we have to do is to go back to the beginning refreshing the question: What do we have to do?