The skin is eminently political, not so much for what it contains, but for what it represents. The skin is what both protects and what exposes us. The skin is our presence in the world and the memory of our actions as a group. The skin is coating film, layer, tissue, clothing, stratum, matter, surface, screen, mask; it is what it hides and what it reveals about humankind and our world.
The exhibition La piel del mundo (The Skin of the World) reflects, through the work of eight artists, on the different skins that constitute our scope.
Bianca Bondi and Apparatus 22 point to the human skin and its social repercussions, a matter of either colour, gender, religion, old age or actions. Bianca Bondi (1986, South Africa) works with latex, which looks like skin, but is colourless, to make androgynous jackets named after famous women, such as Virginia Woolf , and plays with the powers attributed to the jacket of the shaman, which acts like a mask in the passing from one state to another. Apparatus 22 (Erika Olea, María Farcas and Dragos Olea, Romania) creates artworks by integrating short poetic texts tattooed on leather of different colours. They appear as reflections on the human body as well as on different ways of political, economic, social, religious, aesthetic and technological control.
Noa Gur and Arturo Hernández Alcázar talk of industrialisation and the ills of capitalism by using different black materials on different supports. Noa Gur (1980, Israel) uses her own body in a pose that is reminiscent of classical portrait painting. Her face is full of soot and her mouth inhales and exhales smoke. What seems like a flat black surface reveals its features, while alluding to physical labour carried out still to this day by the forgotten ones, either because of geographical or social reasons.
Arturo Hernández Alcázar (1978, Mexico) explores the idea of the residue as a sculptural or graphic possibility. He reflects on the working conditions in the realm of neoliberal capitalism and points out a series of issues that revolve around the topic of territory in the context of dispossession, massive disappearance and the erosion of prevailing organisation policy models.
Ion Macareno and Lucas Jardin focus their attention on the urban sphere by reflecting on the use of images and forms generated therein, creating artworks that always spring from a process closely connected with the work in the studio. Ion Macareno (1980, Spain) gives shape to works that refer to different aspects of the public space: from the shapes of urban furniture or architecture, to the materials and textures used in construction. Lucas Jardin (1990, France) carries out paintings on large advertising canvases that he collect from around the city. Placed on the artist’s studio floor for several months, he covers them daily with paint and matter. The pictorial composition appears and is fixed with the help of lids that reserve and protect parts of the whole as the artists consider them done.
Emmanuel Van der Auwera and Mathilde Claebots use common objects and their components in the development of a reflection on images and their interpretation. Emmanuel Van der Auwera (1982, Belgium) lacerates the polarising filters of certain LCD screens, creating digital collages in motion. Literally altering the screen this way draws attention to the manipulation of images, making us think about our relationship to them. Mathilde Claebots (1990, France) explores the connections between art, craft and design through a series of armchairs she transforms and deconstructs. She only shows the tapestry, as the object’s skin, which calls for an effort of the imagination on our behalf, in order to reconstruct and help generate once again the missing body, the form and the initial image of the object.