3. lucíaloren madre sal 01 BR
24.01 – 25.07.2020
Curated by Assumpta Bassas Vila

Isabel Banal | Raquel Friera | Lucía Loren | Olga Olivera Tabeni | Irene Pérez | Carme Sanglas | Eulàlia Valldosera

Friday 24th January at 8 pm
in ACVIC. Centre d'Arts Contemporànies

In the name of the mother, in the name of the earth is an exhibition that invites you to enjoy seven projects that celebrate the culture of life, demonstrating the capacity of artistic practice to create symbolism to guide us in these confused times.

[view the virtual activities related to the exhibition]

The show brings together works by seven contemporary artists from different generations and geographical locations (Isabel Banal, Raquel Friera, Lucía Loren, Olga Olivera Tabeni, Irene Pérez, Carme Sanglas and Eulàlia Valldosera), and attempts to be a prologue to what could be a broader show dedicated to highlighting the wisdom cultivated in the life experiences and cultural productions of many women of the present and the past.

In this prologue, I bring together artistic practices in a variety of languages ​​(painting, installation, video, sculpture, objects, publications, etc.) originating from the life lessons learned by artists in two very specific areas of life. On the one hand, learning resulting from a relationship of trust with nature, conceived as the master of an order of holistic relationships and nourishing physical and spiritual knowledge (Isabel Banal, Lucía Loren, Carme Sanglas and Eulàlia Valldosera). To free nature from a reifying and destructive gaze, is also to free ourselves from the gaze that destroys us as women, and to open the way to recover and regenerate an understanding of the wonderful life force that connects us with it. On the other hand, the learning that mother artists have discovered in the specific experiences of motherhood; a motherhood understood in its harsh, diverse and complex reality, without idealization, but from the radical and clear certainty that "mothering" is not a set of tasks to be distributed, but a great possibility to take care of life, a masterful lesson that is universally addressed to all.

This is not an exhibition of eco-feminism or an exhibition "on" motherhood. We are not interested in labels that classify stereotyped topics, but rather in words in the mother tongue that overflow the codes of phallocentric language, that is, they classify and isolate us from supposedly objective knowledge. Feminism in art is not only a transgressive or reactive practice, but the possibility of reconnecting with its own voice and singing subtly but without interruption, in a polyphony of voices with all those who have spoken or written - from their visions, intuitions and reasoning - of respect and love for the mystery of life in them and in nature.

All of this shapes a culture of life that needs to be recreated and re-energised in every body and every human relationship. Although not owned by women, the culture of life has been guarded, represented, lived and transmitted in many ways by many of them. In that sense, honouring the memory of those who have done so, listening and dialoguing with a female genealogy of creation may guide us in political work. Creative thinking and reflection form a fabric, woven day in and day out, responsible for the fact that, despite the patriarchal-capitalist violence, we can maintain an awareness of the common good and the strength needed to stubbornly insist that we are here to take care of life, and to make art and politics that honour it.

 Photography: Lucía Loren. Madre sal, 01, 2009

[activities related to exhibition]

The table has been a recurring element and archetypal symbol in the artwork of Isabel Banal. Quiet witness to daily life, a metaphor for the everyday home landscape, and a metonymy for the routine labour of hands working in the field, at home, or at the artist's workshop. In the installation intents (2019), a version of the installation originally created for the Museu de la Mediterrània (Torroella de Montgrí), the various found and recycled tables are connected by small bridges, models of the kind used in assembling nativity scenes. The trick of scale grants viewers two perspectives in one, the real and the figurative. The eyes of the viewer roam here and there like free wanderers, and thoughts traverse precipices, rivers and gullies. A landscape in which the artist's memory of her childhood, in her birthplace of Castellfollit de la Roca, resonates, when she used to watch from the cliff while the people worked hard in the fields. But it is also a creative landscape for maternal thought, because the bridge is the link, the bond, and at the same time the enabler for any "attempt" or desire to move beyond the perimeter of security and comfort, actions understood in all their breadth.

Raquel Friera's version of 4' 33" by American composer John Cage (1912-1992) is part of a wider cycle of performances entitled Feminising Art History, in which the artist reinterprets, in feminist terms, a number of historic performances which have been made so far by men. Cage advanced an understanding of music as basically a first-person listening experience, and expanded the conception of musical sound to include accidental and undefined sounds. In the case of this particular work, he also paid homage to silence, understood as, among other things, a transposition of a creative practice centred on individual subjectivity. In this video, Raquel Friera asks us to see and to experience what happens when a mother plays a musical piece which deals with remaining silent for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. The work is presented for the first time in this exhibition.

Madre Sal (2009) by Lucía Loren is one of the projects which this artist carries out in natural environments, with the aim of understanding the symbiotic relationships between living beings and the planet Earth, and to learn from the wisdom of the rural population. The small display of sculptures refers the viewer to an intervention that took place in the middle of a meadow near a shrine in the Parque de Esculturas "Lomos de Orio" in Villoslada de Cameros (La Rioja). The video documents how pieces of rock salt, carved in the shape of breasts and half buried, transform when herbivorous animals lick them. We observe a process of cyclic and beneficial nutrition on both sides: the animals transform the mineral elements and return them to the same land that feeds them. Salt benefits them because it facilitates their growth, prevents dehydration, promotes digestion and the assimilation of food, and thus improves the animals’ health. The photographs show perspectives upon the sculptures suggestive of mountain ridges, recalling the forms and functions of the living earth, nurturing with patience and persistence.

Sketch of a banner for a ruderal state (2019) by Olga Olivera-Tabeni was printed, on cloth, based on a photograph of vegetation growing on hills and verges, in "terrain vague", in particular, in parts of the region of Lleida where, in the 16th century, the meetings and activities took place of women who, in contemporary court proceedings, were accused of witchcraft. The artist is undertaking a large-scale project linking the memory of those indomitable and wise women with the persistence of so-called "weeds", plants which live on scarce resources, and which have various uses. Without a word, this banner acts as a powerful advocate for modes of living which are free from, and resistant against, the dynamics of capitalism and consumer society.

Conversations With My Daughter (2016-2019) by Irene Pérez, is a selection of written works based upon ideas which arise, often expressed in the literal language which emerges from the artist’s everyday interactions with her daughter. There are conversations about favourite colours, their bodies, super-heroines, comics, feminism(s), illness, politics, sexuality, clothing, economics, racism, migration, fanzines, ecology, music, death, language, and many more topics. "Thanks to my daughter, and through her influence, I’m exposed to innovative ideas, and to experiencing the prospect of new paradigms. And it is from this place where I find myself now, where I am as much a teacher to my daughter as I am a learner from her, where the world enters my artist’s studio'' explains the artist. The pieces composed with felt-tip pen on foam-board will form the template patterns for a series of textile works to be created later. These phrases constitute the driving force of an open multidisciplinary project called Seeds of Resistance in which the artist has been studying, supported by feminist readings, the experience of mothering as a verb with multiple meanings, analysing the theory and the practice of healing work.

Carme Sanglas defines herself as a painter, and has been painting for more than forty years. She is captivated by images, and creating them is, for her, an alchemical task, "a transmutation of matter into a sense, and a joy into recognition". Her painting is nourished by images from art of the past, by the metaphors of visual thought, and by the silence and intimacy that contemplation of nature demands. To look is a persistent call to let the images that come to her speak, and which, enriched by the translation and the setting of a mysterious journey, end up, as if by a spontaneous generation, on paper, wood or lead. Mountain, boat, fire, water, house, gold, light, sun, moon, bird, tree, veil, hair, human figures, often feminine, are the grammar of an elemental language that carries an intense, collective dimension. of essential knowledge. Because, as the artist emphasises, "the image speaks not only of itself, but of all the other sister images that it drags behind it, and that shape our visual universe, our memory and our shared past". You must hear them with your eyes because, "knowing how to look at them is like possessing a healing treasure or talisman."

The voiceover on the video Canto de sanación de las Aguas marinas and the island of Capri forms the main strand of the project Plastic Mantra (2016), which originally included several art installations (El Manto, La Fuente del Perdón and La Fuente del Encuentro). This piece recalls Eulalia Valldosera’s experience of initiation on a trip to the Campania region in Italy on a quest to rescue the memory of the temple caverns excavated in the volcanic rock. Guided by the voice of the Sibyl of Cumes (6th century BC) and the mantra-like reverberations of her chants, the artist performs a silent act of connection with water and sunlight in order effect a reprogramming of the site’s memories. The cliffs on the island of Capri are scarred by the violence of the Roman dictator Tiberius, and now also by our pollution of the waters. In the act, we see how the artist continues her task of transmitting her knowledge as a medium, through which she recovers the voice of women and communities who once believed in the restorative and healing power of the image and the word, both in the personal sphere, as well as in the collective.


Isabel Banal i Xifré (Castellfollit de la Roca, 1963). Visual artist and teacher at the Massana School of Barcelona. Her origins have permeated her work; her relationship with nature, the countryside, the tradition of landscape painting at the School of Olot; and have led her to reflect on the tension and coexistence between the rural and urban worlds, between the concepts of nature and artifice. She has been granted a scholarship at the Spanish Academy in Rome (2013-14).Among her many individual exhibitions, notable shows include intents (Museu de la Mediterrània, Torroella de Montgrí, 2019), locus amoenus, Rad-Art/ Bòlit. San Romano (Itàlia), Amb els peus a terra (ARBAR, Vall de la Santa Creu, 2018), Llunyanies (Espai Dieu, Cadaqués, 2017), Natura morta amb passos (Fundació Miró, Barcelona 2016), Via Lactea (Arts Santa MònicaBarcelona2014), La maleta [blava] de W.B. (Portbou, 2011), Ascensioni (Galleria Enrico Fornello, Prato, 2007), feix petit pel camí creix (Centre de Lectura, Reus, 2004), Allez (Centre d’Art Contemporain, Saint-Cyprien, 2004), Rumiant (Espais, Girona, 2003), Sense revelar (Espai Zero1, Olot, 2002). http://www.isabelbanalx.com

Lucia Loren (Madrid, 1973) has realised numerous specific interventions examining the relationship betweenart and ecology in various natural environments in Spain, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Argentina and the Western Sahara. In all these interventions, she uses elements of the landscape to make small variations which question the very concept of cultural landscape. She has presented her artworks in centres of contemporary art such as: CDAN, MUSAC, IVAM, CAB, Escorxador, La Casa Encendida, Cercle de Belles Arts, Estampa, Museu Contemporani Esteban Vicente, La Panera, Centre Cultural Montehermoso, Galeria Estampa, Museu Provincial Belles Arts de Tucumán, Jardí botànic de Bogotà, Palau de l'Quintanar, Ap Gallery, among others. www.lucialoren.com

Raquel Friera (Barcelona, 1974) combines a critical approach to economics with gender-awareness. Her projects explode what she learned during her BA in Economics, and take full advantage of her Fine Arts degree, which she completed in Barcelona in 2006. With this learning and unlearning, she always seeks to combine conceptual reflection, a long work process with the participants involved in her projects, and an aesthetic critique of all hierarchies. From the perspective of gender theory, she has dealt more precisely with the subject of work, both in the context of the art world and in other sectors as well, focusing on areas where precariousness in work is prevalent. These topics of interest (work, precariousness and gender) seem to take on a different slant in the series of performances she is currently conducting, entitled Feminizing Art History, which consists of reinterpreting, in a gender perspective, some of the mythical performances in the history of art. www.raquelfriera.net

Olga Olivera-Tabeni (Lleida, 1972). Bachelor of Fine Arts. Her artistic projects attempt to highlight systems and mechanisms of discrimination, such as silence, and specifically the tools used to silence voices, whether feminine voices and the voices of non-hegemonic social classes, or self-imposed social amnesia. She is also interested in exploring the meanings we attribute or impose on nature, and in opening up questions, and in considering alternatives to the crisis and the collapse of our world. Lately she has realised a number of solo and collective exhibitions: Centre d'Art la Panera (Art i Natura 2017-18 grant), La Gòtica de l’IEI (Lleida), la Bienal Internacional de Arte Textil Contemporáneo WTA (Madrid), Museu tèxtil de Terrassa, la Trastera(Segur de Calafell), la casa Duran i Sanpere i la Casa Dalmases de Cervera, Biennal de Riudebitlles, Museu Paperer de Capellades, Embarrat (Tàrrega), UCLM (Cuenca), UPV (València), Fundació La Posta and the Lisbon Culturgesthttps://www.olgaoliveratabeni.net

Irene Pérez (Terrassa, 1975) is a visual artist, mother and eco-feminist activist. She began her career in Chicago, United States, where she lived between 1999 and 2009. Her studies include art history at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona,and photography and fine arts at the College of DuPage, IL. EUA. Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work explores issues of identity, gender, language and education, starting out from personal experience and in a multidisciplinary way, so that they become the vehicle for generating thought. Since 2017 she has been developing a project called Seeds for Resistance, based on conversations Pérez has had with her daughter, specifically those related to gender discrimination, ecology and politics. This premise, together with the practice of feminist and conscious parenting, has allowed the artist to continue working with the idea of ​​her previous project, New Universe: Exploring Other Possibilities, which used education as a driver of change. http://ireneperez.net

Carme Sanglas (Barcelona, 1953) Painter. Bachelor in Art History from the University of Barcelona, and with a degree in Fine Arts. Since 1986 she has been living in Ordis (Alt Empordà). She creates a body of work that attempts to represent experiences and realities through a stylised imagination that approaches purification, using traditional techniques such as gilding, while considering the present-day meanings of the images offered for reflection. She has exhibited in Catalonia and Europe, and has works in public and private collections. She has also created illustrations for books and other media. http://www.carmesanglas.cat

Eulalia Valldosera (Vilafranca del Penedès 1963). Using the language of artificial light and, more recently, of sunlight, she creates devices using everyday and ephemeral materials to relocate perception and the body as nuclei where memory and consciousness are formed and transformed. Her position of commitment to a healing art that unveils the traps of the market has led her to begin a new cycle of work called Economía de la visió, with spoken-voice actions and videos. She works in parallel on two planes, the pollution of the water and the dark areas of the collective psyche. She received the Premi Nacional d’Arts plàstiques of the Generalitat for her retrospective at the Tàpies Foundation (2001) in recognition of her multidisciplinary installations. Her most important works and projects have been exhibited atWitte de With (Rotterdam), 2001, MNCARS, 2009, Antarctic Biennale 2017, Biennale de Lyon2010, Bienal de São Paulo 2004, Yokohama Triennale 2005, Biennale di Venezia 2001, Site Santa Fe (New Mexico) 1998, Istanbul Biennale 1997 and Manifesta I (Rotterdam) https://eulaliavalldosera.com


Assumpta Bassas Vila. Mother, lecturer of Contemporary Art History and Performance Studies at the Universitat de Barcelona, curator of educational projects and exhibition. She studies and writes about the work and careers of contemporary artists, the encounters between feminism and art, the sexual difference in art history and the spirituality of women in contemporary art. She has co-curated (with Joana Masó) the exhibition series Blanc sota Negre. Treballs des de l’imperceptible, White under Black, Artworks from the imperceptible at Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona 2014-2015, among other exhibitions dedicated to exploring various themes in artists' working practices and thought in the women's tradition. She has created a number of teaching methodologies, as well as the Entremestres workshops, and the programme on women’s art and culture, Les Juliettes (with María José González) in la Bonne (Barcelona, ​​2018). Most recently, she has curated the performance season, Irreductibles, as part of Feminisms, at the CCCB, Barcelona (October 6, 2019).


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