Difu expoCano brCurated by Glòria Picazo

4/2 - 23/4/2022

Opening, Friday, February 4th, 7 pm at ACVIC Centre d’Arts Contemporànies

Exhibition spaces:

ACVIC Centre d’Arts Contemporànies (Sant Francesc, 1. Vic)

Escola d’Art de Vic / Vic School of Art (Rambla Sant Domènec, 24. Vic)

Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

> [view program]


The project "Jordi Cano Universe" has been structured according to various subject-areas, the first of which attempts to construct an intellectual portrait, based upon the cultural references that accompanied him throughout his life, references that were repeated insistently until they became almost obsessive. An obstinate attitude, always faithful to those authors and artists to whom, as soon as he had discovered them, he devoted himself to absorbing more of their works, and from whom he could never distance himself. A cultural universe consumed with delight, which led him to "think with his feet, hands, eyes and head", an applied ideology, perhaps unconsciously at first, but which eventually became a pedagogical tool of the first order.

His time as an actor in Els Joglars promoted his interest in a classical literary figure such as William Shakespeare; hence an important book in his library was Harold Bloom’s study, Shakespeare. The invention of the humane. And from the field of theatre, to that of dance; if there was one creator whom he absolutely unconditionally admired, it was Pina Bausch, to the point of following her in theatres around the world, gathering an impressive documentary collection on her performances, and taking an interest in theoretical studies on her contribution to the world of dance. The Rite of Spring, Café Müller, AHNEN ahnen, Orpheus und Eurydike, Walzer, Renate quitte le pays, Nelken, and Vollmond, are a few of the shows he admired with devotion.

Another of his artistic interests was cinema, which is evident in the extensive video collection which is displayed in the context of the exhibition. Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane, Nagsa Oshima's Empire of the Senses, Luchino Visconti's Ludwig, Peter Greenaway's The Chef, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Wim Wenders’s Far Away, So Close, David Lynch’s The Straight Story, Flesh by Paul Morrissey, produced by Andy Warhol, Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola, Blood Simple by Ethan & Joel Coen, Blade Runner by Ridley Scott, Smoke by Wayne Wang, scripted by Paul Auster. These titles demonstrate an admiration for classical cinema, but especially for cinema discovered throughout the eighties, when Jordi Cano was fully devoted to his career as a painter.

As for literature, his preferences comprise a long, diverse and transversal list over time: Italo Calvino, James Joyce, Thomas Bernhard, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Auster, Charles Baudelaire, Severo Sarduy, Julian Barnes, Peter Handke, Michel Tournier, Georges Perec, Boris Vian, Lewis Carroll, Thomas Mann, etc., although he did not hesitate to transcribe an excerpt from the text El silbo de los aires amorosos by San Juan de la Cruz, on the last page of one of his catalogues. And a philosophical reference often highlighted by those who were his students; Ludwig Wittgenstein, for whom language and thought was all one (U).

On the other hand, his curiosity about the great classics of literature ran parallel with befriending and sharing projects with writers and poets, as may be seen in his exhibition catalogues and artist's books. José Carlos Cataño, Annie Bats, Matthew Tree, Víctor Sunyol, Manel Clot and Miquel Bardagil, apart from writing texts about his work, were also given space in his catalogues to publish their own literary texts. The life of the artist Jordi Cano always passed through the night, while the music of Miles Davis always sounded in the background.

We should also mention Cano’s interest in a number of visual artists, an interest which extended beyond their work, caught up in the uniqueness of their personalities. Andy Warhol and his successor, Jeff Koons, appealed to his interest in New York and the complex relationship between art and advertising; Sophie Calle on account ofthe literary component of her projects, but especially for the way she interfered in the lives of others; Matthew Barney for his installations and videos in which theatricality overwhelms the viewer; and especially Peter Fischly & David Weiss, with their video How Things Work (1986-87). This last artwork fully coincided with his idea of linking ideas, concepts and situations in a seemingly unique sequence that humorously reveals the vicissitudes through which a series of objects pass. But if he felt a particular affinity with any artists, it was with Joseph Beuys and Barry Flanagan for their different perspectives on the hare, the former using it in a performance, and the latter representing it in bronze sculptures. The hare, or rather the rabbit, occasionally appears in some of his works, in an autobiographical way, as a humorous way of representing himself; his mother’s surname was Conill (rabbit in Catalan).

The next three subject-areas are based on each of three artist’s books made for an exhibition, outside of the conventional catalogue, and were intended as an extension of the ideas present in the background of his works. The editions always arose from the exchange of ideas with people who were close to him, and were never a conventional commission, such as from a visual artist asking for a text from a writer, poet or art critic to include in the their editions. The first of these publications was 1 + 1 = 1 (Adding up), to which I myself contributed, taking part in a two-person job. As I wrote in the opening text: “One plus one, equals one? It may seem paradoxical, but this statement is no more than the result of an interplay of relationships. Texts, images and thoughts have shifted between point One and the other point, gathering together urban walks and temporal displacements." This publication arose from an exchange of quotations, a collection of images based upon shared readings, movies, a game of correspondence using a mailbox as a container, a mediator between One and One, which is why mailboxes show their presence in the publication. The literary references are diverse; Susan Sontag and her essay On Photography, Thomas Bernhard and his novel Old Masters, Peter Handke and his Essay on Tiredness, and Michel Tournier and The Meteors, among others. And if these authors were invited to take part, others became participants and accomplices at the same time. La lògica del carnisser is an edition that includes four series of five etchings, each series corresponding to the mother tongues of the four "accomplice" authors; Víctor Sunyol, Catalan, José-Carlos Cataño, Spanish, Annie Bats, French and Matthew Tree, English, who collaborate with their original texts.

The next artist’s publication that occupies a new subject-area is L’archiviste de Coda, in collaboration with writer Annie Bats, and many other invited contributors. This publication began by using a similar method to that of the previous edition, based on an exchange of literary quotations, images, ideas, etc., which came together in a book of interlaced content. Exchange as a method, applied by Jordi Cano on other occasions, in this case extends beyond the correspondence between writer and artist, and the artist launched a new challenge to whomever wished to accept it: how to explain to someone the way to get from a point in the city to his home by means of a hand-drawn map, and so the publication gathers together more than fifty maps from a wide range of sources.

The third publication is Read, Therefore Lived, with Miquel Bardagil, intended as a diary in which Bardagil relates his encounters with the artist between September 2 and October 28, 2002, a few months before the opening of the exhibition at the María José Castellví Gallery in Barcelona. Texts, drawings, photographs, reproductions of several paintings, even a kind of flip-book with motifs taken from paintings, establish a set of enmeshed inputs that end up giving the final form to the edition.

Another subject-area, in this case thematic, is dedicated to a recurring question throughout his artistic career. These are the constant references to characters in children’s literature; Aladdin, Alice, Little Red Riding Hood, Peter Pan, and Peter and the Wolf emerge in paintings, drawings, publications; and even his Red Riding Hoods, three of them in this case, ended up starring in a video. A way of approaching childhood myths from an adult perspective, but as dazzled by magical and inspiring unreal worlds as a child.

The project’s final subject-area is to be found in the Vic School of Art’s exhibition space, and aims to raise awareness of Jordi Cano’s work in education over the last two decades, mainly in Barcelona’s Elisava School, and that it is the logical consequence of the work he did before, in Eumogràfic, Eumo Editorial and more recently in Eumo_dc, as well as his long period of collaboration with the University of Vic. The exhibition space becomes an open classroom in which students from the Vic School of Art will contribute their creative visions, following the premises that Jordi Cano applied at a pedagogical level, as concise as they are suggestive. The value of the transversal as a creative method: Think with your head, think with your feet, think with your hands and think with your eyes, as Jordi Cano always asserted.

Glòria Picazo


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Jordi Cano (Vic, 1954 – Barcelona, 2020) Self-taught, Jordi Cano combined his work as an actor (1979-1982) with that of a painter, and later with that of a graphic designer and communications director, carrying out important teaching work in the fields of design and communication.

He had his first solo exhibition in 1972, and from then until 2003, when his last exhibition, he collaborated with galleries such as Dau al Set / Salvador Riera, Galeria Trama and Galeria María José Castellví in Barcelona, as well as the Galerie Ruben Forni in Brussels, Altair in Palma de Mallorca, Fernando Silió in Santander and Vanguardia in Bilbao. At the same time, he participated in several editions of ARCO in Madrid and in numerous group exhibitions during the eighties and nineties.

His works form part of various art collections, including; Josep M. Civit, Joan Uriach, Ernesto Ventós, Rafael Tous, Piramidón, MACBA, La Caixa Foundation, the Coca Cola Foundation and Museu Mas.

With regard to publications about his works, apart from published catalogues, three artist’s books deserve special mention: 1 + 1 = 1, L’archiviste de Coda and Llegit, per tant, viscut. He also collaborated with authors such as Víctor Sunyol, Annie Bats, José Carlos Cataño, Matthew Tree, Manel Clot, Glòria Picazo and Miquel Bardagil.

In 1982, together with Anton Granero, he created the design studio Cano/Granero Associats, and in 1984 they founded Eumo Gràfic, a company linked to the University of Vic, which in 2014 became Eumo_DC, of which he was the director. He combined these tasks with that of director of the master’s course in Design, Communication Strategies and Advertising at Elisava School. He was also the coordinator of the master's degree course in Design and Communication at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, where he also lectured in the degree course in Advertising and Public Relations until 2017. Recently, he was linked to the University of Vic where he lead UMedia, the Multidisciplinary Resource Unit.


Supported by:



In association with:

M. Carme Bernal, Col·lecció d’Art Niki i Josep Maria Civit, Col·lecció Beatriu Malaret i Clàudia Cano, Col·lecció Família Hernando, Escola Elisava, Família Cano Cunill, Carles Flo, Fundación Ernesto Ventós, Fundació “la Caixa”, MACBA. Centre d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Marc Aliart, Museu d’Art de Sabadell, OCA Fondation, Piramidón. Centre d’Art Contemporani.

JustARing GranPiscina br

*Images: VvsH6 (2006) - Just a Ring / Gran Piscina (1990) 

> Interview with Glòria Picazo

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