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Baroque and Neo-Baroque

Domus Artium 2, Salamanca

The Hell of the Beautiful. 64 international artists

comunicato stampa

Selected by Domus Artium Chief Curator Javier Panera and guest curators Paco Barragán and Omar Pascual, Baroque and Neo-Baroque. The Hell of the Beautiful brings together 64 international artists whose work literally, formally, and conceptually reflect on Neo-Baroque as a aesthetic category in contemporary culture.

Neo-Baroque should not represent a simple return to the celebrated style of the XVII and XVIII centuries, but should also, and above all, reflect a spirit or aesthetic category, a form of cultural organisation with its own representational strategies; a cultural metaphor for our own era that adopts and re-defines – sometimes in a contradictory way – an aesthetic and socio-cultural behaviour that has been developed since classical times.

From our point of view, the Greek Laokoon is as Baroque as the monster from Alien. The Carnival of Rio Janeiro or the Berlin Love Parade are two of the most fascinating neo-Baroque manifestations of our times. The designs of Christian Lacroix, Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier are clearly Neo-Baroque. Internet is a virtual space which is as Baroque and overwhelming as a vault painted by Tiépolo or Andrea Pozzo or Wachowsky Brothers’ The Matrix.

In this sense, a discourse has evolved which primarily takes account of a cultural model defined in terms of ideas such as complexity, simulation, variation, inconsistency, movement, inversion, metamorphosis etc. that in the sphere of visual arts has translated among others into formal processes such as transversability, the prioritisation of heterogeneity, the hypertheatralisation of performance, simulation, rhetorication of forms, allegorical impulse, domination of connotations, metamorphosis of perception and representation.

The project Baroque and Neo-Baroque. The Hell of the Beautiful has evolved from these premises and has led to an exciting show of 64 international artists taking place in various spaces around the city – after all, to all intents and purposes, Salamanca itself is a Neo-Baroque city. The majority of the pieces are notable for their scenographic qualities and visual impact. It should be remembered that the Baroque has always been considered a time that favoured the trompe l’oleil, theatricality and articifice, dreams and visions… The world is just a great stage, Life is just a dream…

But we have also wanted the exhibition to be a critical approach to the present. The subtitle The Hell of the Beautiful can be seen specifically as a metaphor for the desperate attempt to find a secret order in the recognition of complexity in the world, one that reality is not able to produce on its own, but one which art is not able to reproduce either without overcoming the superficial levels of beauty.

Participating artists: Franz Ackermann, AES F, Pablo Alonso, Vasco Araujo, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Pedro Barbeito, Matthew Barney, Judith Barry, Philippe Bradshaw, Fernanda Brunet, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Lee Bul, Javier Cambre, Catarina Campino, Alex Campoy, Nathan Carter, Cecelia Condit, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Raúl Cordero, Cheryl Donegan, Janieta Eyre, Inka Essenhigh, Jan Fabre, Thomas Glassford, Walter Goldfarb, Dionisio González, Bill Henson, Timothy Hutchings, Charles Júhasz-Alvarado, Yayoi Kusama, Javier Largen, Hew Locke, Robert Longo, Marcos López, Fabián Marcaccio, Teresa Margolles, Enrique Marty, Masbedo, Tony Matelli, Jonathan Meese, Julie Mehretu, Juan Muñoz, David Nebreda, Lars Nilsson, Manuel Ocampo, Erwin Olaf, Rubén Ortiz, Tony Oursler, Javier Pérez, Wang Quing Song, Fiona Rae, Elena del Rivero, Bernardí Roig, Bestabée Romero, MP & MP Rosado, Jason Rhodes, Luke Roberts, Julian Rosefeldt, Daniela Rosell, Aura Rosenberg Thomas Schütte, Sery C, Teresa Serrano, Elisa Sighicelli & Marzia Migliora, Ray Smith, Richard Stipl, Eve Sussman, Una Szeemann, Tmori, Sam Taylor-Wood, Janaina Tschäpe, Adriana Varejao, Vargas Suárez-Universal, Javier Velasco, Bill Viola, Tim White, Won Ju Lim, Liu Zheng.

Image: Thomas Shutte

For information:
Domus Artium (DA2)

Domus Artium 2 (DA2)
Contemporary Art Centre Salamanca
Avenida de la Aldehuela s/n 37003 Salamanca

Rock my religion
dal 9/10/2008 al 6/1/2009

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