Acaymo S. Cuesta, Irma Marco, Javier Rodríguez Pino, Sabela Zamudio, Xavier Monsalvatje
WAR RADIO SHOW
It is the radio that does not stop playing, reporting in times of war. These are days of non-stop listening to the radio, of following the media. It is like a radio program with its themes and sections.
Placing at the center of the exhibition a key radio set in the history and the Nazi propaganda in the 1930s Germany (courtesy of the Alfaro Hofmann Collection), with its functional design in Bakelite and its commercial strategy adjusted to the new mass society, we want to rehearse a commentary on the context of polarization and warlike confrontation in which we live —we have been living for a long time— and on the way in which the media spread a story that informs and manipulates, that shows and distorts the facts , that uses data while sometimes wielding it without corroborating their accuracy or value. But also quite the opposite.
Our days are so similar to those of that “people’s receiver” that we wanted to put a “war radio program” on the air. The works of 5 artists guide the broadcast of this essay as interconnected sections. Javier Rodríguez Pino’s Stardust project was carried out during a residence in Prague in 2019 (granted by the Consortium of Museums of the Valencian Community) and consists of three large drawings that simulate the microfilming of as many covers of renowned newspapers (The New York Times, DNES, Mercurio) but showing possible headlines and photos about a fictional series of terrorist attacks on world leaders meeting at the G7 summit in the Czech capital.
Without abandoning the pages of the press, the watercolors from the News (and old stuff) series by Sabela Zamudio help us make visible the scant validity of news and how information becomes —as in the song— “a newspaper from yesterday ” devoured by an overwhelming news difficult to verify. The war in Iraq, the attack on the Bataclan, the situation in Afghanistan, the rivalry between Putin and Zelensky or the memory of many other armed conflicts is more than just wrinkled paper.
The works of Acaymo S. Cuesta show how conflict is part of the human condition, carving the word NATURE in the hundreds of half-open pages of the 10 volumes of the work “Great wars of our time”; and link the paradoxical neutrality of Switzerland with the legend of a wise William Tell and the dark enrichment of the country thanks to its participation in the manufacture and trade of weapons worldwide. “Gun money kills” reads a graffiti by activist Loise Schneider on the Swiss National Bank in Bern in 2017.
Belonging to the series In permanent danger, the earthenware vase by Xavier Monsalvatje denounces —like a historical column— how our democratic societies maintain threatening features of totalitarianism (propaganda, architectural megalomania, the arms race, financial opacity) that perpetuate oppression, lower any ethical value and feed uncertainty. In Monsalvatje’s works the visionary construction of a new post-industrial world refers critically to indoctrination and programming.
Irma Marco’s #internetflags incorporate a series of hand-painted messages hung in the gallery space and on the balconies of the exterior square with which she proposes citizen dialogue regarding the control of information and communications through the Internet: A nuclear-proof method of communication. With nods to the history of the medium (Hello World) and popular culture (Dark Side of Social Media), Marco’s texts lead us to reflect on the use of the Internet by dissident movements (Anonymous Everywhere) or the rejection of the control of the network (Fuck off Google).
The exhibition will participate in Abierto Valencia, the joint opening of the exhibition season of the contemporary art galleries of the Valencian Community.
Ricardo Forriols. Curator