Empty images
Where: Palau de la Virreina
La Rambla, 99
Barcelona
Barcelona

Current exhibitions

oriol vilapuig

Empty images
oriol vilapuig

12.03.2022 – 02.10.2022


Curator: Valentín Roma

Opening: Friday, 11 March, 7 pm
Free entrance. Limited places

The images in the work of Oriol Vilapuig (Sabadell, 1964) are a kind of poiesis, in other words, a trigger that generates meaning and invites us to consider not only the position of the artist but also the stances of those who approach them.

Rather than an archive of fetishes retrieved from the past or from the present, the snapshots that Vilapuig creates share a tripartite nature: they come from extemporaneous places and are heading towards ungovernable locations; they walk with one foot in the apocalypse and the other in apotheosis; they speak while revealing themselves and they empty themselves so that we can narrate them.       

Indiscipline, sovereignty and dispossession. This is a proposal for moving amid images because if an ‘ethics’ in the face of the visual account is increasingly urgent, there is an equally pressing need for an ‘economics’ on how we distribute the perceivable, on the way in which we are addressed by that which goes beyond the iconographic parameters of the world.

The exhibition unfolds in the manner of a series of interlaced fugues. Eight plot threads—‘Overture’, ‘Threshold’, ‘Dwelling and organising’, ‘Folie des hommes’, ‘Otranto fanfare’, ‘Time, Desire, Tedium’, ‘Repetition’ and, lastly, ‘The fascinating room’—gradually weave a fabric that leaps from the fragment to the anachronism, from the unfore(seen) to the overwhelming. Similarly, the media through which this symphony extends are many and simultaneous: words turned into an image, drawings and prints leaping to a third dimension, photographs and dances, studies of the body that disoccupy the space, tapestries and maps that incorporate erasure, portraits of human hollows or sounds that make us shiver.

Whereas the issue of the meaning of images mediated—or still mediates—many of the policies on usage vis-à-vis the visual, Empty Images raises a number of ideologically disturbing questions. Can we relate to the image without according it any constitutive power, without demanding that it define us? Is it possible to restore to the gaze its ability to read an image while knowing and unlearning, with the memory of its messages and as if we were looking at it for the first time?

Oriol Vilapuig
"Folie des Hommes" (2021). Linocut, 110 x 110 cm
Oriol Vilapuig
"Taedium vitae" (2020). Colour pencil, gouache and photocopies on paper, 152 x 200 cm
Oriol Vilapuig
"Dwelling and organising" (fragment), 2020-2022. Sequence of seventy-eight images. Drawing, photograph, video and objects of variable dimensions, 21 linear metres
Oriol Vilapuig
"Holding up the World. Atlas" (2006-2021). Digital print on paper, 90 x 90 cm