The starting point of the group exhibition Double Wall of Silence is a field of tension between the spoken and the unspoken, between the muted and the forgotten, between the individual and the collective. Migration as a dominant theme in recent years has sparked discussions about national borders, refugees, minorities, loss of identity, about them and us, danger and trauma. The power of recording experiences and memories poses a question of the forms of narrative – who is the speaker and who is the listener? How much time – and silence – does it take for the speaker’s place to belong to the nameless, and how much for the listener, even if it is an unwanted testimony, to be able to fully hear it? When is dialogue possible at all, and what happens if what is said remains unheard? Through a selection of works by five artists who explore or play with the presence and absence, existence and non-existence, the exhibition focuses on the silenced and the power of the unspoken; on silence as a form of language and narrative.
Participating artists: Daniel García Andújar, Louis-Cyprien Rials, Driton Selmani, Ariel Schlesinger, Vangjush Vellahu. Curators: Anja Obradović and Hana Ostan Ožbolt
Daniel García Andújar (1966, Spain), an artist and art theorist, critically confronts prevailing ideologies in his projects. By revealing the dominant operating system, exposing its flaws, hacking it, using it critically, he opens up spaces of resistance to the standardising of language through which the world is created. As he puts it: ¨to democratize democracy is to crack the code”. The exhibition presents two of his works. Soy Gitano / Echastrí 14 (I am Gipsy / Article 14) (1992) is a record of the Article 14 (from the 1978 Spanish Constitution) on Human Rights in the Roma language. By writing it on the wall in a language of an ethnic minority spread around Europe, the artist puts emphasis on the act´s call for protection against discrimination. Worth mentioning, the work has also been shown as a series of posters, murals, and interventions in the public space as part of a larger group of his projects from the 1990s. At that time and in the rise of anthropological and sociological studies (“the artist as a visual anthropologist”) projects sought to approach the “other”, but through dealing with this “otherness” they often discriminated even more. The work is a commentary on it and it reverses this ideology. Albatera Concentration Camp (2019), combines a drone’s view and the narration of a verse to confront the traumatic history of a concentration camp in the artist’s home province of Alicante. Yet another story completely absent, rather than erased, from the contemporary history books in schools across Spain. This concentration camp and what it encompassed is and has been unknown to many, as much as is the voice of Miguel Hernández present in the video, a people’s poet, silenced by the majestuous figure of the better known Federico García Lorca.
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