ADN Galeria presents next Saturday, June 30th, “At the end of all human dreams there is nothing but dust”, a group show that sets up a dialogue between works by Núria Güell (Vidreres, 1981) & Levi Orta (La Habana, 1984) and Adelita Husni-Bey (Milan, 1985) under Juan Canela’s (Sevilla, 1980) curatorship. The projects, diverse in many ways but alike in their essence, meet under a common denominator: the will to challenge pre-established conventions suggesting different alternatives for the future.
Marina Garcés (Barcelona, 1973) argues that “what really disconnects us from the future or makes us have a relationship of loss of control over this is, precisely, the impossibility of imagining, and therefore of having a direct relationship with the consequences of our own actions, both what we make by ourselves and what we do in common.
To experience our interdependence, to feel ourselves as a dimension of our own existence, is a way to reconquer the world.” We live in a time dominated by a kind of vulnerable but yet indispensable strength for this re-conquest. A strength that, in Juan Canela’s words, only affects because it is affected and that is the outcome or consequence of that existential weakness described by Tiqqun as the Bloom, which is poison and antidote, which throws us to the deepness to take impulse again and break everything.
Canela speaks of this vulnerable and fluid strength, undetermined, strange, contradictory and mutant. A strength born of the ostensible impossibility of changing the world, of feeling that nothing we do will have a consequence in our environment. This strength that flows comfortable between blurred spaces, makes itself consistent in hybrid practices that ride different areas of reflection and action. Practices such as Núria Güell & Levi Orta’s or Adelita Husni-Beys’ projects transit between activism and art, becoming strong in their paradoxes. They circulate among critical thinking, pedagogy or direct action to generate projects that, involving different actors in their development, affecting different layers of political and social change processes.
The title of this exhibition was inspired by Federica Montseny (Madrid, 1905 – Toulouse, 1994). She was not only a syndicalist, anarchist and novelist, but also the first woman who served as a minister of Spain, within the framework of the II Republic. Montseny strongly believed that one of the best ways to communicate ideas and knowledge was through literature. That is why she always defended that, in relation to libertarian productions, aesthetics and ethics always pursued the same purpose. The same happens with these projects that distill a libertarian scent always seeking a complex balance placed in the problematic spot in which they manage to maintain a coherent and ethical attitude within the art world while fostering a firm political position. A series of artistic proposals arises then entailing an implication that goes beyond the aesthetic or intellectual, approaching the personal. With no hesitation, Güell & Orta and Husni-Bey commit themselves to the issues they address to “stir in the mud and change the surrounding reality.”
The Future has lately been one of the most treated topics by philosophers, critics and cultural agents. Many have considered the possibility of imagining alternative forms of life to the modern capitalist colonial machine. For this exhibition in ADN Galeria, Juan Canela has gathered recent projects of these artists that are projected towards the future, generating a dialogue between practices that at times collide while in others instances might be aloof from each other without losing a sense of coherence.
La estética de un mapa inmobiliario / The aesthetics of a real estate map (2017), by Núria Güell & Levi Orta, addresses the migration issue, war and the right to housing in our globalized world. The project, developed during a year at the MiMA Middlesbourgh Institute of Modern Art, is carried out through a conversation with some of the Syrian families and charity workers supporting refugee-background communities from the Tesside area (focus of refugee settlement, in the northwest of England). The poetic power of the words of these exiled families while talking about the homes they have left behind is a demonstration of this delicate balance pursued by art and culture - even though at times from a paternalistic standpoint - in addressing complex social situations. In this way, Güell & Orta do not limit themselves to examining the problem in itself, but also to query the role that cultural agents can (and should) play in this crisis.
In this project both artists apply what they call the methodology of the "analytic replica". Developed by them, this mechanism consists of reproducing, within the artistic framework, the existing phenomena in the social and political realm. Such reenactments function as a magnifying lens that allows us to analyze from a critical perspective the nuances and connections of what, too often, it is normalized as being internalized. This way, the project culminates with the purchase of one of these many properties that Syrian citizens have had to abandon to establishing a MiMA branch there.