The Àneu valleys are the territory where the contemporary artist Oriol Vilapuig most concen-trates his field of action. Located in the north of the comarca of El Pallars Sobirà, these valleys, with their symbolic potential, overflow-ing with nature, appear dotted with and unified by many Romanesque churches. They run on two axes, one from Sant Pere de Burgal to Alós d’Isil (south to north) and the other from Cervi to Son (east to west). This is the territory where the artist inscribes a micro-story based on the frottagetechnique, a procedure that allows images to appear through contact, not drawing, thus revealing the bas-reliefs sculpted on the fonts that con-tained water and oil, and which we can find in the churches scattered around the territory. These stone containers, dated between the elev-enth and thirteenth centuries, contained the holy water for the ritual of baptism and the oil for other religious rituals and for the church lighting.
This initial study of the imaginary centred on baptismal fonts and those containing oil, typical of the area, is subsequently opened up by the artist to other fields and experiences, all linked to the territory of the Àneu Valleys. Shapes of nature, fissures, centuries-old marks, pebbly ground, animal footprints, that lead us to contextualize and broaden their interpretative field, always with the frottage technique.
All these forms are presented in a space built especially for this show in-side the Romanesque rooms. A small room measuring 50 square metres in which the 80 impressions that are presented here attempt to suggest the physical and phenomenological experience of being surrounded by images in a symbolic and significant space.
This intervention establishes a dialogue with a visual assembly of projected images from archives and publications in different fields, an inaccessible visual atlas that dilutes or reinforces what takes place “among images”, and it is complemented with a special publication containing all the images.
Son. Imprints and figurations in Valls d’Àneu is one of the projects being undertaken by the Museu Nacional to build bridges between society, the present and the works in the museum, inviting contemporary artists to establish a dialogue with the collection.