↓   COVER STORY, JANUARY 2022   ↓

Rasmus’ Doubts

Cover Story, January 2022
Hermetic philosopher Giulio Camillo built his Theatre of Memory in Venice in around 1530. Inverting the perspective of ancient theatre, a single spectator could stand on a central “stage” to look out at a wooden auditorium of seven rows of seven pictures. An occult matrix of divine, celestial, and terrestrial knowledge, this mystical device enabled the entirety of existence and the workings of the universe to be beheld at once, and their relations and meanings to be called to mind and read off like an audacious rhetorical aide-mémoire.

Rasmus Nilausen created his Theatre of Doubts (2021) for the exhibition Apunts per a un incendi dels ulls (Notes for an Eye Fire) (at MACBA, Barcelona, until 27 February 2022) as an homage to Camillo’s sublime and ridiculous project. (Yet the title is the only thing he is sure about.) Evidently flawed and over ambitious, Rasmus’s liberal revival of the memory theatre format draws on 49 works from his own painterly and allegorical universe. Visitors are invited to wander among images which themselves seem to be going for a walk, to adopt multiple viewpoints, see unfamiliar connections, and summon new memories.

The first row takes on the seven planetary deities of Camillo’s Renaissance design: Diana (the Moon), Mercury, Venus, the Sun (represented by a banquet), Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The blue canvas seen in the last row here is titled Erasmus’ Doubts / Measuring your own grave (2021). “Desiderius Erasmus and our beloved Giulio Camillo were contemporaries, yet ambassadors of quite opposite views of the world,” Rasmus explained recently in an Instagram post. “This painting was the last I made for the Theatre of Doubts, it’s a memento mori inspired by a miniature made by Bernat Martorell. The last part of the title was borrowed from a monograph on Marlene Dumas. Because of Barcelona’s status as one of the top choices for participants in the Erasmus exchange programme, more than once people would reply ‘yes, or sí’ when introducing myself.”
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Photo: Roberto Ruiz
  • COVER STORY, JANUARY 2022

    Rasmus’ Doubts

    Cover Story, January 2022
    Hermetic philosopher Giulio Camillo built his Theatre of Memory in Venice in around 1530. Inverting the perspective of ancient theatre, a single spectator could stand on a central “stage” to look out at a wooden auditorium of seven rows of seven pictures. An occult matrix of divine, celestial, and terrestrial knowledge, this mystical device enabled the entirety of existence and the workings of the universe to be beheld at once, and their relations and meanings to be called to mind and read off like an audacious rhetorical aide-mémoire.

    Rasmus Nilausen created his Theatre of Doubts (2021) for the exhibition Apunts per a un incendi dels ulls (Notes for an Eye Fire) (at MACBA, Barcelona, until 27 February 2022) as an homage to Camillo’s sublime and ridiculous project. (Yet the title is the only thing he is sure about.) Evidently flawed and over ambitious, Rasmus’s liberal revival of the memory theatre format draws on 49 works from his own painterly and allegorical universe. Visitors are invited to wander among images which themselves seem to be going for a walk, to adopt multiple viewpoints, see unfamiliar connections, and summon new memories.

    The first row takes on the seven planetary deities of Camillo’s Renaissance design: Diana (the Moon), Mercury, Venus, the Sun (represented by a banquet), Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The blue canvas seen in the last row here is titled Erasmus’ Doubts / Measuring your own grave (2021). “Desiderius Erasmus and our beloved Giulio Camillo were contemporaries, yet ambassadors of quite opposite views of the world,” Rasmus explained recently in an Instagram post. “This painting was the last I made for the Theatre of Doubts, it’s a memento mori inspired by a miniature made by Bernat Martorell. The last part of the title was borrowed from a monograph on Marlene Dumas. Because of Barcelona’s status as one of the top choices for participants in the Erasmus exchange programme, more than once people would reply ‘yes, or sí’ when introducing myself.”
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