With the participation of Ana Domínguez, El Palomar (Mariokissme & R. Marcos Mota), Laia Estruch, Arash Fayez, Antoni Hervàs, Rasmus Nilausen, nyamnyam (Ariadna Rodríguez & Iñaki Álvarez) with Pedro Pineda, Claudia Pagès, Aleix Plademunt, Marria Pratts, Stella Rahola Matutes, Eulàlia Rovira, Ruta de autor (Aymara Arreaza R. & Lorena Bou Linhares), Adrian Schindler, Rosa Tharrats, Gabriel Ventura, and Marc Vives.
MACBA is launching a new series of exhibitions entitled “Panorama”, with a focus on contemporary art practices in and around Barcelona. With an emphasis on collaborative practices and presenting diverse perspectives, each edition of “Panorama” will be led by a different curatorial team, composed of a member of the MACBA team together with an independent curator or collective.
Occupying the entire top floor of the Meier Building, the first edition of “Panorama”, will open with the group exhibition “Notes for an Eye Fire”, curated by Hiuwai Chu (MACBA) and Latitudes. As the “notes” of the title suggests, this exhibition attempts to jot down, to lay out and to connect without seeking to be in any way definitive.
The group show is not driven by one overarching subject, yet the works on display weave together diverse and interconnected themes that have emerged from the curators’ studio visits and conversations with the artistic community, whether addressing the self-image of the city, notions of reparation and belonging, gender dissidence, or our relationship with non-human life.
“Notes for an Eye Fire” brings together works that have been specially commissioned for the occasion, along with recent productions—all being shown in Barcelona for the first time. It comprises a wide range of disciplines, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, video installation, performance, photography, and textiles, and is driven by a desire to defend and verify the making of on-site exhibitions as experiences that envelop us as whole sensing bodies in space.
The title, borrowed from a 2020 book of poetry by Gabriel Ventura, conjures up a powerful metaphor that provokes a questioning of the dominance of vision, urging us to explore an expanded definition of seeing that engages our other senses and entails new ways of navigating the world, of remembering and of producing knowledge.
This broader consideration of the sensorial in the exhibition has developed in parallel to an exploration of the conceptual and historical underpinning of the panorama itself. The word panorama was coined in the 18th century to describe vast 360-degree paintings housed in purpose-built cylindrical buildings. Looking out from a raised platform, the public enjoyed a commanding view that was nevertheless a disorientating visual experience. Long before the invention of cinema and the proliferation of screens that now characterises contemporary life for many of us, the panorama was the virtual reality headset of its time and became mass entertainment in Europe at a time when travel had not been possible due to the Napoleonic wars. Barcelona hosted three such panoramas during the Universal Exposition of 1888.
The circular form of the eye takes on a life of its own in the exhibition’s imagination, whether through projects that address theatre or performance, the spatial relationship between stage and auditorium, or the loop as narrative. Such perspectives and scales also encircle how the museum establishes a connection with its neighbourhood, and vice versa, in a time in which we are perhaps all questioning and seeing again what our own place in the world might be.
PUBLIC PROGRAMMES, WEB and PUBLICATION
The public programming around Notes for an Eye Fire will be a mix of in-person and online activities, from workshops, performances and events in the exhibition galleries to in-person and online conversations between participating artists.
The exhibition will also have an expanded presence on the museum’s website, which will feature a webpage dedicated to each artist with complementary material of varied formats related to their artistic practice and production. The website will be updated with new content throughout the exhibition period.
A publication, designed by Ana Domínguez, will be released in Spring 2022 and will include a conversation between the curators, a text by Gabriel Ventura, and texts about the participating artists, accompanied by reproductions of their work.
“Panorama” is an exhibition organised and produced by MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Its inaugural edition, “Notes for an Eye Fire” is curated by Hiuwai Chu (Head of Exhibitions, MACBA) and Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna), and coordinated by Berta Cervantes.
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