Eugènia Balcells, the woman and her archetypes


Eugènia Balcells, the woman and her archetypes

A la Fundació Vila Casas - Can Framis fins al 22 de gener del 2023

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Eugènia Balcells (Barcelona, 1943) returns to the exhibition halls with a proposal that shows the retrospective common thread of a line of work that is very much hers: "She", who speaks in a feminine way. Precisely, the title of the exhibition is Ella, again and again . The title already indicates the insistence on the defense of the female component in various aspects of women's private and public life and of their presence and stereotypical treatment in the media.

This artist's journey between Barcelona and New York has given her a special sensitivity for new audiovisual media, such as video art and cinema, complemented by the object and other elements that end up living together in the multimedia installation, a format in which those artists of the seventies generation who have spent time in the USA where this specialty has developed, excel. The imprint of New York is also felt in his work by a special sensitivity for sound and music, which often complement the image. The contact with John Cage broadens the field of sound perception and the ability to listen. Thus, many of his installations or performances have been accompanied by the sound and music of his partner, Peter Ven Riper (1942-1998).

The exhibition She, again and again collects various works and installations that since the seventies emphasize the vindication of the role of women in contemporary society and, in addition, formulates a critique of the form as " She” is covered in mass media and advertising. In this tour of leading works related to the female gender, Reprise (1977) stands out, an audiovisual installation based on cinematographic frames which, distributed in typologies and genres, make up a film of films from the opening credits to the closing credits. Intended for gallery G, it was not executed until I made it public for the first time in the exhibition Ideas and attitudes... (Centre d'Art Santa Mònica, 1992). Also relevant from these years is Fin (1978), an artist's book published by the Ciento gallery and executed in the manner of a comic or graphic novel with frames taken from the cinema of couples embracing, kissing or walk and the corresponding vignette. Boy meets girl (1978) tells us about the female character in contrast to the male and the roles of love and romantic relationships through cinematographic frames, while Through the languages (1981) criticizes in a video the image of women in language advertising The Portable Album (1993), a coat made with photos of women from the present, the past and the future, encapsulated in plastic with which the artist dresses and presented for the first time at the Tartessos bookstore, remains a striking piece. a De viva veu . A seven-minute video with her self-portrait includes the author in the analyzed archetypes. 

In the image: Eugenia Balcells. Going through languages , 1981

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