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Almudena Lobera

Epiphany. Mise-en-scène

Epiphany. Mise-en-scène is the staging of an action in the real context, inspired by a true story that seems fiction. The city of Ghent keeps alive a mystery about a stolen altarpiece. The enigma is already as attractive as the artwork itself.

Jan 17 - Feb 8, 2019

On the night of 10-11 April 1934, two panels of the 15th-century Early Flemish polyptych altarpiece The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, made by Jan and Hubert Van Eyck, were stolen from St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. The alleged thief returned one of them to the police, in order to prove that he had the other one (the panel known as The Just Judges) and thus negotiate a ransom. That same year, in the middle of the negotiations, the thief reveled on his deathbed that he was the only one who knew where the masterpiece was hidden, and that he would take the secret to his grave. To this day, the whereabouts of the The Just Judges. a piece of the great altarpiece, considered one of the most precious works of art and object of desire in history, is still unknown.

Recurrent topics in the work of the artist arise in Epiphany. Mise-en-scène: what escapes the vision, the look and desire to see and capture, the relationship of the present with the historical heritage, as well as the practice of fiction. As the curator Marta Ramos-Yzquierdo cites in one of her texts on the work of Almudena Lobera: «”perhaps, it is only in fiction that the truth can be found”, Eric Selbin,» […] Lobera’s work «becomes an invitation to fiction—no longer written or filmed, but lived—that poses a critical gaze at the story, whichever one, presented as fact».

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