Bernardi Roig (Palma, 1965) will present, the last week of October, The last face and the aphonia of the Minotaur . Three simultaneous exhibitions at the Picasso Birthplace Museum, Center Pompidou Málaga and the Russian Museum Collection. This exhibition is included in the international program of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso (1973-2023)
This project is based on an interpretation of what is considered to be the last self-portrait of Picasso : Self-portrait, June 30, 1972 , a work made with pencil and colored crayons on paper measuring 65.7 x 50.5 cm.
The frontal image of a head that covers the entire surface of the paper and whose gaze is so intense that his eyes no longer fit on his face. It is a gaze that already contains death.
He did another very similar one just two days later: Figura, 2 Julio 1972 , roughly the same format, this time in black and white. In the two days that separate the drawings, Picasso has torn off a piece of his skull, his gaze has been emptied, leaving his eye sockets exposed to the elements, he has been left without lips and shows bare teeth. It is an image that encapsulates stopped time and corresponds to a still life or Vanitas, not to a face. An identity cannot be deposited in those factions. Picasso has removed the last mask, he is no longer the Harlequin or the Minotaur.
Obsessed by these two drawings, the artist created, in 2017, the PRP (The last portrait) series, the embryo of this entire project. Five drawings on paper 70 x 50 cm. They are the journey of an image –Picasso’s last self-portrait– that is dehumanized in a metamorphosis, where each drawing in the series loses the last traces of humanity from the previous drawing until, in the last, they disappear completely and only the harshness remains. visual of a skull completely stripped of carnality.
From this series, and through different supports and formats, the project The last face and the aphonia of the Minotaur will be articulated. Drawings, sculptures, light installations, large blocks of coagulated light, text, photography and video propose an itinerary with the intention of addressing the impossibility of accessing a face and its gaze, its representation and the mask and mirror that camouflage it.
In the Temporary Exhibitions Room of the Picasso Birthplace Museum, a succession of images are twisted in a monologue with the purpose of trapping the remains of the frontality of a face and its gaps, and whose identity escapes through one of its orifices .
The Cube of the Center Pompidou Málaga , for its part, will house The Labyrinth of Light and the Head of the Minotaur , an exact reproduction of the Bou de Costitx, a fundamental exponent of the Balearic Talayotic culture and dated between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC The infinite conversation with the hollow of the place and its amnesia, inside that womb of light that is the Cube, creates the labyrinth where the Minotaur will be locked up, the fruit of Pasiphae’s uncontrolled passion, condemned to relentlessly desire the beautiful white bull until she is impregnated for him.
Picasso will remain hidden, half his creative life, by the mask of the Minotaur to camouflage his duality. A cycle of life, violence, death and resurrection that is renewed with the tension of each stroke on a piece of paper and conjures up our tragic destiny.
In the Collection of the Russian Museum you can see Shadow dancers , an installation made up of four small chromed bronze dancers suspended from the ceiling, which will occupy one of the rooms of the current exhibition Incessant Picasso. Work and life .
This installation, inserted in the heart of the exhibition, explores the great influence of Degas on the work of Picasso, and especially the theme of the dancer. These small figures with some of their legs unfinished are supported, in permanent rotation, in the void and project superimposed shadows of their own slowness without music.
Opposite that silent dance, a great drawing, Cap Negre, 2021 , an attempt to introduce time into the image without the image moving. The large cloth frame in this drawing camouflages an audio device with the sound recording of a wall clock. Insistent, precise and guarantor of our end.