Bernardi Roig

‘Cuidado con la Cabeza’ at Alcalá 31, Madrid

Apr 28 - Jul 24, 2016

The Community of Madrid presents the exhibition Cuidado con la cabeza at Sala Alcalá 31. Curated by Fernando Castro Flórez, this show represents a re-reading of Bernardí’s art production throughout the sample of twenty-one artworks made in diverse formats (sculpture, photography, video, drawing, site-specific) and whose thread is the process of metamorphosis.

Since more than twenty years ago, Bernardí Roig has used the mythological motif of the fatal meeting between Diana and Actaeon and the transformation of the latter into a stag (a truly «hunted hunter» who will never be able to tell what he has seen while his dogs tore him to pieces), considering this myth a key point for his obsessive sight on the verge of blindness theory. The exhibition, although not a retrospective, conveys a sight into the past to compose the story of his artistic career, and includes pieces made throughout the last two decades.

The exhibition incorporates from photographic (serial) processes, to site-specific, drawings, sculptures, objects and videos. Besides, Bernardí Roig has created an action on the façade of the building that holds Sala Alcalá 31 and, in his eagerness to question the usual ways to present artworks, a piece has been installed inside an air shaft of Metro de Banco de España, which is near the exhibition’s place. Throughout his work the artist thinks about ‘that man who decided to gouge out his eyes for escaping the turbulence of desire’, and with this exhibition he intensifies that that is called the (worrying) weight of the head. He uses an array of plastic resources in order to express what obsesses him, without warning us that we have to be careful when entering into a space where maybe is difficult to tell what we have seen.

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Bernardí Roig (Palma de Mallorca, 1965) is one of the most relevant Spanish artists of the current international artistic panorama and is, in every sense, a painter that does not submit painting to just the slave condition of the drawing design, but instead he has expanded it to site-specifics, videos, film fragments or even essays (as it shows his brilliant compilation of monologues in the book Binissalem). In October 2014, Bernardí Roig presented the site-specific No/Escape at the Phillips Collection of Washington DC, turning into the first Spanish artist proposed to participate in the project Intersections, which invites artists to artistically interact with the collection held at the Phillips. If in 2012 he photographed thousands of people at La Lonja of Palma de Mallorca, in order to turn their faces into paving slabs of exasperated gestures, in his exhibition (2011) at Galería Max Estrella presented a video in which a fragment of Alain Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad was used to show the hilarious act of stitching up of the mouth. That brutal silence anticipates his photographic meditation on the passage of time in Naufragio del rostro, 2013-2014 (a series of self-portraits made during a year that reveals how to become a monstrous being) and the (crazy) poetic condition of the contemporary subject in POETS, 2015 (polaroids of characters from the art world who have been reduced to the condition of «abandoned» beings), odd «poets» exclusively covered by a white sheet).