PEP AGUT. MADRID MERIDIAN: DREAM AND LIE | ITSLIQUID GROUP

PEP AGUT. MADRID MERIDIAN: DREAM AND LIE

Art | June 15, 2021 |

pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía

Pep Agut. Madrid Meridian: Dream and Lie
Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid). Palacio de Cristal. Retiro Park
April 22, 2021 – August 29, 2021

Museo Reina Sofía presents Madrid Meridian: Dream and Lie, a site-specific project by Pep Agut (Terrassa, Barcelona, 1961), created for the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) in Madrid’s Retiro Park. The artist explores the historical context in which the palace was built (designed by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco and inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace in London), between 1884 and 1887 for the General Exposition of the Philippine Islands.

pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía

The title of the exhibition refers to two crucial aspects in the development of the project. On one hand, the “Madrid Meridian”, which has its origins in October 1884, when an international conference held in Washington DC led to the approval of a single international reference meridian, tangent with the position of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. That same year, Spain made a failed attempt to establish a 0° meridian of Madrid (3° 41 ́16 ̋west of Greenwich, and 14 minutes, 41 seconds ahead of it). A few years later, the nonexistent Madrid Meridian was also taken as a reference on the texts and maps of the catalogue of the General Exposition of the Philippine Islands, inaugurated in the Palacio de Cristal in 1887. The disaster of the Spanish-American War in 1898 made the Madrid Meridian completely unsustainable. Nevertheless, the dictator Francisco Franco determined in 1942 that Spain would finally adopt the time zone on the meridian of Berlin, a decision whose impact is felt to this day.

pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía

The texts of the catalogue edited by the Spanish Government for the General Exposition of the Philippine Islands have been one of Agut’s main sources in order to create this project, alongside with the work of two very famous Spanish painters that echo in the second part of the title: Dream and Lie, referencing Goya’s El sueño de la razón produce monstruos (The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters, 1799) and Picasso’s Sueño y mentira de Franco (Dream and Lie of Franco, 1937).

pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía

The work is articulated on the basis of several plaster columns that replicate one of the columns inside the building. The mold for making them, a process carried out in six parts, is understood as an intermediary element that records every detail, like a photographic negative, of this specific object designed and built at a particular moment, which will be conditioned as it reappears in the exhibition by the variables of the material used for its reproduction. The resulting objects never cease to bear traces of the construction process, but their horizontal arrangement removes every sign of their original functionality. The individuality of each column or of each of the parts and sections that came out of the molds is completed with a series of inscriptions by the artist, made using the same tool, the burin, as the engravings of Goya and Picasso, especially Goya’s etching El sueño de la razón produce monstruos (The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters, 1799) and Picasso’s Sueño y mentira de Franco (Dream and Lie of Franco, 1937), one of the preliminary studies for Guernica. In this way, Pep Agut rests upon and continues the line of critical thought in art that reacts to political circumstances adversely affecting the whole of society.

pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía

The large set of plaster tubers arranged next to the columns, taken from molds extracted from seven natural rhizomes, reiterate the ideas articulated through the columns. While some tubers refer to their remote colonial origin, Agut associates them sarcastically – he calls them “little Francos” – with those appearing in Picasso‘s depiction of the dictator in the eighteen small vignettes that make up the set of engravings mentioned above.

pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía

Madrid Meridian: Dream and Lie invites us to reposition our gaze, demand another perception of spatiality, and perform a different reading of the historical context in which the palace was built and its parallels to present times.

more. www.museoreinasofia.es

pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía
pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía
pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía
pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía
pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía
pepaugut_museoreinasofia
Image courtesy of Museo Reina Sofía

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below






    RELATED POSTS


    CAPTURING THE MOMENT

    Art | April 15, 2024

    Tate Modern's Capturing the Moment explores the dynamic relationship between contemporary painting and photography. This group exhibition unfolds as an open-ended conversation between some of the greatest painters and photographers of recent generations, looking at how the brush and the lens have been used ic capture moments in time, and how these two mediums have inspired and influenced each other. Read more


    LEE UFAN

    Art | April 14, 2024

    Hamburger Bahnhof presents the first retrospective of the artist and philosopher Lee Ufan in Germany. Lee is one of the most important representatives of the Mono-ha school in Japan and the Dansaekhwamovement in Korea, which developed concurrently with other minimal art movements worldwide. Read more


    FEATURED ARTIST: BEN HEINE

    Art | April 11, 2024

    Ben Heine is a multifaceted Belgian artist known for his innovative approach to visual art and content creation. His body of work spans various disciplines, including traditional drawing, painting, photography, live art performances, digital technology and music, making him a versatile artist and entrepreneur of the digital age. Read more


    CENTRE POMPIDOU: BRIDGING APPEARANCE

    Art | April 10, 2024

    After “Yves Saint Laurent in Museums” in 2022, the Centre Pompidou invites Laurence Benaïm to continue the dialogue between art and fashion by formulating a chromatic and conceptual conversation between designer profiles and works from the Musée National d’Art Moderne’s collection. Read more


    Sign up for our Newsletter.

    Enter your email to receive our latest updates!