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Portrait, 1994

The analysis of gesture as a symbol of power articulates equally both Portraits and Portrait. By means of the series of eleven silk-screened photographs that constitute the former, Muntadas explores the discourse in front of the camera, one of the most recurrent images in the media spectrum. The action appears to be isolated in space and time, while the identity of the protagonists is deliberately abstracted, in an attempt to lay bare the factors that configure their respective public images. In this way, the microphone, that authentic emblem of contemporaneity, not only assumes a special significance but also comes to serve as prosthesis or perhaps as the double of the person who uses it.
In Portrait Muntadas resorts to movement in order to investigate the value and purpose of the stereotyped gesture. As if it were some kind of rhythmic choreography, the video shows us a series of hands, without ever letting us see the faces, in whose very variety we perceive the same identical, even monotonous discourse. The slowness with which these anonymous gestures are presented brings out the most unexpected nuances, thus making it possible to reconstruct the range of intentions that they underlies their hypnotic rhetoric.

Technical details

Original title:
Portrait
Registration number:
0836
Artist:
Muntadas
Date created:
1994
Date acquired:
1997
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Media
Media:
Single-channel video, colour, sound, loop
Edition number:
Ed. 1/6
Credits:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Copyright:
© Muntadas, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:
No

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

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I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life
Jean-Michel Basquiat