Barcelona, 1981. Lives in Barcelona.
Notes for an Eye Fire begins by passing through a portal, a papier-mâché spectacle created for the exhibition by Antoni Hervàs and inspired by the board game ‘El Chino’ (based on Barcelona’s El Raval neighborhood) and the Teatre Arnau on Avinguda del Paral·lel.
Currently undergoing a major restoration, the Arnau was one of the most celebrated music hall and cabaret venues in the city until its closure in 2004.
By symbolically relocating the fan-shaped pediment that once crowned the now crumbling building, Hervàs honours a legacy of popular entertainment and recognizes the energy and precarity of people who, despite all odds, still keep the show going.
Conceived as a sort of boisterous animated character, Hervàs’ ruin is painted and collaged with imagery related to a second intervention at the Arnau theatre itself. Hervàs collaborated with Pau Magrané to graffiti the wall protecting the building during its restoration, creating a blatantly garish 24-metre mural that chronicles beloved neighbourhood theatres and bars of past and present.
Photos: Latitudes, Hiuwai Chu and Antoni Hervàs
About Antoni Hervàs
Antoni Hervàs presents enthusiastic, vividly coloured, genre-bending explorations of the possibilities of drawing that often deal with overlooked aspects of subversive popular spectacle, from carnival and burlesque to synchronised swimming and amusement parks. In recent years, he has produced exuberant collage-based environments out of humble materials, cardboard murals, papier-mâché sculptures, low-tech video displays and live performances. Often departing from existing graphic representations, personal archives and other firsthand testimony, the sometimes jarring new configurations he makes through drawing manage to joyfully animate dialogues with apparently unconnected historical situations and imaginaries, whether between the 1970s Barcelona cabaret scene and Greek mythology in El misterio de Caviria (2016) or the gender-crossing stage of traditional English pantomime and a circus of horrors in Sausages (2021).
Antoni Hervàs studied fine arts at the Universitat de Barcelona (2006) and engraving and printing at the Escola Llotja. His solo exhibitions include Copacabana, at The RYDER Projects, Madrid (2021), and Sausages, at OKELA, Bilbao (2021). He has participated in several group exhibitions, including Adiós, que estés bien, Comunidad de Madrid museums (2019), and Generaciones 2018, La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2018). Hervàs has been a resident at Gasworks, London (2018), and the 18th Street Arts Center, Los Angeles (2017), and won the 2016 Premi Ciutat de Barcelona d’Arts Visuals. antonihervas.com