La perla (The Pearl) | La llaga (The Sore), 2021
La perla (The Pearl) | La llaga (The Sore), 2021 Eulàlia Rovira

Notes for an Eye Fire exhibition views. Photo: Miquel Coll

Eulàlia Rovira’s new work emerged from research into the regeneration of Barcelona’s densely populated El Raval neighbourhood and the demolition and construction in the early 1990s that led to Richard Meier’s emblematic MACBA building.

Collages of found texts and photographs counterpose the tumultuous excavation of the Plaça dels Àngels and the destruction of part of the Casa de la Caritat with the sober modern architecture of the almost complete museum interior.

Hanging from the ceiling of the gallery is a 1:1 replica of one of Meier’s distinctive white MACBA columns. The architect Le Corbusier identified pilotis as one of the principles of modern architecture in 1927. These pillars or columns freed circulation, lifting architectural volumes off the ground, and provided a sense of openness as well as hygiene.

With both its structural and symbolic function in suspension, Rovira’s “deactivated column” (as the artist has termed the sculpture) calls into question the palliative zeal of modern architecture and its complicity in transforming inner city areas deemed to be blighted and sickly.

Making of

Eulàlia Rovira
Eulàlia Rovira
Eulàlia Rovira
Eulàlia Rovira
Eulàlia Rovira
Eulàlia Rovira
Eulàlia Rovira
Eulàlia Rovira

Photos: Latitudes and Hiuwai Chu

About Eulàlia Rovira

Eulàlia Rovira

Through sculpture, video, spoken word, photography and performance, Eulàlia Rovira’s meticulous practice has explored a range of fields, including perception, etymology and archaeology. Her recent projects have evoked presences beyond our field of vision—forces behind our eyes, for example, as elucidated by the protagonist of her video The Eye’s Speech (2019), a retina that mumbles to itself—or presences beneath our feet—as in the exhibition Esmorteir l’esmorteït (2020), in which photographs of paving slabs were juxtaposed with four large wooden struts fixed to the roof trusses of a gallery by means of ratchet straps. None of the timbers quite touched the ground; they gracefully punctuated the space yet were structurally unnecessary, calling our attention to the subsurface and the thin separation between life and death. Her performance for camera A Knot Which Is Not (2021) was set in an empty exhibition space and wove narratives around the work environment and the mechanical sounds of the venue’s industrial past while speculating on the conversations of the women who worked there as they performed their repetitive manual tasks.

Eulàlia Rovira studied at the Universitat de Barcelona (2009) and the Universität der Künste Berlin (2013). She has collaborated with Adrian Schindler on a number of performances and film works. Her recent solo shows include Esmorteir l’esmorteït, etHALL, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (2020), and No ver claro. No ver. No, Twin Gallery, Madrid (2019). She has also participated in several group exhibitions, including Things Things Say, Fabra i Coats: Centre d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2020), and Una exposición. Como un ecosistema, Sala Amadís, Madrid (2019). eulaliarovira.info

Eulàlia Rovira, The Eye's Speech –or was it the I Speech?
Eulàlia Rovira, The Eye's Speech –or was it the I Speech?
Eulàlia Rovira, Esmorteir l'esmorteït
Eulàlia Rovira, Esmorteir l'esmorteït
Video screenshot of A knot which is not, by Eulàlia Rovira
Video screenshot of A knot which is not, by Eulàlia Rovira
Video screenshot of A knot which is not, by Eulàlia Rovira
I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life
Jean-Michel Basquiat