Fina Miralles: I Am All the Selves that I Have Been
Exhibition
until 05.04.2021

Fina Miralles: I Am All the Selves that I Have Been

Fina Miralles Translacions. Dona-arbre, 1973

Fina Miralles (Sabadell, 1950) is one of the most significant Spanish artists active from the seventies to the present day. Her work arose in the context of the Franco dictatorship, a hostile, limiting and castrating environment in which censorship controlled all forms of expression for so-called moral reasons, determined by the power of the Catholic Church and sponsored by the regime. Miralles broke with the academicism taught in art schools at that time and with established behavioural norms. Her practice reconfigures the concept of the artistic, within the multiplicity of attitudes that blur what traditional historiography had encompassed under the heading of Conceptual art. The history of art has ascribed Miralles’ production to the Conceptual, Land art or even feminism, without attending to the breadth and complexity of her ideas, which challenge the limits of those labels. It is because of this, perhaps, that her work is so little known internationally, something this project seeks to readdress by journeying through a body of work of enormous importance.

Curator: Teresa Grandas

In 1974, Miralles presented the exhibition Imágenes del zoo (Images of the Zoo) in Barcelona’s Sala Vinçon, an exhibition space within a shop specialising in designer products. Presenting it as a visit to a zoo made it more obvious that the exhibition was being held in an unusual context, although it should be remembered that the absence of cultural institutional spaces at that time frequently forced artists to exhibit in alternative spaces outside the field of art. The exhibition became a visit to a zoo, not the local zoo but a zoo created by the artist in a cultural space.

It consisted of a series of caged animals that included Miralles herself. the dislocation, the critique to the authority, the focus between what is natural or artificial, are questions that Miralles use to confront visitors with the artist, the woman, the individual, as an object to be exposed and contemplated, as a work of art. And this is but one small example of the richness of readings raised by the extraordinary work of this artist.

The exhibition at MACBA is presented as a journey that delves into some of the crucial issues addressed by Miralles: the transversal relationship with nature in her work; the language with which we express ourselves and communicate; artistic languages and the way they overlap in the service of an idea, whether through actions, performances, photographs, paintings or videos; power relations and the ubiquitous imposition of power on our lives (especially under a dictatorship), although the more forcefully that power is exercised, the more it calls for subversion; the historical, political and social background that determines and conditions our lives and work; the status of women, at that time in an inferior social position, subject to male authority and restricted by specific laws largely aimed at maintaining moral codes of behaviour and the singular objective of nuclear family life; or the constant duality in her work between nature and artifice, reality and appearance, to give but a few examples.

The works presented here break the limits of artistic conventions: the monochrome landscape, painting as gesture, the artist as an artistic object, in a body of work in which process is more significant than the formal result and gives the work value, albeit within a notion of ‘value’ that is constantly held to question, however, it is materialised. Miralles demystifies the work of art as a contemplative and untouchable, univocal object while confronting us with our own condition as individuals in nature.

Beyond making known the work of this exceptional artist, surprisingly absent from the art books of the seventies or the magazines and publications that, from that period on, have reflected on the most radical artistic practices, this exhibition also sets out to restore her place in the historiography of art. The project will be accompanied by a publication with critical texts about her work and a compilation of images.

Itinerances

FEBRUARY 19 – OCTOBER 28, 2022:

OCTOBER 28, 2022 – JANUARY 30, 2023:

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dates
5 November 2020 to 5 April 2021
documentation
title
Fina Miralles: I Am All the Selves that I Have Been
artist
Fina Miralles
Sabadell
1950
Fina Miralles studied Fine Arts in Barcelona. She then spent time in South America, France and Italy, before settling in Cadaqués (Alt Empordà) in 1999. Her first actions, at the beginning of the seventies, place her among a group of Catalan Conceptual artists concerned with nature, involving elements such as trees, earth, water and the artist’s own body. With great simplicity and forcefulness, they emphasise the dialogue between nature and artifice, while displaying a social and political critique in the context of the end of the Franco era, touching on themes of totalitarianism, patriarchy and violence. At that time, she participated in the founding and management of emblematic spaces of contemporary art such as the Sala Vinçon, Barcelona, Sala Tres, Sabadell, and Espai 13 at the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona. In the eighties, as a result of her travels, her pictorial and graphic work was marked by a search for spirituality, with lyrical gestures and signs inscribed with a restrained simplicity. After the Millennium, she returned to action and performance art as a dialogue with the land, sea and the rhythms of nature. In recent years, she has published some of her poetry. Her early solo exhibitions include those at Sala Vinçon (1973, 1974), Museu de Mataró (1976) and Galeria G, Barcelona (1977). In later years she has exhibited at Museu de Sabadell (2001) and created several interventions for the Trobada Internacional de Poesia d’Acció i Performance, La Muga Caula (Alt Empordà) (2012), the Nadala (Christmas installation) at the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2014), and Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid (2016). She has work in the collections of the Museu d’Art de Sabadell, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid and MACBA, Barcelona.
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Fina Miralles: I Am All the Selves that I Have Been
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curated by
Teresa Grandas is a curator, researcher and writer who curates exhibitions at the MACBA. Her research has often focused on the artistic practices of the 1970s and particularly on the work of female artists and the countercultural scene, as well as their echoes and connections with art today. As a curator, she has been in charge of various collective and individual shows, including The Passion According to Carol Rama (MACBA, 2014; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2015; Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA), Espoo, Finland, 2015-2016; Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin, 2016; Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino (GAM), 2016-2017), Hard gelatin. Hidden stories from the 80s (MACBA, 2016; Hiriartea Centro de Cultura Contemporánea, Pamplona, 2018), Brossa Poetry (MACBA, 2017; Artium, Vitoria, 2018; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes y Centro Cultural Kirchner (CCK), Buenos Aires, 2019; MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, 2021-2022) and Fina Miralles: I Am All the Selves that I Have Been (MACBA, 2021; Index – Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation and Marabouparken konsthall, Stockholm, 2022; Museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina (MADRE), Naples, 2022-2023).
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Fina Miralles: I Am All the Selves that I Have Been
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gallery of images
9 images
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Fons #06: Fina Miralles | MACBA – YouTube
Fons #06: Fina Miralles | MACBA – YouTube
La pràctica de Fina Miralles reconfigura el concepte del que és artístic, dins de la multiplicitat d’actituds que desdibuixen el que la historiografia tradic…
playlist
50:25
Fons #06: Fina Miralles | MACBA – YouTube
14:27
Parlem de… Fina Miralles | Maia Creus | MACBA – YouTube
01:13:50
Parlem de Fina Miralles | Amelia Jones i Teresa Grandas | MACBA (versió en castellà) – YouTube
01:17:56
Parlem de Fina Miralles | Presentació del llibre "Germinal" | MACBA – YouTube
11:29
Parlem de… Fina Miralles | Mar Arza | MACBA – YouTube
28:50
Parlem de… Fina Miralles | Juan Canela | MACBA – YouTube
42:15
Parlem de… Fina Miralles | Maite Garbayo | MACBA – YouTube