Galería Rafa

Around the body

In this exhibition curated by Rafael Ortiz and Ubay Murillo, the artists presented reference their work to the exhibition Alles auf Gold | die Dame | die Erosion, which can be seen simultaneously in the main hall of the gallery. Several ideas around the body are proposed in this selection of works by invited artists. The physical body, its absence, and their implications of in the social body are evident in the work of these artists of this era called Anthropocene.

Nuria Fuster (Alcoy, 1978) speaks from a great material and poetic sensitivity with works from two different series in which the body is in interdependence with the human psyche. A photo and a sculpture speak of a body in its absence or in its negation. The bodies disappear and, in doing so, they make us tremendously vulnerable and aware of our own existence. The works also take the relationship between the body and matter to the extreme in a way similar to what, for instance, Dalila Gonçalves (Castelo de Paiva, 1982) does in her pieces. Gonçalves also evidences the omnipresence of human intervention even in the most organic-looking processes and problematizes the relationship between the natural and the artificial (something that Alby Álamo will also do) in a way that we could call poetic (in relation to poiesis). Alby Álamo (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1977) presents a painting that refuses to be pictorial matter but also affirms itself as being so. It is formalized with the drawing he makes on a digital screen transferred to the canvas in a very significant way. The lines are materialized in therapeutic tape, thus speaking of a body (human and, also, pictorial) full of contractures. The world of fitness, of health in relation to the figure, is one of the themes that the Canarian artist investigates.

The work of Miki Leal (Seville, 1974) has always alluded to the social body in a transversal way. Full of references to music, literature, art history and his existence as a citizen, he makes us aware of our cultural history, while affirming his joyful presence in the world as a body. His painting is an affirmation of his being-in-the-world, of his existence. The work of Betsabeé Romero (Mexico, 1963) also speaks of the social body. The artist presents a photograph of an object/container that she has intervened. She also problematizes the question of the natural and the artificial in a vehicle loaded with metaphors (not in vain, a metaphor is a literary vehicle that serves to transfer concepts from one place to another).

The complex and exquisite work of J.M. Pereñíguez (Seville, 1977) relates very well at a conceptual level with the work of Nuria and Dalila in several aspects. Also loaded with multiple references that cross the history of culture, it is, at the same time and thanks to the mastery shown in the work, a profound affirmation of the materiality of things and the concept of mimesis.

Inmaculada Salinas (Guadalcanal, 1967) starts from the concept of work with a piece that formally relates to the procedures of the classical avant-garde; also related to the avant-garde is the collage by Carmen Calvo (Valencia, 1950). Starting from an erotic photograph of the interwar years with a female body in ecstasy, the work is recomposed with a series of fragments of male bodies and an image that shows a vision/ecstasy of a religious nature.

This reference to the body in times of dematerialization, virtualization, prosthetics and biotechnology, new metaphysics and pseudo-religions, new materialisms and their dissociation or denial of the human, is in relation, precisely, with its unavoidable conceptual and physical presence. From the moment our mothers give birth to us until we die, we are a body (again: social and physical) and questions arise (and will continue to arise) throughout our history when we become aware of it.


Alby ÁLAMO. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (España), 1978. 
Carmen CALVO. Valencia (España), 1950.
Nuria FUSTER. Alcoy, Alicante (España), 1978.
Dalila GONÇALVES. Castelo de Paiva (Portugal), 1982.
Miki LEAL. Sevilla (España), 1974.
José Miguel PEREÑÍGUEZ. Sevilla (España), 1978.
Betsabeé ROMERO. México DF (México), 1963.
Inmaculada SALINAS. Guadalcanal, Sevilla (España), 1967.