ADN Galeria: NÚRIA GÜELL - Buenas intenciones - 28 May 2016 to 9 Sept 2016
The Flower Fair (Colombia, 2015-2016)
From May 28th until September 9th 2016
Opening: May 28th 2016The Flower Fair (2015-2016)
Núria Güell presents her solo show Good Intentions at ADN Galeria, a set of projects, beginning in 2014, which question the limits of the art institution, and use its infrastructure at different levels -from legal to financial issues- in order to shed light on the moral basis of the status quo.
The opening piece of the exhibition is an homonymous collaboration with Levi Orta: Good Intentions (Spain/Lebanon 2016). Güell and Orta bought sacked Syrian antiquities (which may have heritage value) with the “noble” aim of avoiding their disappearance. The intention is to send the pieces back to their country of origin so that specialists and conservationists can preserve them. The artists will cover the shipping costs through charity donations deposited by the show’s visitors in money boxes set for the occasion. By means of documentation, the display of the antiquities, graphic material and the funding campaign, Güell and Orta create a scheme of will that discusses fundamental questions such as the colonial and privileged gaze, the Western condescendence towards cultural heritage, the benefits of war, and what happens when good intentions become commodities.
Güell’s second piece, Analysis of the discourse (Spain, 2014) was engendered by psychoanalysis sessions undergone by the artist to understand and process the effects of a former project, Black on White (2013). In July 2013, Catalonia’s government evicted more than three hundred migrants living and working collecting scrap at warehouses in the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona. With the complicity of some evicted people, Güell created a cooperative; a legal framework that would allow them to self-employ and subvert the Spanish Immigration Law. Once the procedure was complete, several people from the guiding board informed the artist that they were feeling subjugated by the cooperative’s spokesman. Güell investigated the issue and discovered that indeed something had gone wrong in the cooperative’s constitution: certain mistakes had lead the organisation to become the opposite of what it was meant to be.
Support Swedish Culture (Sweden, 2014) legally employed four Roma who had been begging in Sweden’s streets. The job consisted of collecting funds in public –in the same vein as an NGO- with the objective of subsidising Swedish culture. Through this practice they would have access to Swedish rights and social services. After completing the procedure, the art center that had requested the project canceled it unilaterally, questioning the project’s ethics. Although the contracts and salaries were maintained, the Roma that collaborated on the project disagreed with the institution’s decision, perceiving a prejudice on their intellectual and decision-making capabilities, supposedly attributed to their humble economic conditions. They also pointed out that receiving a salary for not participating in the project was a perpetuation of the segregation to which they are usually submitted. Support Swedish Culture is formalized through an audio and video device.
The fourth project of the show is Political Degenerated Art (Spain, 2014), another collaboration with Levi Orta in which both artists re-assigned the budget for the artistic production –coming from public funds– to create a company in a tax haven. To do so, the artists were advised by professionals of a well-known consultancy, one which has also counselled various politicians with the same objective. The aim behind the company Güell & Orta Contemporary Art S.A. was to avoid paying taxes on the artists’ earnings both in Spain and internationally, leveraging the jurisdiction of the country’s subsidiary.
Stateless by Choice (Spain 2015 - ongoing) was born with Güells un-identification with the Nation-State structure and her refusal of nationality as an imposed identity construction. Through several Spanish governmental institutions, Güell applied to give up her nationality and acquire the status of stateless person. However, her request was denied without a meaningful explanation. In response to this negative, Güell hired a lawyer for a study on Spanish legislation. The study revealed that Spanish citizenship can only be lost by means of punishment. Following that, Güell requested a second report examining if she could quit her nationality by individually exercising the right to self-determination. The investigation revealed this right is only seen as collective in the process of creating another state or nation, that is, only if reproducing the same structure. After sending a second formal request, the central government representatives informed the artist that her case had been transferred to the Ministry of Justice. Stateless by Choice is materialized through film and documentation.
The Flower Fair (Colombia, 2015-2016) is the conclusion of Good Intentions. It was elaborated in Medellín, native city of famous artist Fernando Botero. Güell programmed a series of guided tours at Museum of Antioquia (where Botero’s artworks are displayed) carried out by underage girls. These teenagers had been exploited by the growing business of sexual tourism in Medellín. The girls guided the visitors through Botero’s artworks, who had on many occasions represented the female body using prostitutes as models. With the aim of bringing visibility to the situation, the underage guides explained their own personal experiences and how their bodies are objectified. They also presented the catalogues that are sold in the streets in order to sell the virginities of underage boys and girls. The customers, who mostly come from the USA, Spain, Israel, Germany and Mexico, base their decision of which child’s virginity they want to buy using these catalogues. Güell formalizes the action through a film and a series of images that narrate the project’s process.
The show Buenas Intenciones functions as an archive of memory and experience. Through a singular point of view (in which a multiplicity of voices and experiences are inscribed), it synecdochically exposes a series of debates and ethical dilemmas concerning global and collective matters.
NÚRIA GÜELL_ Bio
Núria Güell (Vidreres, Girona, 1981)
Núria Güell’s artistic practice consists of analysing how power structures affect our subjectivity and submit it to law and hegemonic morals. In her work, she flirts with established powers and collaborates with different allies. She plays with institutional privilege, and uses the social condition of being a white, Spanish European woman as a tool to investigate certain political concerns. Güell’s tactics merge with her own life experiences, and she uses them in certain contexts to question common identifications and disrupt power relations.
A graduate in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona (Spain), she currently studies at the Cátedra Arte de Conducta in Habana, Cuba, under Tania Bruguera’s guidance. Her work has been exhibited in biennials, museums and institutions across Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, Middle East and USA. Her work has also been presented in various solo and group shows, all in 2016, including The Soul of Money, at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague; Bread and Roses at MOMA Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland; A Certain Urge (Towards Turmoil) at Elisabeth Foundation Project Space (NY, USA). She has displayed her works individually at Dublin’s Project Arts Centre, Ireland; at Brut Konzerthaus in Wien, Austria, and Habana, Cuba. Her presence is common at Spanish centers and institutions. She has won a number of awards and scholarships, such as Premi GAC (2014), creation prize INJUVE (Madrid), Barcelona’s Miquel Casablancas and the creation scholarship Guasch Coranty. She has also been a winner of the Generación 2016 prize given by La Casa Encendida, Madrid.
Buenas Intenciones. ADN Galeria. Barcelona, Spain
Troika Fiscal Disobedience Consultancy, curated by Tessa Giblin. Project Arts Centre. Dublin, Ireland
Organized Desintegration. Imagetanz 2015 - Festival for Choreography, Performance and uncanny Bodies. Brut Konzerthaus. Wien, Austria
Refuncionalizando la deuda y el cincel, MAS Santander, Santander, Spain. “El síndrome de Sherwood. L’Aparador del Museu de Mollet del Vallés, Spain Ayuda Humanitaria. Casa de Cultura de Girona, Spain.
Cualquier semejanza... es pura coincidencia. Salle Zero. Havana, Cuba.
Alegaciones Desplazadas, ADN galeria, Barcelona, Spain
Aplicación Legal Desplazada #3: F.I.E.S. Offlimits, Madrid, Spain
Aplicación Moral Desplazada #1: Expandiendo. Sant Andreu Contemporani, Barcelona, Spain. Aplicación Legal Desplazada #3: F.I.E.S. 9THE13, Vigo, Spain.
Aplicación Legal Desplazada #1: Reserva Fraccionaria. Sala x, Pontevedra, Spain.c/ Enrique Granados, 49, SP. 08008 Barcelona T. (+34) 93 451 0064, firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.adngaleria.com
La lección excéntrica. Sala Moncunill, Terrassa, Spain
CaravanaNatura. Sales Municipals de La Rambla, Girona, Spain.