The In & out/ Up & Down exhibition revolves around the idea of limit as a blurry, easily transferable and unsteady line. Olalla Gomez and Javier Nuñez Gasco question the validity of certain mechanisms that our social reality is subject to, from different perspectives. Starting with the reflection on the exhibition space where they exhibit their works –Lounge – both have considered the notion of well-being that we usually associate with this room to turn it about and place the spectator in an uncomfortable situation.
With the piece, A saltar Olalla Gómez places the decision of whether to enter the exhibition in the visitors’ hands, blocking off the entrance with a fence. If they want to go in, they have to jump over it. The work establishes a parallelism between the lounge as a meeting place in a house and the square, a collective urban place where people go to talk, celebrate or demonstrate. Today, public spaces are becoming privatised and it is becoming more and more complicated to move freely. A deployment of small hidden devices curbs citizens’ passage and mobility on a daily basis, hindering their physical and mental movement. As a result of these restrictions, individuals feel impaired and choose to stay at home, becoming more slovenly. The artist extrapolates this general feeling of paralysis to the private field and encourages spectators to take action, showing that, really, they are the ones that set the limits.
Javier Núñez Gasco leaves politics on one side and brings us closer to the typical recognition processes of human thought, also establishing a bond with the world of art. The performance, Mil palabras. Contador, consists in the narration of one of the artist’s works, carried out by a spectator seated in a chair embedded high up on a wall. Nuñez Gasco objectifies the speaker and proposes another way of telling an idea, previously exhibited with a textual or physical format. The limits that define the exhibition are placed in doubt, reducing the identity of the artwork to the oral memory which is transmitted through time. This trace, represented by an elderly person, rises above everything else, imposing its presence and its authority: that of the voice of experience, which also symbolises the proximity of oblivion. What the public thinks about the recounted creation will depend on him, on his discernment and on his retentive capacity. Although the key is not in what is told, but in what occurs, because as Susan Sontag correctly pointed out: “In good films, there is always a directness that entirely frees us from the itch to interpret”.
Little does it matter which position to adopt –inside, outside, up, down-, what is important is to understand the margins that we have to cope with for we ourselves to control towards where we want to go.