© Dorothy Iannone, "A Cookbook", 1969
This group exhibition examines an art that makes the tiny great, eschewing high-sounding categories so as to focus on elements that make up the aesthetics of our day-to-day existence. It assumes the different paces and the bombardment of images from the politics of happiness, from the very flow of existence.
Hanging sheets in the sun to dry, writing up a recipe, getting your hair done at a beauty salon, writing in your diary or having a body massage are just some of the activities we perform on a regular basis as we go about our daily lives. Some of them become "plain pleasures", as Jane Bowles would say. They give us satisfaction and make even the most primary things much more attractive, therefore dignifying the infra-ordinary, that which is so common as to seem insignificant.
Finding the extraordinary on a kitchen shelf, having a sudden revelation in the bathroom or experiencing the pleasure of smelling freshly baked bread straight out of the oven are facts that make our daily routines different, because no action is ever the same, however often it is repeated: the time factor, the actual experience and the context in which the action is performed all vary. The aim is to find the true revolution in the greatness of the ordinary and turn daily acts into art and art into a daily habit, like the happy fact, like a popular mechanics of feelings.
Curated by Tania Pardo, the show brings together a series of artists who share common themes like a taste for the ordinary, which they capture in their artistic practice either through the subjects explored or the use of matter: the objects around us but also the material that becomes a daily habit. The idea is to pause our gaze on the most routine events through the proposals of these artists who use the world around them and their own experiences to build a body of work in defence of the trivial and ordinary. To quote Georges Perec, it is gaze that asks: "How are we to speak of these 'common things', how to track them down rather, how to flush them out, wrest them from the dross in which they remain mired, how to give them a meaning, a tongue, to let them, finally, speak of what is, of what we are."
Artists: Pilar Albarracín, Elena Blasco, Sol Calero, Ester Gatón, Daiga Grantina, Camille Henrot, Dorothy Iannone, Engel Leonardo, Jonathan Monk, Niki de Saint Phalle, Mika Rottemberg, Samara Scott and Teresa Solar Abboud.