Crease not enclosure. Alba Mayol

19:0021:00 h
Venue: Espai 13 - Fundació Joan Miró
Fundació Miró, Parc de Montjuïc, s/n
08038 Barcelona
Price: Free event

Alba Mayol opens the new season in Espai 13, We Will Keep Each Other Company when It Grows Dark, with her exhibition solc i no clos (crease not enclosure).

Taking as its starting point the short story ‘Bloodchild’ by the African American author Octavia E. Butler, the exhibition solc i no clos posits a space-cum-body impossible to limit either linguistically or by means of taxonomic categories. ‘Bloodchild’ features T’Gatoi, a non-human alien that regularly visits the home where a teenage boy lives. These encounters stir ambiguous emotions and reactions that make it impossible to grasp the nature of the relationship between these very different beings.

As Mayol puts it, ‘like the ambiguous magnetism and mease that emanate from T’Gatoi, the character in Butler’s story, the fluidity of desire is an enlarged you/I/we, an immersion in a multiplicity. It is something that embraces and dissolves, that generates fabrics that move without us seeing the perimeters, without us ever quite understanding what they are made of. A body formed by an intrinsic undefinition, a divergent familiarity, with curves, spores, soft minerals. To enter this body is to negotiate; it is to enter a circularity in motion; it is to settle into not knowing.’

The elements that make up solc i no clos invite us to feel the space, to perceive its pulse and the walls beating, to notice the trembling of membranes and the constant oozing of holes and cracks. It is an exhibition that throbs and that can be heard and even smelt. Together, the elements we find in the exhibition generate a continuity with each of its parts. ‘Nothing exists without nothing’, the artist insists. In this existing accompanied by and in relation to a whole, thresholds are blurred, and desire becomes a driving force that moves us forward without the need to understand or categorise. It is a desire that bubbles up and spills beyond the limits of language.

With this installation, Mayol aims to kindle a sense of fellow-feeling and strangeness, of atavistic memory, as well as imagination and utopia. Longings and fears come into play, blended with a desire for contact and for feeling skin. The various formats present in solc i no clos – sculpture, mural pieces, and drawing, among others – inhabit or exist in the space but with no intention of occupying it. Together they form a unitary body made up of fragments. Or rather, they invoke a spectre, a presence that pulsates, breathes, and speaks in a circular murmur with no beginning or end.

Mayol’s referencing of poetry and literature is also reflected in the exhibition title, a quotation from Maria Mercè Marçal’s poem ‘Freu’, number XII in her book Sal oberta. The ambivalence between ‘clos’, meaning closed, motionless, and ‘solc’, which points to something that is open, that flows, generates another layer of tension in an exhibition in which contrasts and thresholds are blurred in a constant fluidity. A space where forms and textures, lights, shadows, and smells evolve, like the emergence of a language that is simultaneously a condition and a limit of that which we can understand.

Solc i no clos. Alba Mayol