Bestiario de Lengüitas. Mercedes Azpilicueta

04.10.2019 - 19.01.2020

Tuesday -Sunday, 10 am - 20 pm

Floor 4

Free entry

Bestiario de Lengüitas (Bestiary of Tonguelets )is an evolving project by Argentinian artist Mercedes Azpilicueta, in dialogue with the French curator Virginie Bobin. The exhibition follows the thread of a script written by Mercedes Azpilicueta for a performance that has yet to take place. Fueled by workshops, collaborations and rehearsals with artists, researchers, designers, dancers and singers, the works on view invite a choir of grotesque characters to loudly inhabit the stage of that future performance. Using obsolete knowledge systems, "neobarroso" poems, failed translations and ambiguous ingredients, they try to maintain chaos and excess in a world calling for order, efficiency and transparency.

Its key protagonists include: a Mala-mama, a Sister living in limbo, a Teacher from the future, Fallen angels and a Choir of corpses, all characters from Mercedes Azpilicueta's script; several figures from art history and literature, such as the medieval Lady with the Unicorn, the artist Lea Lublin and the poet Néstor Perlongher, who inspired her writings and drawings; and a selection of plants with both healing and toxic powers, which travelled across the Atlantic to open contamination channels between the Old World and the New. They all play a game of hide-and-seek across films, drawings, sculptures, tapestries and soundtracks, which are conceived as scores, rehearsals, décors, encoded knowledge systems and even characters, rather than as autonomous artworks. In Bestiario de Lengüitas, roles are constantly changing.

The main collaborators to the project include: Lucile Sauzet (costumes), Ana Ausín (furniture) and Vanina Scolavino (graphic design), as well as Laura Fernández Antolín (production assistance), Federico García Monfort (sound), Hélène Harder (film), Julien Jassaud (programming and robotics), Emmanuelle Lafon (performance), Quiela Nuc (film), Ana Roquero (research), Pauline Simon (performance), Javier Villa (research and performance), Tiago Worm Tirone (sound), students from the Masters Projets Culturels et Artistiques and Scènes du Monde (Université Paris 8) and the Máster en Práctica Escénica y Cultura Visual (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha y Museo Reina Sofía); and participants in different choral schools in Madrid.

Bestiario de Lengüitas is Mercedes Azpilicueta's first solo exhibition in Europe. It is co-produced by CentroCentro, the Museion – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy) and CAC Brétigny (France). It was initiated during an artistic research residency at Villa Vassilieff - Pernod Ricard Fellowship in 2017. It will be travelling to the Museion – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano/Bozen, in Spring 2020, and in CAC Brétigny, Autumn 2020.

Mercedes Azpilicueta (born in La Plata, Argentina in 1981) is a visual and performance artist living and working in Amsterdam and Buenos Aires. Her practice involves research and production processes that explore the affective qualities and political dimension of language and voice. In 2018 she presented her first major solo exhibition at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires. She received the Pernod Ricard Fellowship, Paris, in 2017 and was artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie van de Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2015-16. She has an MFA from the Dutch Art Institute/ArtEZ, Arnhem (2013), and a BFA from the Universidad Nacional de las Artes, Buenos Aires (2007); where she also took the Artists' Program 2009-10 at  the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. She has exhibited her work at REDCAT Gallery (Los Angeles, 2018), Villa Vassilieff (Paris, 2018), MACBA (Barcelona, 2018), Museion (Bozen, 2018), Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (Móstoles, 2017), Onomatopee (Eindhoven, 2016), TENT (Rotterdam, 2015), Móvil (Buenos Aires, 2015), Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin, 2014), Het Veem Theatre (Amsterdam, 2014). In 2019, besides CentroCentro, she will present a solo exhibition at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, as part of Positions #5, curated by Nick Aikens.

Virginie Bobin works at the crossroads of research, curatorial and editorial practices, pedagogy and translation. Until 2018, she was Head of Programs at Villa Vassilieff, a centre for art, research and residencies, which she co-created in 2016. Previously, she worked for Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), Manifesta Journal, Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers and Performa, the New York Biennial for Performing Arts. Her independent curatorial projects have taken place internationally, in such institutions as MoMA, PS1, e-flux space or Tabakalera, and her texts have been published in international exhibition catalogues and magazines (Metropolis M, Manifesta Journal, Frieze /de, Flash Art, Switch on Paper, etc). She sits on the boards of Ecole Supérieure d'Art de l'Agglomération d'Annecy and Centre d'Art Contemporain de Brétigny. In 2018, Virginie Bobin started a practice-based research around the political stakes of translation, in the context of the PhD-in-practice program in Artistic Research at the Akademie der bildenden Künste (Vienna). In parallel, she cofounded, with Victorine Grataloup, the non-profit organization QALQALAH, a future platform for artistic exchanges, research and translation. 

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