16.01.2020 - 25.04.2020
In Three Acts is a three-part exhibition and a combination of public programmes that aim to display what the lines of reasoning behind the Josep Suñol Collection are, and under which artistic and historical horizons the collection was created.
Before being a heritage of motionless pieces, we understand that a collection is also—or above all—a certain register of intensities, a way of approaching art with the premises of each specific moment, but at the same time with the questions that anticipate points of view that are still latent.
Act 1. Known Masterpieces
What makes an artist everlasting, what hurls them into posterity? Where is the drive born that leads us to look at certain works inexhaustibly, as if it were the first time we contemplated them, as if they were speaking directly to us, as if they were solving crushing dilemmas? Is it history, with its pompous words, that predisposes us to a fascination with art? Or, on the contrary, is it the coincidences, with their symbolic references and pleasant paradoxes, that produce aesthetic seductions made to our measure?
This exhibition bases itself on the previous questions to ponder the “contemporary classics” status given to some of the artists that make up the Josep Suñol Collection. Yet above all, this exhibition aims to “know” them, in the least reverential sense of the term. That is to say, it attempts to extract authors and works from their legendary condition, to restore not only their closeness, but also their ability to continue refuting us.
The philosopher Giorgio Agamben has called this type of process “desecration”, meaning that any form of learning must eliminate veneration, and must bring to public use what was once placed in a high and inaccessible position of absolute truth.
The history of art creates pulpits and often constructs meanings at our expense, as a reflection of logics that do not always coincide with those of who approach the work of artists. Known Masterpieces seeks to play down these mechanisms of discursive sacralisation, uniting artists traditionally separated from one another, breaking down categories, putting vanishing points and new stories through their paces.