DORA GARCÍA. INFINITE USES
Permanent intervention in CA2M signage
Dora García’s exhibitions examine the ways in which the exhibition space itself is a product of a relationship between the work on display, the use the spectator makes of it and the institution that hosts it. The institutional is always a result or effect of the negotiation between the work and the spectator, generating a new narrative that redefines the terms of the museum. Among the various artistic interventions contingent on the exercises in architectural acupuncture begun in autumn 2016 at CA2M, Dora García has conceived an exhibition which takes the form of new signage in a permanent intervention that involves all the art centre’s various spaces.
In previous works like Frases de oro [Golden Sentences], the artist reproduced sentences on a large scale in gold leaf on the walls of the museum. These sentences, including for instance “Art is for everybody, but only the elite know it” or “The future must be dangerous”, completely transform the reading of the institution, inserting it within an overarching narrative of which the texts are a direct expression and a political statement on its function. In the case of Forever (2005), the artist installed a webcam in one of the exhibition rooms at the French museum FRAC Lorraine, allowing her to observe what was going on inside this museum space at any time, regardless of whether the exhibition was open to the public or not. These works, one-off interventions where the text transforms the way in which an institution speaks about itself or the relationship established with an institution “forever”, afford guidelines for a wider understanding of the reach of Infinite Uses.
The introduction of new signage at CA2M, designed in conjunction with the architect Olga Subirós, involved a series of minor yet significant actions: firstly, the walls surrounding CA2M’s vertical core, the lifts, were cleared of all elements; secondly, grey graphite silkscreen prints were inserted on these white walls with the name of the spaces and a basic floorplan; finally, names like “cafeteria”, “infinite uses hall”, “adapted toilets”, “garden”, and so on, were dotted around the art centre’s various spaces. The new signage fulfils a twofold purpose for visitors to the art centre: firstly, so that visitors know where they are at any given moment and, secondly, so that they can have an idea of what they can do there. Named in their widest and most neutral sense, the toilets, the roof terrace, the offices, the library … become the zero degree of the institution. The dictionary definition of any given word does not equate to its everyday use, given that the nuance of meaning depends on the context and on its articulation within a spoken or narrative chain. In the same way, this statement of the museum spaces is never closed: they are simply named so that they become possibilities of an activity, places of public use that can be continually inhabited and redefined through their programed activities and their users’ needs, whether subjective or community-based. The walls of magnetic paint, on which to post notices or information as an immediate response to needs for attention, respond precisely to these possible uses which are never exhausted and at any given moment can demand a new possibility, a clear definition for infinite futures.
Dora García (Valladolid, 1965) is one of the most celebrated Spanish artists worldwide. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Salamanca, Spain, and at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (1985-1992). She has taken part in international art events like Manifesta (1998), Istanbul Biennial (2003), Münster Sculpture Projects (2007) and Sydney Biennial (2008). Her works have also been exhibited at museums including MACBA, Barcelona (2003), MNCARS, Madrid (2005), MUSAC, León (2005), SMAK, Ghent (2006), and GfZK, Leipzig (2007). She represented Spain at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) with the project “Lo Inadecuado/The Inadequate’’. She currently lives in Barcelona, co-directs Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers in Paris and teaches at Haute École d’Art et de Design in Geneva.