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"Irony: Works by Over 30 Artists Dealing with the Subject of Irony"
2001-09-21 until 2001-11-04
Juan Miro Foundation
Barcelona, , ES

The Joan Miro Foundation is presenting an exhibition on the subject of irony, selected by Ferran Barenblit and containing over 30 works by different artists. Most of the pieces have been produced during the last couple of years, but the curator has included items from the sixties in order to show the context in which irony appears in the way we understand it today.

The exhibition consists of video projections, installations, photographs and sculptures by Francis Al˙s, Ibon Aramberri, Marcel Broodthaers, Joan Brossa, Maurizio Cattelan, Wim Delvoye, Christian Jancowsky, Jeff Koons, Zbigniew Libera, Javier Longobardo, Rogelio López Cuenca, Piero Manzoni, Juan Luis Moraza, Bruce Nauman, Antonio Ortega, Liliana Porter and Tere Recarens. All have very different discourses and deal with different subjects, but the one thing they have in common is the use of irony in their work.

Studies of the visual arts have often ignored works that use irony as a resource. Nevertheless, in the last forty years, art has exploited laughter as a very effective means of expression that has the public on its side and requires their involvement – and this participation is one of the factors that can turn humour into irony.

Although there are examples throughout the history of art of artists who have employed it as a resource, the presence of irony in the visual arts was consolidated in the sixties with the post-modernist theories that questioned the idea of single, stable meanings; irony therefore constitutes an exceptional critical mechanism on account of the large number of meanings it can generate.

Recognising the presence of irony is a complex act in which both author and receiver participate. It is a field mined with misunderstandings and contradictions, since there is no guarantee that the receiver will understand the original intention. Consequently, it is always an unfinished process because of the multiple, open-ended interpretations. The viewer is obliged to think, with the result that the piece is constantly being produced. But, then, isn’t thinking the purpose of artNULL

The exhibition, organised by the Joan Miró Foundation, will transfer to the Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea in San Sebastián from 4 December 2001 to 2 February 2002.

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