The Joan Miro Foundation will be presenting Olympia by Grazia Toderi, as part of the Homo Ludens. Art at play cycle curated by Grazia Quaroni. This is the artist’s first exhibition in Spain, and is organised in collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura.
Born in Padua in 1963, Grazia Toderi lives and works in Milan. Focusing on video, she operates with real images, altered very discreetly by computer. Distant galaxies, theatres, stadia – her subject matter is varied but she creates an atmosphere that gives the viewer a feeling of being suspended in time and place. It has been said of her work that it represents circular situations, due to the fact that the films last for only a few seconds or minutes and are projected in a continuous loop.
In recent years, Toderi’s work has been concerned with the crowds attending public events (concerts, football matches, etc.) – spaces where the event is the people who play at watching the game while participating in a collective rite. Olympia, her contribution to Homo Ludens. Art at play, comes into this category.
Barcelona became a Villa ludens at the Olympic Games in 1992. The Olympic Ring, in the centre of which is the Olympic Stadium, close to the Joan Miró Foundation, is the focal point of the piece. Toderi takes aerial pictures in daylight of the area and turns them into enchanting, dark, nocturnal images, giving them an acid colour that is very far removed from reality. Nature, architecture and dreams are blended into something that previously did not exist but gives us an unusual vision of Barcelona.
This space that is empty today was inhabited by thousands of spectators – playersNULL – who are remembered by the incessant noise that fills the space, envelopes the viewer and compels him or her to participate.
Grazia Toderi has shown her work in the Casino Luxembourg, the Castello di Rivoli and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, and has taken part in the Istanbul (1997), Sydney (1998) and Venice (1999) Biennials.