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Indepth Arts News:

"Psychodrome.02: Michel Gouery, Franz Ackerman, Fred Tomaselli"
2002-12-20 until 2003-02-09
Joan Miro Foundation
Barcelona, , ES

Psychodrome, the title of the cycle selected by Grazia Quaroni and David Renaud, refers to a circuit or tour in a defined space, which is the room in which the circular structure of the first exhibition is turned into a series of concentric spirals where the walls that are the pictorial support acquire their dynamism from the works displayed on them.

It also refers to "psychedelia", a familiar word since the 1960s that means a disorder of consciousness through some external stimulus, in this case visual art, that in this exhibition takes the viewer on a journey through cities and galaxies.

Michel Gouéry (1959, Rennes, France), who has already exhibited in "Psychodrome.01", will be showing a series of large-format canvases in which the figurative elements blend with vaguely hypnotic abstract backgrounds. For Gouéry anything is a pretext for painting. Paint is the real subject matter of the picture, and the pleasure of painting is the artist’s only message. The absence of any meaning is the central theme of his art, though his pictures clearly reveal a strict logic.

Franz Ackermann (1963, Neumarkt St. Viet, Germany) has made travel the method and the subject-matter of all his artistic work, which is on two scales. On the one hand are the small-format works, or Mental Maps, with their vaguely organic appearance, which he produces when he arrives in a new place. And on the other, the large-format pieces, called Evasions, that he paints in the studio; these are a burst of colours with an unstable perspective that produces a surprising deviation from reality. At times, as in the Espai 13, his painting emerges straight from the wall and takes over the entire space, enveloping the viewer.

Fred Tomaselli (1956, Santa Monica, California, USA) produces large collages with motifs formed of spirals or galaxies that have a somewhat hypnotic effect. Close to, the viewer discovers a flat surface as a result of a thick layer of resin encasing a mass of tiny, meticulously arranged objects. These objects may be leaves he has picked up, or images he has collected or, more characteristically, pills of all kinds from the ordinary to the exotic. Tomaselli’s cosmological images tend to destabilise the viewer while at the same time destabilising our idea of reality.

The innovative aspect of Psychodrome is that instead of the artists’ work being shown, as is usual, in individual shows one after the other, this year’s cycle is conceived as a single exhibition in four stages, with three artists exhibiting together in turns; each one will generally take part in two stages, changing their installation if necessary.

Other artists may also join in, and the Monochrom group (Austria, 1992/1993) will be taking part in Psychodrome.02. This group works in various fields – publishing the Monochrom magazine, producing short films, creating and destroying music, websites, experimental works in the fields of electronics and robotics, exhibitions and performances – and tries to demonstrate the confrontation between psychological and virtual codes in a style that is ironic, amusing and melodramatic.

All the artists taking part have in common an interest in disorder, be it of the imagination or of consciousness, through images and often through the use of colour, sound or direct intervention in the architectural space. They explore the disturbances and interferences between reality and illusion, fantasy and everyday life, sleep and wakefulness, the absence of linearity and of beginning and end, through a burst of colours and forms and the creation of motifs repeated ad infinitum in an obsessive fashion.

They are all young artists from around the world, well established in their own countries, at interesting moments in their careers, and although they have exhibited frequently in other countries their work has seldom been seen in Spain.

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