Interchanges unfolds imaginaries around water, proposals crossed by eco-fiction and the versatility of an essential resource that is increasingly scarce on the planet. The exhibition presents the works of Mar Guerrero, Stella Rahola Matutes and Laia Ventayol, which explore the interrelationship between humans and water, a relationship that can be analyzed both from the point of our dependence on it, but also from the irreversible effects that human actions have caused to it. It is a territory that is as real as it is fictional. These works point to a dialogue, but also to a tension between scientific knowledge and other forms of knowledge. The title interchanges refers to the relationships and affects between natural resources and human life.
Aigües Còsmiques (2022) by Mar Guerrero brings together studies on the marine ecosystem and astronomical observation, establishing links between science and ecology based on concepts such as nature, artificiality and technology. In a first stage, Guerrero collects plastics from the sea, waste from which spherical pieces of white clay that record this waste are modeled. Then the spheres are reproduced in 3D using oyster PLA filament, a biodegradable material that uses organic elements, among them, remains of oysters. In the manner of an archaeologist or an astronomer, the public finds itself in front of pieces that, like fossils of the future, transmit information about processes, materials and locations in our immediate environment. The spheres also irremediably connect us to the vision of the planets, to the configuration of a particular cosmology conceived by the artist. The installation is presented to us as the vestiges of a remote universe, forgotten remains that refer us to possible habitats in deep time.
Stella Rahola Matutes
At the entrance to the space stands La Cronometradora (2023) an ambivalent work, an offering and a totem, fountain and watermaker at the same time, by Stella Rahola Matutes. The work manifests itself on the floor with a water container that has come out of the Dilalica tap, and which has gone through a succession of filters and treatments to make it potable. The process is slow, it measures an invented temporality: how long does it take for the water to filter into this mechanism or how long will it take until the resources have disappeared? It is a material and symbolic journey of water from the observation of the physical action and chemical reaction with coal, gravel and sand of familiar places, which connect with memory. Rahola has built a piece vertically, observing the architecture of the room and adding a new pillar where a column of discarded pieces of glass from glass manufacturing workshops is deployed. The materiality of the glass and its translucency allows a glimpse of the water, but also adds sonority and rhythm to the piece, becoming a living agent in the room.
The video Estaría bien que en algún momento podamos beber agua (2021) by Laia Ventayol represents the meeting of a group of saurians and other people on a mountain in Mallorca in search of underground water. Saurians have an ability known as hydroscopy, which is defined as the ancestral ability to perceive radiation. Beginners use simple devices that amplify radiation, veterans often rely on their own bodies. There are a number of manuals that provide detailed explanations of how to position the body, especially the feet, back, hands and fingers. In the video, which moves between fiction and documentary, these tools and strategies are used. In reality, in the audiovisual narrative there is not a search for water, it is a performance of the search. The sound, made with the collaboration of the musician Jaume Reus, modifies recordings of sounds emitted by bats. Parallel to how saurians move through magnetic radiation, bats also move blindly through echolocation, perceiving distances through the emission of ultrasound. Humans cannot hear these sounds because they are too above the limit of our hearing range.
The group of sculptural objects that Ventayol is displaying, materialize the image of the video, and are made by the people participating in it. They form a kind of collection of rods, a simple, even precarious instrument, which becomes an essential appendage to connect with the telluric forces.