Lluís Hortalà – “Il y a bien du monde aujourd’hui a Versailles”

Lluís Hortalà – “Il y a bien du monde aujourd’hui a Versailles”

14.04.2016 — 21.05.2016

Versailles, 1771-72: marble and totalitarianism

Rocks and stones, silent witnesses of Patiño’s film, they are also the main features of Lluis Hortalà’s most recent piece.

If on the previous stretch of his creative trajectory the Catalan artist employed hyperrealism (drawing like photography), in his most recent work, Il ya bien du monde aujourd’hui à Versailles, 2015-16, he has chosen to play out his desire for representation and scenography in a historical setting.

The title of the exhibition refers to a real incident that occurred in Versailles between 1771 and 1772, on the occasion of an encounter between Marie Antoinette and Madame Dubarry, which had unexpected historical and political consequences: the future of Poland and its partition lay in the hands of these two women. In this context, the style and monumentalist use of marble became at once a cultural ideology and a banal theory on vanity.

In this new piece, Hortalà has taken the representation of the mountain as a recurring theme a step further and explores the mineral essence of rock, the pure trace of marble.

Size, symmetry and a literal iconography are characteristics of the monumental marbles used by totalitarian regimes. Even after three hundred years these marbles have not lost their meaning or original symbolic character: in the history of art, aesthetic intentions, however well concealed, are sooner or later always discovered.

This installation posits the following paradox: stylistic formalisms of power, in their cultural and historical signification, represent a language that is apparently easy to understand and detect. But can we be completely sure that in these forms of representation of contemporary art there are no aesthetic intentions veiled by the powers that be, whether totalitarian nor not? Are these intentions so subtle and imperceptible as to be unnoticeable? This is the question asked by this piece.

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