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To lose our experience of time, play and sleep would be to lose our intimacy. And if we lose our intimacy, we lose our personhood.
Eugenio Ampudia devoted two hours of his time to explore his exhibition, Holding Infinity in the Palm of the Hand, and to explain his work to us. The artist, through his art, underlines how important it is to be aware that in our society: “A brutal pressure is being exerted, causing the loss of these personal territories, which are so needed by human beings because time is the space where your memory and yourself are fabricated.”
The exhibition opens with an installation of nine sculptural pieces, whose name gives its title to our artist‘s exhibition. They’re harmoniously distributed through the room space, unfolding itself into an actual labyrinth of clocks. By paying attention to the rhythm of the needles’ movements, as they get closer or move apart, and the shadows that accompany the clock hands as they go, we start to notice our relationship with time. We perceive the world as paths and barriers that open up, but we can’t see much further. Sometimes it’s necessary to lose time by wandering to find oneself… because by taking distance we can see things and objects from a different perspective. Time is where we are, where we fabricate ourselves. What do we do with our time? The true danger is to lose the so-called “individuation process” (Carl Jung), the process of making and becoming oneself. You are what you do with your time.
“Playing is in the hands of Big Business that leave only a mundane way to play. But playing is everything, we play constantly, we enjoy ourselves and grow by playing,” says Ampudia. The artist, through his works, plays and invites us to do the same. With a critic attitude and a lot of humor, he gives us a warning through his video installations, where we find his personal library on fire, putting into question all those books that plague our bookshelves. It asks us questions such as: are museums trying to engage in a dialogue with the people that live in the city or are they only used as tourism advertisements? In a projection at the end of the room, he invites us to play Tetris and to be collectors of the works of fundamental art icons: Duchamp, Giacometti, Modigliani, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Christo, Louise Bourgeois, and Basquiat.
In the upper floor of the exhibition, Ampudia put several mattresses to invite us to rest while he projects his work, the Where to Sleep series. Projections where we can see the artist sleeping in the Prado Museum; in the Alhambra; next to Bramante’s Tempietto, in Rome; in Anahuacalli, Mexico; in the Palau de la Música Catalana, in Barcelona; in the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, in Lisbon; turning these spaces into places more closely related to us. “This isn’t just a video, it’s an instruction manual,” he explains to us. “Any place dedicated to culture is a place that belongs to all of us.”
In which places would you like to sleep? I’d love to do it in the Sala Alcalá 31, take my time to play the game Eugenio Ampudia is inviting me to and to sleep surrounded by his works.
Exhibition: “Sostener el infinito en la palma de la mano” (Holding Infinity in the Palm of the Hand), Sala Alcalá 31
Curator: Blanca de la Torre
Photography: Oscar Rivilla
Music: Dr. Symptosizer
Conceptual Design: Carolina Verd
Main picture: pants and jeans shirt by Levi’s, shoes by Birkenstock; courtesy of Finally
Picture 2: jacket and jeans by Pepe Jeans; courtesy of Globally
Picture 3: jeans jacket by Desigual, jeans by Levi’s; courtesy of Finally; white sandals by Birkenstock
Picture 4: stripped T-shirt and jeans by Levi’s; courtesy of Finally