Isidoro Valcárcel Medina: freedom is not living from what you produce

The background of the film is summed up in a simple dialog. A succession of words strung between three characters, two men and a woman. But, as tends to happen

Isidoro Valcárcel Medina: freedom is not living from what you produce

The background of the film is summed up in a simple dialog. A succession of words strung between three characters, two men and a woman. But, as tends to happen when you scratch on the surface, after the seemingly simple, hides a maze of opportunities, possibilities latent willing to materialize to curdle a story alternative. That's why, even though the chosen medium —the film— mark almost an exception in the long career of the artist Isidoro Valcárcel Medina (Murcia, 83 years, the film that has led recently along with the filmmaker Luis Deltell, A dialog circumstantial, it is still perceived as a drop inside the same production flow, dragged by the freedom to look and to the belief that subvert means nothing other than to broaden that vision of the world. The film, a game around the concept of montage and its possibilities of expression, will be screened today and on the 11th of January at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, both dates accompanied by talks with the participation of the artist. The tape can be seen again on the 29th of January at the Fine Arts Circle of Madrid, and will later pass in Rome (February 6) and Pamplona (14).

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Valcárcel Medina is contesting the theatre Master of escapism

monotonously repeating pigeonholed in the category of conceptual artist, praised as one of the first and most prominent of Spain —he received the National Plastic Arts prize in 2007 and the Velázquez in 2015— actually Valcárcel Medina you would have to define better and more easily as a gender in itself. Not in vain, as underlined by sipping a cup of tea with honey in the living room of their quaint apartment in Madrid, beyond fashion and streams he has always done what he has desired”. “Conceptual art is a tendency of conceptual art: in all the work of the concept is the support. When you clear this mentally, all your activities fall within this territory,” he reflects. “What I aspire to with my work is to see, and I feel an obligation to that view, but also to say what they want. I don't want that others like it but that may draw a conclusion,” says the artist, who “hates” such a nickname. “I prefer the word” author, says as a means to defend the need to “demystify” art, because “creation is not a thing unusual happens to to four cats.”

“In the seventies had, but now there is not, in general terms, artists that play the type - ”

To Valcárcel not only is recognized to have given way to a production full of games, senses cross and subterfuge, but also the fact of having been able to loosen the system, given that it has never had representation and, supposedly, has not sold any work. One end, which he qualifies of “headline journalism”. “I have sold, but I have been concerned to sell as I want and when I want: freedom is not to live by what you produce,” says the creator, who has earned a living in the field of building refurbishment.

Characterized by its white beard and his style of dandy, hat included, Valcárcel spoke 47 years ago his first and only film along with A dialog circumstantial: The lattice, in which was transcribing the novel of the same name by Alain Robbe-Grillet. Both films, as is explained in the co-Deltell, “can be understood as a continuum.” “It's a case so unusual, that of a filmmaker who has made a film after 47 years and are both deeply radical and very similar in many aspects,” he says.

Desmontador theatre, instigator of actions and performances, the generator of sound works, reescritor of books... it is curious that Valcárcel has not used more often to the cinema. Especially knowing that it is declared a “big fan” of this art, which has been engulfed in series of morning sessions, “when he had” that chain after the first screening in the evening. Although now, in the age of streaming, you do not have television in your house to kill the bug. “I'm going a lot to the Film [has, in fact, the membership card number six] and there I encounter always the same 15 people: people who, like me, does not make the cinema go to them, but that is going to the cinema,” he says.

The city is the inspiration


Sailor of five decades of becoming creative in Spain, Valcárcel Medina considers that the current scene lacks of a bleeding lack of “involvement”. “In the seventies there was, and very strong, and in the nineties, to a lesser extent: there is not now, in general terms, people who play the type.” It also refers to beyond the national level, dominated (at least in the media) by boutades like the banana stuck with an insulating tape that Maurizio Cattelan recently sold for $ 120,000. “When the viewer is only a follower, when you only know to stay with the mouth open, that's when the banana, or the teasing, triumphs,” she said, aware of his contradiction: “I am among those who say: ‘this is stupid', so that contributed to the roll banana”.

“In this campaign I have not heard nor a time the word culture”, regrets

Constantly busy in some project, Valcárcel only have to take a bus or crossing the streets to give with some finding intellectual. You do not have a routine of work, but the certainty that “the city is an inexhaustible source of reasons or causes when you are going with the critical eye. For example, I look at things as the fashion of ripped jeans: it's amazing to see how people put on what they say. That in art also happens: they go to whatever it takes”. Reaffirmed in your belief that it is best to be guided by our own inner voice (“in this campaign I have not heard nor a time the word culture”, points out on his “suspicion” that the institutions are going to offer better for creativity), Valcárcel turn and look to masters like Goya before him, did your maximum of that aphorism. “I was recently in the exhibition of Goya [in the Meadow]. In a drawing depicting a woman putting a half: all of a simplicity, but you can make a deduction philosophical”. And it is that simplicity, like the dialogue removed from your film, is an excellent source for criticism.

John Baldessari and the squaring of the circle

art goes to Isidoro Valcárcel Medina family. Hence, in your house no one was surprised when at the age of 19 he decided to move from Murcia to Madrid to make their way in the world. Famous for its persistent —and constructive— rebellion against the established, accomplished through works such as your Book transparent, a book of English words, but invented; or your Conversations phone, more than eighty recordings of calls to the random where Valcárcel offered to their partners, their number, the creator began his career as a painter in the sixties. Like the recently deceased conceptual artist John Baldessari, ended up getting rid of that pictorial production, which was stealing physical space and mental to expand his particular creative universe. “I met Baldessari, but it was not of my rope,” she says about that and other matches with the u.s., such as the use of language as an artistic material. “I perceive influences from positioning more than style: if I see someone who works with tires I say to myself: ‘what the weirdest thing’. But that I can influence to work with the circles”.

Date Of Update: 09 January 2020, 21:00

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