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Santander: First motives – exhibition

November 17, 2017 - January 5, 2018

jose dela Fuente gallery exhibition



JosédelaFuente is happy to present FIRST MOTIVES, a title that refers to the initial motives in Enric Fort Ballester’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, where he presents a body of work that revolves around motivation as such. His work stems from the performative action and it explores social situations that take place within the political-economical context of today’s Europe. The ironic aspect and the sense of humour are pivotal to his practice, by which he analyses and reconstructs established behaviour patterns.

There are two pieces that structure the show: ‘Silent condition’ and ‘Kleine Skizze für Grosse Aktionen’. A performative action and a series of small sketches for big actions.

‘Silent condition’ responds to the platonic idea of the required tools in a demonstration. Taking into account the limitations of the current system in public spaces. The composition formed by signs made of glass that refers to the groups of people in a public demonstration and the way in which the use of public space silences the effect they may have, is the leitmotiv by which the artist erases any kind of specific demand from the signs.

The objects of the installation witness the action carried out on the streets of Wolfenbüttel, Germany, in the form of a silent demonstration that is combined with the power that the fragility of the glass inspires in the viewer, triggering a series of socio-political possibilities. Somehow, these objects become a performative tool that, far from the traditional sculpture, is asking to be used. The use of this type of object without the presence of logic or a specific purpose enhances the visual connotations while showing the fragility of its political nature.

On the other hand, ‘Kleine Skizze für Grosse Aktionen’ is a series of sketches that FortBallester begins in 2013 while in sickbed. As it was physically impossible for him to do action art, he decides to take up drawing in order to visualise the performances that came to his mind and in order to have an archive to gather those ideas in.

These pieces are accompanied by the collaborative work between FortBallester and artist Serban Savu (Romania, 1978), resulting in two mosaics that form a different way to record the performative actions. ‘This is not a bridge’ is originally a performance that the Spanish artist carried out in Istanbul in 2012.   The mosaic as the only trail of this action creates a dialogue between the Byzantine art of Constantinople, modern art (Magritte’s “ceci n’est pas une pipe”), and today’s Turkey as one of the most controversial geopolitical borders. This work is carried out in opposition to FortBallester’s usual order; here the performance is being recorded after it’s executed, instead of being a preparatory drawing.

In ‘The Stakhanovite’, Serban Savu and Enric Fort Ballester decided to continue to work with the mosaic as a medium, referencing the tradition in Roman culture to portray different labour and everyday situations. This tradition persists to our days, being the Soviet communist mosaic another of the artist’s sources of inspiration. Alexsei Grigoryevich Stakhanov became a source of propaganda in the representation of the worker who works harder than he should by his faith in the communist system, coming to symbolise today’s expression of doing piecework. The Stahanovite represents our time, in which, far from the communist years and having embraced global capitalism, he seems to be the order of the day for many workers, both to those who believe in the system and to those who don’t.


Jose dela Fuente Gallery
Daoiz y Velarde
Santander, 26 39003
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