RESTRICTED ACCESS

BERNARDÍ ROIG

Miguel Marcos Gallery presents a new individual exhibition of Bernardí Roig (1965), who didn’t show his work individually in Barcelona since 2003, in his last exhibition at the gallery, Golpear el Instante.

 

Restricted Access includes a series of works (watercolors, drawings and sculptures) from the latest years of the artist that explore, from a deviant figuration, -as usual in his work-, the difficulty of looking, the stillness of an armored loneliness and the sterility of the language. 

 

His work, obsessive and insistent, is an exercise in seeing that inevitably leads to blindness and that goes beyond light. By accumulating images and piling up light the gaze paralyzes, even though it still captures the tremor of the revelation or unveiling. The images dazzle, and consequently they both unveil and mute.

 

Some of this works result into a disturbing silence, they paralyze the speech by revealing unexpected places, they signal the incestuous relationship that we have with memory, strangeness and discomfort that beats within the repressed depths of our inherited image. They lead to an empty space that is filled in and absorbed by the image itself. But the image does not replace the words, it simply empties them out of content and assumes and integrates them, as words of silence.

 

That impossibility of seeing, which is transmitted as blindness of light, has been meticulously built by Bernardí Roig as a challenge that comes from the lack of color, the blinding white, a white instant that insists in its duration. 

 

There is an uncomfortable correspondence between the hurtful light of the fluorescents and the white neutrality (abstract) that covers the bodies and heads of his sculptures. In the white frozen instant, the gaze is paralyzed as blindness and rigor-mortis, but also as an instant of revelation and contemplation of that which cannot be said nor told. 

 

Bernardí Roig’s reflection about the gaze has assumed the exhibition model as “an alteration device” with a clear intention of building a visual intervention, posing a dialogue with multiple historic traditions and iconographies that reveal its multiple narrative possibilities.

 

This exhibition proposes a trick to our vision. The light, in fact, is the form acquired by such trick that tries to momentarily trap which cannot be seen nor said, only shown. An attempt to show a flow of untimely images imprisoned in an inaccessible area, of restricted access, that finds itself in the humid and dark basement located in our head, from which we do not have the key to access. 

 

A medium size figure (Ash Mirror, 2020), is brutally smashed against its own face made of ashes, where the coagulated time piles up until building somebody’s portrait who initiated the journey towards its own dissolution. A fluorescent light crossed behind the image pretends to yet guarantee its presence. 

 

Two small figures (DSB. Twins (Tremlett painting Pile Up #), 2020) are hanging from some butcher hooks and sustained by the excess of light invading the space, where David Tremlett’s wall drawing continues in the opposite corner, accumulating form and color. That mural has become a structural part of the gallery space. 

 

Another full sized figure (DSB, 2018), leaned over a contemplation structure, could be the phantasmagoric double of that who looks, of the viewer; who observes and is observed at the same time, dissolving and relocating himself amongst the objects. A fluorescent light that goes through his mouth cancels all possibility of speaking out, and then the waiting hardens and the communicative impossibility crystalizes. The words can’t fertilize and become trapped in the “mute believe”.

 

Three watercolors (Liquid memory, 2020), two of them protected by the language of abstraction, simulate light curtains and a cabinet scene made of liquid meat. 

 

To finish, a drawing, (Last portrait of Monsieur Bertin, 2010), reinterprets an important work of J.A-D. Ingres, where through the trembling line that tries to imprison the image, the face only achieves to become a mash of lines that escape the resemblance. 

 

In the latest years, his work has been exhibited in several international museums and institutions such as Kunstmuseum, Bonn, BOZAR, Brussels, Zentrum Für Internationale LICHTKUNST, Unna, Dortmund, Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, MACUF, A Coruña, Alte Pinakoteke,  Munich, Ca Pesaro, Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna,Venezia, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems,  The Phillips Collection,Washington D.C., Triennale di Milano, Milan, Le Carre d’Art, Nimes, IVAM,Valencia,  Museo Carlo Billotti-Villa Borghese, Rome, Science Museum, London, Museo Nacional de Escultura, Valladolid, Museu Es Baluard, Palma, Palazzo Fortuny, Venezia, PMMK. Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Oostende, Kunsteverin Ludwigsburg, Sttugart, The Slavador Dalí Museum, Florida, Centre d’Art Santa Mónica, Barcelona, Teheran Museun of Contemporay Art, Teheran, Troubleyn/Laboratorium, Anwers, GAM Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bolonia, Fondation Européenne pour la Sculpture. Parc Tournay-Solvay, Brussels, Claustro Catedral de Burgos, Burgos, Von Der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal,Vestfossen KUNSTLABORATORIUM, Oslo, VIDEOTAGE HK, Hong Kong, Centro Cultural La Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Museu Colecçao Berardo, Lisboa,  Palais des Nations de la ONU, Geneve, CA2 Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid, Busan Museun of Modern Art, Busan, South Korea,  in the 54ª Biennale di Venezia, Instituto Veneto di Science, Lettere ed Arti, Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, Venezia, MUNTREF, Buenos Aires, Museum Residenzgalerie, Salzburg, Maison Particulère Art Center, Brussels and recently in Sala Alcala 31 and TABACALERA, Madrid.