CONCHA JEREZ AND JOSÉ IGES. RESIGNIFICATIONS
With significant individual careers, for more than three decades Concha Jerez (Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, 1941) and José Iges (Madrid, 1951) have developed a common production in parallel which is influenced and enriched by the difference of their respective languages. Starting from the concept of ‘resignification,’ this joint exhibition assembles works created between 1989 and 2023. Bearing this in mind, what Iges and Jerez propose is, in their own words, “an operation that enables them to assign to an object, medium or situation qualities unexpected, unforeseen, up until that moment.” Approaches put forward by Guy Debord both in his book The Society of the Spectacle (1967) as well as in his films underpin the philosophy of these works.
Through fixed and moving images, reused objects, everyday sounds, photographs, interviews, works created for the radio, video performances and documents—many from the media and its sphere of influence—Jerez and Iges compose a space of visual and sound landscapes which analyse, tauten, describe and at times parody the world that surrounds us. It is a work which witnesses a convergence of languages that, like video, performance, radiophonic art or installations, has led traditional artistic practices to become more complex.
A work such as Arenas movedizas (Quicksand), a 2008 video installation, offers a display of true news which appear to be false and, conversely, signs that disorient whoever may be watching, inviting them, among projections and sounds, to take part in a game where what is real dissolves into a realm of insecurity. Meanwhile, Bazar de utopías rotas (Bazaar of Broken Utopias) tackles subjects such as international agreements in defence of human rights, continuously violated, doing so by means of a large negotiating table with mirrors, broken glass, texts and sounds, among other elements. On another level, Viaje a ninguna parte (Journey to Nowhere), through four actions recorded on video in parts of the Tabacalera building in Madrid to which the public has no access, involves a conflict of ages faced by a space which, created to be a factory and abandoned decades ago, is currently home to new cultural uses, reflecting the change in times witnessed by its walls. For its part, Inventario (Inventory) alludes to oral, individual and collective memory through a sound collage that coexists with obsolete and old recording and playback technologies; all materialising and contrasting historical events with their anonymous protagonists. Other works deal with current matters, such as citizen control, video surveillance, the funambulism of the artistic profession, disinformation or the continuous violations of human rights. Jerez and Iges shed some light on current affairs, sometimes ironically, others by adopting a more poetic tone, but always from a stance of ethical intelligence.