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A unique commitment to the artists of today

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A visitant admiring Karlos Gil's artwork, «Timefall (Anarres)». 2023.© Roberto Ruiz

A unique commitment to the artists of today



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The artist Karlos Gil, who benefitted from the ”la Caixa” Foundation’s Support for Creation. Production 2022 call, walks through one of the exhibition halls of CaixaForum Barcelona. Mobile phone in hand, he illuminates the interior of what looks like a large glass aquarium in which one can make out wooden structures and vegetation flooded by a subtle mist. He’s putting the finishing touches to Timefall (Anarres), one of his recent works, which can be seen in the exhibition Horizon and Limit. Visions of the Landscape at CaixaForum Barcelona until 1 September.

Timefall (Anarres) is an installation halfway between sculpture and ephemeral art that offers the viewer a glimpse into the nature of time. The work consists of a closed tank with specific atmospheric conditions that cause accelerated ageing of everything, organic or inorganic, placed inside. The result is an ecosystem that evolves rapidly and constantly, evoking the relationship between the natural and the artificial, life and death.

In designing this miniature universe, Karlos Gil (Talavera de la Reina, 1984) was inspired by the writer Ursula K. Le Guin’s description of the fictional Anarres, a humid planet with a perpetual fog, which appears in her novel The Dispossessed. “I’ve always been interested in the idea of art as a generator of worlds,” explains Gil. That’s why he has created an environment that changes and where the end result is not calculated: “We can accompany the work so that it reaches a certain state”, he points out, “but always leaving a door open so that it can decide to evolve in one direction or another.”

The changing and ephemeral nature of the project makes its conservation a real challenge. “It’s a complex piece from traditional parameters,” Gil acknowledges, but as a beneficiary of the ”la Caixa” Foundation’s Support for Creation grants in 2022 in the Production call, he has been able to count on guidance from the institution’s conservation team. “It’s something I appreciate,” he explains, because “they’re specialists in contemporary art and helped me make intelligent decisions regarding the reproduction, storage or installation of the work in the future.” For the artist, this support is what makes this call for projects exceptional, because “it not only operates on an economic level, but also in a project-oriented sense, that is, the team from the ”la Caixa” Foundation constantly supports you in the development of the piece and is able to put you in touch with the professionals you may need to produce it.”

Statements by Karlos Gil, one of the winners of the Support for Creation. Production 2022 call.© "la Caixa" Foundation

With the small world of Timefall (Anarres), Karlos Gil also recovers a certain slow, romantic view of landscape, which fits in perfectly with the group exhibition Horizon and Limit. Visions of the Landscape, made up of works from the ”la Caixa” Foundation Contemporary Art Collection, as well as numerous loans from artists, institutions and private collections.

The exhibition also features Patricia Dauder (Barcelona, 1973), winner of the Support for Creation. Production ’20 call. The project with which Dauder won the Production grant is Index, a composition of dozens of drawings and lithographs arranged on a wall in such a way as to accommodate what she defines as “a kind of visual map, a vocabulary elaborated from images that I’ve been developing over the years”. The pieces, mainly drawings and lithographic prints, are applied in different layers to create an image that is appreciated from a global perspective. “It’s something that refers to how I think our mind works,” she explains over the phone, “overlaying images that stick in the memory.” The final result is deliberately ambiguous and suggestive, as the artist wanted to flee from very clear and obvious images in search of those that allude to sensations and uncertainties.

Statements by Patricia Dauder, one of the winners of the Support for Creation. Production 2020 call. © "la Caixa" Foundation

To create Index, Patricia Dauder conducted research into printing processes and materials, immersing herself in the history of these techniques. In the end, she decided to experiment with lithography, a medium she felt aligned with the concept of trace or mark, present in the overall concept of the work. With the spirit of an autodidact, the artist learnt printmaking by attending workshops in Barcelona, and even travelled to Austria to deepen her knowledge in a printing cooperative, where she undertook a two-month stay which she was able to pay for thanks to the grant from the Support for Creation. Production programme.

A driving force to strengthen the careers of many artists

“Without the help of the ”la Caixa” Foundation, I wouldn’t have been able to carry out this project,” emphasises Dauder. “Thanks to their support, I was able to access resources and materials that were very expensive and required slow and laborious processes.”

The call is part of the ”la Caixa” Foundation’s commitment to contemporary art, something that artists value and are grateful for in a panorama that can be discouraging for many of them, even those with a certain professional trajectory. “There’s a serious lack of investment on the part of governments,” laments the Catalan artist. “This affects institutions, even the most prestigious ones, and sometimes we have to juggle to carry out our projects.”

Karlos Gil: “I’ve received many grants in Spain, and this one is very different because it allows you to push certain limits.”

In addition to supporting the production of specific works, the Support for Creation. Production programme also aims to be a driving force in strengthening the careers of many artists. “I’ve received many grants in Spain,” explains Karlos Gil, “and this one is very different because it allows you to push certain limits when it comes to floating an idea.” The grant is aimed at individuals and groups who have exhibited in the past and have unpublished projects in collaboration with a museum or art institution. As Gil understands it, “it’s not so much a help for that early stage of your career, but for when you’ve been working for a number of years and need a little push to take your production a little further”.

The two-yearly Support for Creation. Production programme opens a new call for proposals today, 2 May, and will accept applications until 7 June. For those artists or collectives considering applying, Karlos Gil recommends that they take the plunge, because “this call has something very genuine, which allows you to create a network of contacts in which you feel very well looked after and protected when it comes to creating the pieces”. To prepare the proposals, his advice is clear: “Be true to your ideas, because if they’re sincere and come from within, that’s the most important thing.”

Latest Update: 02 May 2024 | 11:36