Monday, May 18, 2015

News: Atrium Musem at Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain): artist Mabi Revuelta quotes Eameses

Unbreakable Toys looks back at the last seven years of Mabi Revuelta’s artistic research, which is structured around three main themes: language, play and art education. This exploration stems from the book Abeceda (‘alphabet’ in Czech), published in Prague in 1926, a collaborative piece between the writer Vítezslav Nezval, the artist and designer Karel Teige and the dancer and choreographer Milca Mayerová. These forerunners of the Czechoslovak Avant-garde imagined a (playful) alphabet for modern life, their intention being to lay the foundations for a new language, a school spelling book which, through poetry, design and dance, would help to build a new world after the disasters of the First World War.
Almost a hundred years on, the artist has developed an alphabet of her own, based on Nezval’s poems, Teige’s designs and Mayerová’s static poses, enabling her to consider in various series of works questions such as the structure of graphic signs (the design, shape and size of letters) or the expressive search through semantics, anti-semantics and the magnetic aura of words. Divertimentos tipográficos (2010; Typographic Diversions) is the first piece in the exhibition and also the starting point for her new works, which attempt to expand the book and school teachings into the realms of games as constructional elements and of toys—by extension artefacts—as tools for cultural development.
The central space in the room is occupied by Geómetra (2015; Geometrician), a huge house of cards constructed using 164 pieces based on the "House of Cards" (1952) game created by Charles and Ray Eames. In their work, the Eameses followed the principles of the Bauhaus and, as a result, they did not confine themselves to designing and manufacturing objects in accordance with the principles of function and form, but also understood the educational importance of schooling and paid special attention to educational games and toys. For these designers, the beauty of toys lies in the fact that they exist for pure pleasure. In addition to containing hidden poetry and teachings, toys and games are a prelude to serious ideas.
Just as the Eameses did in their day, Mabi Revuelta incorporates into these cards images, designs and digital collages in which everyday objects become extraordinary. The photographic reconstruction of the maze in The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick, made using Lego pieces, a study of a fragment that broke off from a ceiling in the Alhambra, drawings of networks generated using the golden ratio and compositions of snow crystals in free fall gradually accumulate in a construction verging on instability and built in the form of towers and levels. The work is an unfinished constellation, as there is the potential for increasing the number of cards or assembling it in countless forms.

Courtesy, Atrium Museum
Read all at: