Wed 25 January – Fri 16 March, 2012. Barcelona
NoguerasBlanchard is pleased to announce Fran Meana’s Greenroom, the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. In line with his recent practice, the exhibition comprises an installation that relies on a layering of disparate elements and combining construction materials, geometric structures, video and found objects. Meana builds a personal methodology constantly adding new data, dubious family members, fictional stories or deliberately inaccurate readings in order to investigate two of his abiding themes: the construction of historical narratives and the questioning of temporal structures – past, present and future.
The exhibition title, Greenroom, refers to a space in a theatre, television studio or similar venue which accommodates performers who are not on stage. The amalgamation of characters, situations and narratives which take place here usually contradict the temporal and narrative logic of the official script. It is here that we find the encounters and conflicts which will never happen on stage. Fran Meana relocates the concept of “green room” to the gallery space inferring casual associations among the exhibited objects and sculptures. As fragments or components that are simultaneously complete and incomplete, they activate parallel narratives that act as a counterpoint to the story narrated in the video Algunas cosas no funcionan y aún así son útiles (Some things don’t work and still, they are useful). All works in the exhibition are somehow related to the story in the video, through location or dates.
The video tells the story of a certain character (the artist’s great-uncle) who in the 1950’s emigrates to Venezuela, a flourishing tropical ex-colony, escaping the poverty of northern Spain intending to make his fortune. His failure to do so and subsequent return to the bleak industrial factory routine, lead him to embark on a quest to invent a perpetual motion machine. Placed directly opposite, Now is Where assembles graphic imagery from the hardcore music scene which was very relevant in the early nineties accross the Cantabrian coast. Like the perpetual motion machine or the displacement of work materials to the picket lines, this scene, imported from the US, opened up new areas of musical possibilities in a context of extreme restriction and offered an escape of everyday life to the young generation.
The photographic installation titled 5, 481 km and 30 years is a series of six documentary images referring to two historical moments set apart in time and space: the American conceptualist movement which originated in the fifties and the demonstrations that took place in Gijón in northern Spain, where picket lines blocked the streets protesting the closing of the shipbuilding industries in the nineties. Despite the differences in context and intent, both phenomena subverted the function of industrial materials such as steel and iron and produce very similar images.
Fran Meana (Avilés, 1982). Recent exhibitions include: Delimitations: An Exhibition of Contemporary Spanish Art, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, IL (2012); La cuestión del Paradigma. Genealogías de la emergencia en el arte contemporáneo en Cataluña, Centre d’Art La Panera, Lleida, SP (2011); Antes que todo (Before Everything), CA2M, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles (2010); Basado en hechos reales, ARTIUM Collection, Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz (2010); Everything is out there, ‘Inéditos’ La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2010); 89Km., MARCO, Vigo/ CGAC, Santiago de Compostela (2010); Educando el saber, Laboratorio 987, MUSAC, León (2010). Fran Meana currently lives in Rotterdam where he is studying the Master of Fine Arts at Piet Zwart Institute.