Thu 11 January – Sat 10 March, 2007. Barcelona
Ester Partegàs (La Garriga, 1972) presents her second solo show at NoguerasBlanchard. Grasses Saturades (Saturated Fat) is formed by a large wall-mural and a series of digitally manipulated prints that articulate tensions around consumption and excess in a global society.
A mural which represents a large black chain drifts accross the gallery walls with an opressive effect that desabilizes one sense of scale. With letters spelling the word B a r b a r i a n hanging from the chain, the work resembles an enormous charm bracelet conveying a subversive message. Partègas dramatically-scaled subjects “provoke a certain disorder and disproportion which connect them to the most grotesque and absurd aspect of the act of consuming”. The work refers to Pop´s heritage of amplifying everyday objects and sets in relief the complex relationship between object and sign: here the chain´s irresolute symbolism of control and connectivity. Partègas is interested in the expression and resistence that escape through fissures in a climate of scrutiny and control of public and private spaces, such as heaps of trash and urban waste.
Over the mural, Partegàs has places a series of digital collages comprised of black and white documentary photographs showing urban landscapes covered with spray paint and fluorescent marker effects, and texts from glossy magazine advertisements. The title of this series We, the people includes and invites the spectator to make a self examination regarding our behaviour as citizens in a consumer society. Taking th city street, its people, its products and refuse as her starting point, Partègas creates darkly gestural images that consider how ideas of individuality and collectivity evolve and devolve within the contemporary landscape.
The upper-bodies of the people in the streeet are hidden by expressive graphic marks: drips and drops that create goups of headless people, like collective alien forms. Our eyes are drawn to their shopping bags, whose texts and symbols resemble trademarked comments in displaced speech bubbles, while the collage appropiated texts seem to dramatize their experience of desire, fulfillment and waste. “I am interested in the anthropomorphical, not only on a physical level, but also on a political and emotional one. The sentences I have included like subtitles in these works create a direct psychological relationship with the citizen/viewer”.
Ester Partegàs (La Garriga, Barcelona, 1972) holds a BFA from the Universitat de Barcelona and has completed postgraduate studies in Multimedia at Hochschule der Kunste, Berlin. Selected solo exhibitions include: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia (2006); Centre Cultural CajaMadrid, Barcelona (2006); Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, Texas (2003). Selected group exhibitions: I Bienal de Arquitectura Arte y Paisaje de Canarias, Canary Islands, Spain; Busan Biennale , Busan, South Korea (2006); Make It Now. Sculpture in New York, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, New York (2005); Outer City/Inner Space, Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York (2002). Publications include Calories: Units of Energy, 1998-2005, a full-color monograph on Partegàs’ work.