Behind the screens

We analyse the work that the artist Martín Freire is developing at LABoral Centro de Arte as winner of the third Production Grant DKV Seguros - Álvarez Margaride

Published: May 26, 2015
Behind the screens

3D simulation created by Martín Freire at LABoral. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

By Semíramis González (@semiramis_glez), Semíramis en Babilonia.

There is not a better time to present Behind the Scene, the work that Martín Freire is currently producing at LABoral, as the winner project of the third Production Grant DKV Seguros - Álvarez Margaride. Next June 19 it will be presented to the public and then we will have the chance to see the large panels made up of images and letters, like advertising banners, that this artist from Seville has created as a criticism against the mass media. This is not questioning just the action of communication, this not even about criticising press directly, this is actually questioning the message itself that, from a position of power, can be manipulated in one's own benefit. The tensions between reality and representations can be seen here, in a large installation showing the unscrupulousness of the public powers when it comes to concealing, denying, changing and masking the messages that we receive.

The pieces consists of an installation including fake advertising banners showing sentences and images by means of halogens. The interpretation of what is being projected is affected by several atmospheric agents generated with the free hardware Arduino. Behind the Scene, in addition, is part of a bigger research that Freire has been developing for some years now, this work in progress is what the artist calls “Linking Interventions”, which is not a specific project and is all projects at the same time, connecting people with proposals that go beyond the artistic.

And I say there is no better time because these are days of political changes everywhere in Spain.

Like in other works, Freire uses industrial materials such as PVC, vinyls and adhesives, thus overcoming the traditional artistic disciplines. However, the influence of graphic design and advertising is obvious and the work he presents at LABoral kind of reminds of very relevant figures in the history of art that have approached this topic similarly, such as Jenny Holzer or Barbara Kruger.

Freire's work is deeply political, very critical and visually outstanding. The artist himself says his work “intends to bring out the public powers and their unscrupulousness when it comes to manipulating the message. The way they conceal, deny, change and mask the information with the purpose of controlling the behaviour of an increasingly alienated individual”.

Whether alienated or not, the fact is that the importance of the role played by the mass media in broadcasting a message usually confusing and partial is a question that must be known and shown openly, like Freire does on this occasion.

Freire's work is between intervention on exhibition spaces and the concept of progress in his works, many of which are in progress, with no possible ending, like the project Linking Interventions.

So far we can get the taste of it with some images of the production process of the piece.  Behind the Scene is the winning project of the third Production Grant DKV Seguros - Álvarez Margaride, funded with up to 10.000 € (2.000 for fees and 8.000 for production), as well as accommodation and a work space at LABoral Centro de Arte during two months.

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