LABoral explores in 'Experimental Station' how art and impossible science draw together and intertwine

The exhibition will be open from Friday 28 October until 9 April 2012 and is a coproduction between the Centre of Art and Industrial Creation and CA2M Art Centre Dos de Mayo

Published: Oct 19, 2011
LABoral explores in 'Experimental Station' how art and impossible science draw together and intertwine

The work of O Grivo (Marcos Moreira y Nelson Soares) 'Turntables', 2011. Photo: courtesy of the artists

An installation that recreates a tornado in an exhibition room, a hosepipe that takes on a life of its own before the astonished eyes of the spectator, a cat floating weightlessly in space and a collection of strange musical instruments made from all kinds of recycled materials and whose sounds attract the visitor’s attention, are some of the works which can be seen in the exhibition Estación experimental. Investigaciones y fenómenos artísticos [Experimental Station. Research and Artistic Phenomena] starting on Friday 28 October at LABoral

The exhibit is a coproduction between the Centre of Art and Industrial Creation and CA2M Art Centre Dos de Mayo of the regional government of Madrid and brings together, until 9 April, the works by 28 international artists, most of them born between the 70s and the 80s, and whose motivation behind their work is an irrepressible impulse that connects them to the purest part of scientific research.

Curated by Virginia Torrente and Andrés Mengs, Estación experimental explores how art and impossible science are drawn together and intertwine. And it does this through the work of a number of creators who, steering away from the pre-established guidelines in contemporary art, share in their work a certain fascination for extra-artistic themes, not only for what happens in the field of reality, but also in the beyond; they find common places between the implausible or, at the very least, improbable. In this way, the works on exhibit pause in the short-circuit generated by the crossover between theoretical and aesthetic fictions, and the result is a no-man’s land where new rules are invented.

The show does not propose a meticulous analysis of science as a whole, nor of its current achievements, aspirations and frustrations. In this sense, it is not a conventional exhibition on the relations between art and science. On the contrary, its attention is shifted towards the implausible, or at the very least, the improbable. It also recoils from identifying science with technological sophistication: in fact, most of the works presented border on Do-It-Yourself creations.

On the occasion of the exhibition, a Spanish/English bilingual catalogue with an essay by Pablo Martín Pascual has been published. In addition, an Interpretation Room has been set aside for the exhibition at LABoral in which a wealth of video graphic material on the different groups is available with explanations by the artists of their work. Interviews with the curators Virginia Torrente and Andrés Mengs about the concept of the work, as well as with Pablo Martín Pascual, are also included. Alongside this, a video documents the process of mounting Estación experimental at CA2M, and an extensive bibliography is presented on the relations between art and science and other questions related to the exhibition.

FOUR SECTIONS
The works in Estación experimental have been grouped into four sections. Two of the works -by Luis Bisbe and Esther Mañas and Arash Moori- are site-specific projects, specially produced by the Art Centre in Gijón for the exhibition now being presented at LABoral.

Artefacts and Mechanisms
Julio Adán, Guillem Bayo, Ingrid Buchwald, Milton Marques, O Grivo, Ariel Schlesinger and Alberto Tadiello.

In the wake of Renaissance, with many things still to be discovered, the artists in this section are interested in the creation process using mechanical gadgets and alternative uses of existing technology. Both mechanics and technology can be utilised in drawing (Julio Adán) and also to capture the spectator’s attention through sound (Alberto Tadiello and O Grivo).

In the Laboratory
Luis Bisbe, Carlos Bunga, Caleb Charland, Alistair McClymont, Rubén Ramos Balsa and Ben Woodeson.

In the Laboratory brings together those creators who use an artist’s studio or an exhibition space as a place for experimentation. Ranging from one creator using the garage to photograph DIY experiments (Caleb Charland), or another who in a video shows a test which is very difficult to carry out  -if not impossible- (Carlos Bunga), to someone who recreates a tornado indoors (Alistair McClymont), onto one who puts the spectator to the test in the exhibition room (Ben Woodeson), and a creator who truly works at the service of a scientist in order to explain his physics theory by means of video and mock-up (Rubén Ramos Balsa).

Lost in Space
David Clarkson,  Björn Dahlem, Karlos Gil, Lyn Hagan,  Kiluanji Kia Henda; Esther Mañas & Arash Moori,  Paloma Polo, Jan Tichy and Raphaël Zarka.

One of the final scientific frontiers remains outer space, which is a source of thorough research and theories still to be proved and, in turn, a vast ground for science fiction. From the rigour of research (Paloma Polo) to an endless archive on science fiction (Karlos Gil), there is terrain for other varying kinds of approaches from the most experimental (Esther Mañas and Arash Moori) to documentary (Raphaël Zarka).

Fieldwork
Alberto Baraya,  Faivovich & Goldberg,  João María Gusmão and Pedro Paíva, Ilana Halperin, Rivane Neuenschwander & Cao Guimarães and Jorge Peris.

Fieldwork brings together artists who go outside to collect data or elaborate and prove theories that combine art, science and nature. Artificial plants (Alberto Baraya), the history of meteorites and their discovery (Faivovich & Goldberg), geology and volcanism (Ilana Halperin), salt deserts (Jorge Peris) are a selection of the places where some of the pieces on exhibit in Estación experimental have been developed and created.

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