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Fixations per Minute is a new exhibition series presented by Fundació Joan Miró in collaboration with the Banco Sabadell Foundation at Espai 13 from February 10, 2023 to January 21, 2024.
The project, curated by Yaby (Beatriz Ortega Botas and Alberto Vallejo), analyzes the concept of reading and its relationship to current artistic practices via the work of a group of local and international artists. Claudia Pagès, P. Staff, Jota Mombaça & Iki Yos Pia Narváez Funes, and Kandis Williams’ exhibitions use a variety of visual mediums to challenge some of the technical and rhetorical mechanisms of reading by exposing their political implications.
Reading has a long history with modern art, serving as a persistent source of poetic and discourse-based inspiration. Contemporary art combines a variety of visual tactics to treat reading from a more critical standpoint, suspecting the book as more than just a source of pleasure and knowledge, highlighting it as a complicated device of subjectivisation that commits violence that is not always obvious. Reading is revealed to be a powerful process in this mental setting, one that includes the formation of narratives, hierarchies, and exclusions that extend beyond the text, influencing the presence of specific bodies and how they are read. The project’s title refers to the formula used to calculate reading speed. Each fixation represents the instant the eyes focus on a word: the smaller the number of fixations per minute, the faster you comprehend text. These fixations are the points of contact that allow text to enter the body. The phrase also refers to other aspects of language that are important in this series, such as its power to set meanings and impose itself, much like an obsession.
Claudia Pagès (Barcelona, Spain, 1990) uses video installation to study the relationships that exist between power, the formation of history, and particular material substrates of reading, such as stamped paper, in the first show in the program. The series continues in April with an exhibition by P. Staff (Bognor Regis, United Kingdom, 1987). Poetry and the experience of reading it are fundamental to Staff’s work, which offers a queer and trans meditation on the turbulent exchanges that occur between bodies, ecosystems, and institutions. Jota Mombaça (Natal, Brazil, 1991) and Iki Yos Pia Narváez Funes (Caracas, Venezuela, 1984) will present a joint project in July that analyzes some non-alphabetic processes of meaning that displace the modern concept of a book. Lastly, Kandis Williams (Baltimore, US, 1985) finishes the program with a video piece that revisits the theatrical text Death of a Salesman in order to reflect on the Black body as both a focus of experience and a political symbol. An companion brochure will include words and photographs of the artworks created for the exhibition projects, as well as additional information on the primary subjects discussed in Fixations per Minute.
Espai 13 is a place dedicated to new artistic and curatorial ventures. It was founded in 1978 in Espai 10, a chamber off the foyer of the Fundació Joan Miró for young Barcelona artists. It relocated to its current position following an extension to Josep Llus Sert’s original structure in the late 1980s. During the past four decades, this trailblazing facility has hosted exhibitions including the work of over 500 artists and provided a unique chance for young professionals to develop their newly acquired curatorial talents. Espai 13 has helped many successful artists, curators, and cultural managers advance their careers. Espai 13 has become an unrivaled platform in the museum world due to its ongoing programming over the course of more than four decades. Its own history mirrors the evolution of emerging artistic and curatorial practices from the last quarter of the twentieth century until the present day.
Fundació Joan Miró
Parc de Montjuic, s/n