Monday, April 02, 2007

Museum voor Moderne Kunst Presents Bernardí Roig

Museum voor Moderne Kunst Presents Bernardí Roig

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Bernardí Roig, Leidy B.

OSTENDE, BELGIUM.- PMMK, Museum voor Moderne Kunst presents Bernardí Roig – The Light Exercises Series 2000 – 2005, on view through June 3, 2007. This exhibition, commissioned by Pilar Ribal, brings together a selection of 33 of the artist’s pieces, created between 2000 and 2005, in which the focus is on the use of neon light as an expressive medium. Mainly based on the symbolism of light as well as the idea of blindness as a metaphor for human lack of communication, the works on show here byBernardí Roig, entitled “The Light-Exercises Series”, represent the culmination of a path of exploration that Roig started on almost ten years ago.

As an imaginary world that feeds on our literary, artistic and cinematographic obsession, among others, Bernardí Roig’s recent work reflects upon our modern day isolation, on "blindness" and “invisibility" as a metaphor for the loss of stability affecting the individual today, a person who has been deprived of the traditional guarantees with which he can anchor his or her certainty. Mutilated, battered bodies which have been blinded, cut off and turned upside-down by a nameless force of evil parade before us, the consummate expression of malaise and perverse fascination with the image.

In this, the most recent of Bernardí Roig’s series of works, light becomes an element that prevents us from seeing, once and for all obscuring our vision. And yet at the same time, this obscured vision is, by extension, the dismantling and disappearance of all that is symbolic, whose fundamental underlying element is desire.

The light that these pieces emit is not one that illuminates - quite the reverse in fact. It is a light that stops us from seeing them, one whose only function is to add to the opacity of our blindness. It achieves this, not through the absence of sight, but by creating the possibility to represent that intangible element that has been removed from sight which permits us to look deeper. This deeper vision is the bastion of resistance to the hyper-visibility which currently seems to be the definitive method by which the invaluable act of seeing is being exterminated.

If a rejection of all that is real, or the desire to see it extended, typify the “double phantasmagoria” produced by the human hand, then Bernardí Roig’s doubles must bear the additional burden of idiocy and madness. As Clément Rosset (1) says, “it is the drunkards who are renowned for seeing double, whilst all human beings have two eyes, and therefore, two images of reality which are normally superimposed, one upon the other...”

These are two versions of reality which are also superimposed in Bernardí Roig's measured, lucid and insightful way of seeing. A vision which has undoubtedly been nourished by his literary passion and lust for all things visual in which he manages to combine the tradition and symbolism of great art with an awareness that is at the cutting edge of all that is contemporary.

Roig’s sculptures, drawings and videos reflect a state of infinite tension between a world in the process of demolition and its ever ephemeral doppelganger which resides in our own spirit.

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