Photo: Levi Orta
AN ANNEX TO AFRODITA (2017) FOR WHO CARES? FESTIVAL
This artwork has been produced as an annex to Afrodita (2017) for WHO CARES? FEMINIST ART FESTIVAL.
The project aims to turn the time I spend with my child into a work of art, so that I can use the budget to cover the production costs of a new artwork commissioned by a festival focused on care work. It is certainly not a huge amount of money, but it is enough to alleviate the scarcity of productive time – and consequently of income- linked to the task of raising a child during the COVID-19 lockdown.
After spending many days thinking about care and following a similar process I followed for Afrodita (2017), I decided to convert the time I spend with my child into goods or capital through the methodology I have named analitic replica.
This gesture brings back some of the questions and reflections I had during those two months; by reclaiming social and economic recognition for empathy and love, aren´t we following the productivist logic we criticize so much? Isn´t there something perverse about demanding to change fondness, passions and relationships into a value? And finally, if care work is the good, isn´t there a risk that care work becomes a goal and s/he who is being cared for turns into a mere instrument to reach that valued good?
Photo: Patricia Escriche
ABOUT NÚRIA GÜELL
My practice is not the expression of contemplation or a virtuous display of technique, but a practice of confrontation, of questioning evidence and conventions, and it usually involves moving pieces, involves action —be it legal or not—, involves moving individuals —be they accomplices or not—, or carrying out bureaucratic procedures. It also means making the public institutions that hire me for my services move in a direction they have not previously explored; it means getting them engaged instead of being mere spectators. My works are composed of gestures and movements that escape representation; and what I end up showing in the exhibition space is certain traces or signs of these movements, not representations, not autonomous objects; the work's autonomy is in the gesture.
My projects always originate from some social or political conflict that I feel called upon to deal with, and their aim is to try and bring out something that cannot be seen; in other words, and in simpler terms, to allow us to perceive something of what is real. And for this to be possible, my practice and my convictions must also be questioned.
On the other hand, I cannot deny that there is a strong subversive inclination in my work. It is rooted in the fact that I do not understand artistic practice as a cultural practice, but quite the opposite: I understand it as a socially and politically necessary practice in which the cultural and the established are brought into play.