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Téllez, Javier - Guggenheim Bilbao

Shadow Play
Always involving excluded groups and communities in his productions, Javier Téllez offers his work as a vehicle for realities that challenge our canon of rationality, while at the same time reflects upon the history of the image as language and as social space, a set of norms and protocols that can sometimes be exclusive or oppressive.
In a single space, this exhibition (12.07.2018 - 18.11.2018) articulates two pieces created in 2014 for the Kunsthaus Zürich. In Bourbaki Panorama, a group of refugees move in a circle inside one of the most important panoramic works in the history of European art. This great cultural monument depicts the exodus across the Alps of 87,000 French soldiers who were seeking asylum following their defeat by the Prussian troops, an event seen as the birth of Switzerland’s vocation as a haven for refugees. As they walk inside the panoramic mural, the protagonists of Téllez’s work seem to reflect on the never-ending journey of the refugee. There is also an object that is moving with them: it is Alberto Giacometti’s original bronze sculpture of 1947, The Hand, with which the artist attempted to evoke the terrible sight of an arm blown off by an explosion. The inclusion of this object, which the refugees carry with them in their circular wandering, invites a variety of interpretations both on the condition of the migrant and on the role of the artwork in our culture. (Text: Guggenheim Bilbao)