Miquel Barceló, a painter and a sculptor, is well-known and his works have been widely exhibited. His entry into the international contemporary art scene came in 1982 when he worked on Dokumenta de Kassel. Since then his painting, sculptures and ceramics have been shown in the most important modern art museums in the world such as the Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris, la Fondation Maeght at St. Paul de Vence in the South of France and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Born in Felanitx in Majorca, he is remarkable for the prolific nature of his work and his energy in transforming different media and bringing it all to life.
Dividing his time between his native island, Majorca, and Paris where he has a workshop, and Mali, where he has been going from time to time since 1995, Miquel Barceló works with an infinite variety of materials: mud, ash, sand, animal skulls etc.. Based on recurring motifs – animal fables, bull-fighting, the deep sea – his work is a testimony of his solar energy, of his hunger for life, of his curiosity, but also of the passing of time, of desire and of death.
After spending so much time with the Miquel Barcelo the painter and his works in his studio, even sleeping there, and playing with the shadows by candlelight, with the contours of the objects and the canvases there, an idea came to Josef Nadj: to go inside a painting. No sooner did he bring up the concept with Barceló, who paints organic change, it became a performance. The two artists imagined a wall made out of red clay, like walls in Kanizsa, the home town of the choreographer and like that of Barceló's ceramic work (not least of all his large-scale work-in-progress: covering the floor of Saint Peter's Chapel at the Cathedral in his native Majorca with terracotta) a terrain where they come together and daringly enter the other's universe. The exchanges between the painter-choreographer and the choreographer-painter create a sort of home for this unique experiment.
Out of a material in motion - whose canvas is the living bodies of the two artists, sometimes serious, mostly burlesque - comes a series of ephemeral paintings continuously being altered.
This performance reveals the essential role of the painter's gesture, and the life-like work of the medium that is disfigured, transfigured just for one hour, the real physical course at the heart of pictorial gesture.
A return to roots, archaic forms suggesting rupestrian art, work in relief, depth of surfaces, strata lain one on top of the other, materials torn apart until, gradually, the bodies disappear as if absorbed into the clay, leaving the space free for a different work every evening, and whose fate is to disappear.
conception : Miquel Barceló, Josef Nadj
avec : Miquel Barceló, Josef Nadj
création sonore : Alain Mahé
lumières : Rémi Nicolas
costumes : Fabienne Varoutsikos
poterie : Jean-Noël Peignon
Production : Festival d'Avignon
en coproduction avec : le Centre Chorégraphique National d'Orléans
avec le soutien : du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (DRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Délégation aux Arts Plastiques) et du Centre d'art et de création de Kanizsa
remerciements : à l'IMCA Provence
Le Festival d'Avignon reçoit le soutien de l'Adami pour la production