Per Laberints, 2010


Exhibition at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània, Barcelona


Curator: Oscar Tusquets Blanca and Ramon Espelt
Staging: Oscar Tusquets Blanca with Gianni Ruggiero

Shadow labyrinth with Alfons Soldevila

"When Josep Ramoneda, the director of the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, suggested I curate and design the exhibition Requiem for the Staircase, I asked him to keep back for future exhibitions two subjects that I was particularly passionate about: one of them was the window; the other, the labyrinth. That was ten years ago, but Ramoneda has kept his word.

    The publication of Ramon Espelt’s well-documented book Laberints prompted this exhibition project. It seemed essential to share the curatorship with Espelt but the experience also turned out to be an example of learning while having a good time.

    First of all, we decided to focus on the strict concept of the labyrinth; strict insofar as possible because it isn’t easy to interpret something so rich in meaning. In any case, whether they are real or imaginary, we are exhibiting labyrinths that we, or other animals, can or could move through. We have only touched on the themes that might lead to other fascinating exhibitions; networks, the brain as a labyrinth, the city as a labyrinth, creation (pictorial, literary, musical) as a labyrinth…

    We hope that, after visitors have made their way through this labyrinthine exhibition, they will take away, if not certainties, suggestions about this powerful, enduring image; an image dating back millennia to pre-historic times, but whose enigma continues to enthuse contemporary creators and thinkers. In order to achieve this, while still recognising the undeniable artistic merits of the labyrinth, we decided not to display original pictures or installations which show, sometimes anecdotally, a labyrinth. If what they depicted was relevant to what we were trying to say, and we hadn’t been able to obtain the original, we didn’t mind exhibiting a reproduction.

    The exhibition isn’t a compilation of major works of art that feature labyrinths; it sets out to provide an educational artistic experience (insofar as an artistic experience can be educational).

    Espelt’s extraordinary erudition totally freed me of the responsibility of deciding on the labyrinthine questions that we needed to address. As the exhibition designers, we were sure that we hadn’t left anything out, and had every confidence in what we were dealing with, which allowed us to concentrate on how we said it.

    It had been our intention for the exhibition to start in the magnificent historic courtyard that gives access to the Centre. However, the numerous events and performances that take place there during the summer meant we weren’t able to occupy it. So the idea occurred to us of creating a veritable labyrinth of shadows, shadows thrown by a light structure hanging at a height where it would not interfere with the programmed events."