Museos en blanco

08 Sep 2015 to 07 Nov 2015

On 8 September Ivorypress started off the season with the opening of Museos en blanco by Spanish artist José Manuel Ballester (Madrid, 1960). The exhibition showcased his latest works—mainly photographic— which contain an invitation to ‘empty our museums’, both real museums and those embedded in our memory, to suggest two approaches that can serve to analyse our past as well as our future. The visual resources employed by Ballester in these works change the viewer’s position towards the outside world and towards their own memory.

The exhibition’s starting point is the artist’s idea that no museum can contain the essence of culture within its walls. To Ballester, museums are no more than spaces that house the most representative samples of what history can offer us at any given time. It is a fragmented, and in most cases decontextualised, history that allows us to delve into a murky past that is cyclically revised and reconsidered, especially in times like the present day, when new social models are constantly being molded by new technology.

However, there is a new visual lens through which a different reality is being created: a virtual world at the service of our concerns, desires and whims. An alternative reality that can trick us into believing that it is our own, deceiving our entire perceptive system. ‘In these circumstances direct contact with the object that shapes our emotions is no longer essential and thus, matter and illusion become closer than ever’, adds Ballester. The selection of works on show is completed with a display case containing small-format drawings as well as several of the artist’s publications. Museos en blanco can be visited at Ivorypress until 7 November 2015.