The simplest thing is the hardest to do

Solo exhibition
Barcelona Pavilion, Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Spain, 2020

External view of the pavilion with display
Detail of display, double-sided print on silk
General exhibition view
Detail of displays, double-sided print on silk & screenprints & travertine plinths
Detail of display, double-sided print on silk
Detail of display, print on silk
Detail of display, screenprint & travertine plinth
Detail of displays, screenprints & travertine plinths

The intervention at the Barcelona Pavilion, explored History and its multiple narratives and the aim was to create a dialogue with the space itself, raising questions of memory and effacements in time, especially in relation to its construction and later reconstruction.

To Redondo, architectural landmarks such as the Pavilion not only have a history but also tell a story. They are essentially narrative devices, that serve its time (and dominant ideology) by highlighting certain aspects of history while deflecting others. That is why the intervention here is subtle: it seeks to produce almost invisible disruptions in space that magnify such effacements.

The central piece consisted of a set of translucid displays, made from silk, and meticulously distributed along the glass panels. Depicting the few surviving photographs of the original building which served as models for its reconstruction, they confronted the viewer with a superimposition of past and present. Offering, thus, a composite perspective on the building and the outside garden.

The artist also created a set of prints on plywood displayed on supports that used the same kind of travertine stone as the Pavilion’s floor. Appearing at first glance as completely black monochromes, these images depend on the movement of the spectator’s body (and gaze) to reveal themselves in tenuous contrast. A sound piece installed in the garden completed the intervention, offering a multi-layered account on the work of the architect Mies van der Rohe and his collaborator Lilly Reich.

Photos: Anna Mas, Laercio Redondo