Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Trial Balloons / Globos Sonda until 10.09 MUSAC, León (ES)

Trial Balloons is an exhibition meant to explore the diverse and complex artistic trends currently engaging and concerning a selection of international art practitioners who have been working since the dawn of the current century. This group show, which comprises the work of 48 artists and other creators –including designers, architects, musicians and performers- will occupy all of MUSAC’s halls and exhibition spaces. In the words of Agustín Pérez Rubio, Chief Curator of MUSAC and one of the three curators of this new exhibition, “Through this project, in addition to rejoicing after its first year since its inauguration and celebrating the good results obtained, which are even much better than originally expected, MUSAC aims to make a little more headway without losing sight of its original purpose, its idea of collection; in short, to embrace the museographic plan upon which it is sustained. Thus, embodying quite a venture, Trial Balloons tries to reflect in two directions: on the one hand focusing on the re-generation of the artistic event wherein the museum is the foremost protagonist, and on the other hand, probing our obsessions with everything that is emerging and innovative, the fleetingness and speed characteristic of contemporary society, and more specifically with regard to contemporary art. It is very important that MUSAC, as an institution, endeavours to meet this sort of challenge, being true to the present, and demonstrating itself as a new museum model for the twenty-first century. The project therefore goes a step further by making a self-reflection about the institution as creator of energies and communities within a sector such as art.” The proposal stems from the very definition of trial balloons, non-manned balloons that automatically measure temperatures and winds and provide other environmental data at different altitudes, and from the social and political use of the term, which means to tentatively put forth an idea or anticipated plan to test public reaction. Considering what is inherent in the term and its shifting into other applications, and within the context of some important trends and practices developed over the course of the last five years in the contemporary art world, the curators strive to elaborate, according to Pérez Rubio, “a metaphor that forges paths, experiences sensations, individualises collectives, and once again considers those other realities lost after the years of documentary and verite art. The very atmosphere of the project is that which joins these balloons, taking into account that perhaps the obsession with the new and the conspicuousness of a still unknown present already weighing us down are very much alike, which should rise and grasp these or other ideas, concepts and personalities emerging from the broad scenery of contemporary art”.


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