For his second personal exhibition at the gallery, IGNASI ABALLÍ (born 1958) takes a look at the density of what appears to us to be invisible, under the title Transparent States. This is a multi-disciplinary project (photo, paper, video, installation) which hides behind a deceptive neutrality. He questions this density, by invoking the reality of physical phenomena as well as by distorting the information conveyed by the press.
In the right-hand room, three empty display cabinets create a disturbance of perception from the outset. In an almost-tautological way, these display cabinets present and describe the display cabinets themselves: the artist has recorded theoretical instructions and images describing the place where the display cabinets were made, the very nature of the plexiglass and the concept of transparency. Is this not a "presentation of the presentation", and in a style movement, a reflection about showing: what should be shown? How and why? He returns to the theme of showing, in his work Demostrar, a black & white photograph taken from an enlargement of a press cutting with a detail of the body language of a man. In a tightly cropped shot, Aballí gives us the impression that this man is "showing the void", that he is holding a portion of nothingness between his hands.
Emptiness and the invisible are recurring subjects in his work, as illustrated by the series Taking measures. The artist photographed nine items of apparatus which measure specifically data invisible to the naked eye: time, noise, atmospheric pressure, air quality, temperature, humidity, electromagnetic radiation, etc. With apparent technical banality, in his video Sols (Suns), he opens up an interesting process of reflection about phenomena which have a determinant influence on our life on Earth.
In the left-hand room, his liking for examining the state of the world takes a quite different form. Exploring in greater depth his pondering of the idea of archiving reality, Aballí accumulated and filed hundreds of press cuttings from a major Spanish daily paper. What is special about Lists (World Map 2009) is that it compiles all the names of countries which were published (as headlines or sub-heads) throughout the year 2009. A tiresome chore from one viewpoint, but one which imparts a special flavour to the practice of an artist: the artist is constantly in the lookout, but also positions himself as a witness. We are looking at a world view (from a Spanish perspective, admittedly) which indicates the hot news topics (Afghanistan, Iraq, China, ...), the prominence of certain countries (the USA, South American countries) as well as the press's amnesia about certain parts of the world. Facing this almost obsessive series, three works, Postcards from Brussels, show the interplay between the topics of a country (in this case Belgium and the expansion of space/time (card written in Brussels and sent to Barcelona or its environs, and re-activated decades later in the opposite direction).
By creating obvious links with conceptual art, Ignasi Aballí attempts to show that the transition between visible and invisible is permanent, and that the porosity of their relationship enables the mind to open to poetry.