Scratch is the third group exhibition at ADN Galería entirely dedicated to drawing. The first one took place in May 2007 under the title “Drawing and Dreaming”. Although that show revolved around the contrast between black and white as a formal resource, one of the most relevant subject matter of the exhibition was its investigation of the dreamlike realm, strongly related to emotions, and utopian aspect of drawing. This strategy was presented as a personal lexicon, working as a connector between the most private and subjective face of each author with the spectator’s reality, the empiricism of real world, making the conception of new notions of society possible, always departing from humor and irony. The narrative of the exhibition also pointed out the relation of its pieces with cartoon strips, due to the great expressivity of the images produced. All this proved that just a pencil and a paper are necessary to write drawing. The main characters for that occasion were Judas Arrieta, Abdelkader Benchamma, Petra Mrzyk y J.F. Moriceau, Pierre la Police y Virginie Barré.
For the second one, carried out about a year after “Drawing and Dreaming”, the chosen title was “Paperless Marks” to enunciate an exhibition in which the drawing was told not to use its conventional support: paper. “Paperless Marks” had a more formalist script, based on its physical support and presenting a myriad of approaches. The show was an analysis of the graphic practice itself, exploring its possibilities, expanding its traditional appearance, investigating on its expressive and creative capacities, characteristic of the opened moment that fortunately contemporary art is going through. For this second chapter we were glad to have works by Abdelkader Benchamma, Marc Quintana, Frank plant, Qubo Gas, Jesus Galdón, Fleur Noguera and Federico Solmi.
On the present occasion, the dialogue between works is developed on a more conceptual context. SCRATCH puts together critical, direct and unambiguous proposals, really necessary to avoid the collapse of the art realm into a “entropic fainting”, to say it with José Luis Brea, and that art finishes loosing its meaning, its capacity to deny, to point out difference. We understand that this is only possible through reinforcing the message and investigating on the optimization of its transmission through formal manipulation. The works here presented do not only transmit powerful ideas, but do so with great eloquence, expressivity and rapidity, as a scratch to the public, avoiding indifference.
SCRATCH refers to the communicative gesture, to the immediacy of the drawing for transmitting messages. But on its relation with music, we can also think about creation as a post-productive process. Scratching is a contemporary musical practice consisting in the creation of new sounds from existing materials, working with ready-made samples to generate new compositions.
Bourriaud established the parallelism between a trend in contemporary art and djing practice. The original condition of the creation is superimposed to a basis of previous elements; this process lies in the introduction of variations to the existent reality. Taking this parallelism, we understand post-production as a common process in some trends of visual creation, probably strongly developed in the most recent art, but not specific nor exclusive of it, shared by some of the artists we are presenting here. The work of some of them is eminently post-productive, as they use editing methods strongly related/connected to new media. Some others use, appropriate indeed, the symbols continuously generated by our mass society to introduce variations, remixing them, giving them new senses and finally inserting them back to a new circle of collective imaginary.
We can understand the title of the exhibition from these two proposed meanings: scratch as the quick and direct communicative action, or scratch as the post-productive process (scratching). Through this reasoning we try to contribute and defend the expansion of drawing, as we understand that, far from being a minor or preparatory technique, drawing has been already consolidated as an absolutely relevant medium in contemporary art. SCRATCH is our proposal to support the power of art.
These works are full of meaning, of critical sense, full of expressive necessity. We appeal to a non-conformist art that returns to its full vitality and potential in the social field, but paradoxically presented on a weak and humble media. The subtlety of the media contrasts with the power of the message.
This group show includes works by Marc Bijl, Rebecca Bournigault, Democracia, Rainer Ganahl, Kendell Geers, Basim Magdy, Eugenio Merino, Bruno Peinado and Federico Solmi. Finally, we are considering drawing as a common ground for all artists presented here, who even sharing an interest on codifying messages carrying political and socio-cultural meaning, come from different traditions. And even thought these are artists who Rosalind Krauss would inscribe within the post-medium condition, we highlight here their skills on drawing, presenting their graphic works, not as a complementary practice, but as an essential technique in their artistic career.