7.03.2019 – 13.03.2019
The immersive installation “depersonalized collection” by Julia Salgueiro represents a variety of very current sociopolitical issues. The work may be seen as a reflection of our bureaucratic system’s autonomous chain of commands. However, it also touches upon the pressing topics of censor- and data ownership and how these go against individualism in our society.
Although the performative installation presents a very socio-critical theme, the work’s original idea was a different one. For the past four years the artist has been wondering the streets of Barcelona, collecting notes, scraps of paper, recites, fines and more. Anything that was left behind but contained a personal component was gathered by Julia. The found bits and pieces are fragments of a bigger story, representations of the millions of intricate details that make up the unique tales of each and everyone’s life. Left behind, these documents are made redundant, personal pieces of someones life become isolated in the ‘non-space’ of the streets. By collecting these intimate remnants, Julia hoped to create a genuine reflection of her home town. A portrayal of the city’s vibrant life, with all its complexities and unique interrelated stories. However, upon her aim to present her findings, the process of the entire artwork was altered. The laws of data- ownership and protection had made her endeavour impossible, forcing the artist to black-out (in this case with tipp-Ex) any form of personal information found on the documents. The wonderfully unique fragments of people’s lives are now not only hidden, but unified by conformist regulations. The enforced reformation of the project was not only a coincidence, but it became the underlying theme of the presented work. The regulatory process in which the artist was involved in, is a symbolic manifestation of the state and its autonomous bureaucratic systems’ overruling of individualism.
Sitting in the town hall of Gracia, the artist is filmed whilst she, as per law, censors each and every one of her found notes. Julia is wearing a suite and bares no form of expression. Her eyes are fixed to the desk, whilst her actions are monotonous, rational and dry. The overall deadpan display of this performance reminds of the satiric works of Franz Kafka and Max Weber’s inanimate machine of bureaucracy; In which we are working on the basis of “instrumental rationality,” continuously replacing “social (inter)-action” with “rationally organised action.” With issues like the newly introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), our age of information overload and the general issue of censorship, this work touches upon many current developments. However, its profundity is in the representation of how these developments and the bureaucratic apparatus as such, override our multifaceted and individualist society.
The Brazilian artist Julia Salguerio completed her studies in Fine Arts at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), where she specialized in engraving and metalwork’s. Julia continued to work with drawing and metal engraving in her own workshops. However, the artist began to combine her work with new forms and complementary tools, which lead to the use of photography, video, text and performative works. Her interest generally spans from time recordings, material transformations, identity building, translation and travel. Her works have been exhibited individually and collectively on an international level. The artist lives and works in Barcelona.
Curatorial text by Victoria Reuss