What’s on: Art exhibition: “Relics of Futures Past”

Have you been in the Metaverse yet? With this new art exhibition “ Relics of Future’s Past”, curated by Tina McCallan, art collective @Vueltta are inviting the public to enter their art installation situated in the Metaverse, Decentraland, and take a selfie, which will then be exhibited in the show. Eugene Costello reports…

The Labyrinth Effect is a virtual installation created by Bay Backner and Adrián Martínez (@Vueltta) which blends ancient archetypes with the latest in artificial intelligence and metaverse installation. The interior design of the Pyramid Labyrinths is based on a Grecian coin from 400 BC, while the exteriors reference modernist architecture. In the forthcoming art exhibition “Relics of Futures Past” @Vueltta will show avatar selfies taken by visitors to their installations. To take part go to https://vueltta.com/pyramid/. If you have a crypto wallet you can enter with that (it’s free) or play as a guest and you may end up as an exhibit!

Art exhibition Relics of Futures Past
Explosive material: Titled after the ruins of Villas in Pompeii, Marie Julou’s “The House of The Golden Bracelet” uses pigment, modelling paste, glitter and burnt walnut shells on canvas © PHOTO BY FERNANDO RINCÓN

This exhibition is taking place in La Joya Space, in Calle Quart, El Carmen. It’s a new art space in Valencia run by Martin and Susanne who fell in love with the city and wanted to bring international artists here as well as meet and exhibit local artists.

Similarly, Fred de Souza, from De Souza Gallery, based in Cervera del Maestre, but originally from London, is also keen on collaborating with local and international artists, and championing the idea of cultural exchange through art. Both galleries met through curator and artist, Tina who has recently got back from Italy where she, Francesca Ricci and Josie McCoy curated and exhibited in  “Dirty Pink: Sixteen International Artists in Florence”.

Future imperfect

 Valencia Life caught up with Tina to ask her about the concept behind this new exhibition.

Says Tina, “Relics of Futures Past deals with our human inability to become aware of our limited lifespan and the consequences of our actions. After a conversation with artist J. Kesín about his new series of works “Future Relics”, I started thinking how everyone really only has an awareness of their era, even though we have lots of evidence of ancient civilisations. We also think that things are destined to get better. We have this linear patriarchal view that things always improve. With recent events that doesn’t seem true any longer.”

Art exhibition: “Relics of Futures Past”
Watching you: Lovers Eye, by Patty Ice, founder of Espacio Segundo

She continues: “I started thinking about a film that had a huge impact on me when I was younger: the original version of “Planet of the Apeswith Charlton Heston. Initially, I was fascinated by the role reversal of man and animal, but it was the final scene that made me conscious for the first time of the passage of time, of history and of our mortality. That moment when he sees the Statue of Liberty buried up to her chest in sand and realises he is not actually on another planet but Earth itself, but in the future and that civilisation has been destroyed. He gets off his horse, falls to the ground and weeps, beating his fists against the shore. At that moment, I had a strong vision of the skyscrapers of New York buried beneath the sand, everyone dead and the impossibility of going back in time.

“Lately, recent events have made me think we are in a similarly apocalyptic situation with covid, war, fires and floods caused by climate change, Brexit, the greed and corruption of big business and politicians etc. There is a feeling that we could lose all we have attained.

In the exhibition, through a mix of media, from paint and canvas to the Metaverse, we explore the idea of leaving things behind for future generations. The twelve artists ask the question: what will be our Relics of Futures Past? 

“We have some fantastic artists showing their work. Juan Petry, who founded Casa del Dragon in Cervera de Mestre, will show his work entitled, MUARCO, a miniature version of a museum in the form of an interactive sculpture. The public will be invited to draw on small panels to create the constantly changing installation of artworks.”

Old techniques, new treatment

In “Lovers Eyes” by Patty Ice, artist and founder of Espacio Secundo, the artist exhibits an installation of small paintings that refer to a tradition that was popular in 18th-century England, where portraits of a lover’s single eye were kept in a locket or made into jewellery to keep the loved one close. Josie McCoy is well known for her hyper-realistic, ethereal portraits of female characters appropriated from film and TV. In this show she will be exhibiting her portrait of that screen icon of the past Audrey Hepburn, sadly departed but forever preserved in celluloid.

Art Exhibition: Relics of Futures Past
Meat is murder: Commenting on the meat industry “Dominion” by J. Kesin, 65 x50 cm oil and acrylic on canvas

Francesca Ricci also uses cinematic images as her starting point, taking stills from beloved films which she then paints in oils in an attempt to cheat time. Her two paintings from the Life Stills” series depict scenes from Truffaut’s masterpieceThe Wild Child”. The doctor protagonist’s main preoccupation is to tame an animal’s nature, more for a professional fulfilment than for a human, personal one. 

Highlighting the imbalance between the human and the animal realm, Sonia Domenech focuses on the symbolic power of creatures through her paintings entitled “Totem I” and “Totem II” underlining that, in the past, special powers were attributed to animals in ancestral cultures. 

With a nod to the power reversal in “Planet of the Apes, J. Kesín’s series of paintings entitled, Future Relics” come to us from an imaginary future society which has long abandoned the use of animal products to its history books. The paintings show remnants of this relationship through imagery such as cages and weapons which are overlaid with symbols.

The Eyes Have It: Oil on canvas, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly by Josie McCoy © PHOTO BY FERNANDO RINCÓN

Inspired by a recent visit to the ancient city of Pompeii, Marie Julou (painting pseudonym of curator Tina McCallan) imagines abstract paintings from a future museum being dug up after a volcanic or nuclear eruption. The surfaces are stained and mouldy, covered in remnants of dust and particles. Using powder pigments, burnt walnut shells and glitter, the artist evokes a surface resembling calcified minerals. Named after the villas found in Pompeii, they allude to the treasure found in dirt and destruction. 

Like @Vueltta, Jose Picazo is obsessed with the architecture of the past, specifically industrial, those pylons which scatter the countryside. In his ghostly paintings, the architecture appears like shadows, haunting the landscape.

Ancient mathematical structures interest Magda Pintos, and here she presents a pair of classical visual paradoxes, in which Euclidean perspective is forced to create an impossible object, in “Thinking of Yturralde I and II” the artist represents them as old and worn out, covered with a patina of obsolescence.  

World in transition

With a need to find order in the chaos María José Serrano reflects on a world in permanent transition. In ”Espliego(Lavender) the smooth surface of the primed canvas allows the paint an easier path while in “ Las constelaciones silenciosas y el espacio que es tiempo” (The silent constellations and the space that is time) the surface of the raw canvas makes the journey of the paint slower. These paintings look like timeless universes in the moment of creation.

Art exhibition: “Relics of Futures Past”
Smooth operator: In ‘Espliego’ (lavender) by Maria José Serrano, the smooth surface of the primed canvas allows the paint an easier path

According to latest studies, we humans evolved from eukaryotes, bacteria-like cells formed 2.3 billion years ago.  In Celia Kettle’s paintingsLife Forms I and IIshe deals with life as it began in the ocean.  Her work connects us to our past as well as the cycle of life through her use of recycled materials.

From the simple to the complex, the ancient to the futuristic, this show poses the question, what will remain? Perhaps our world will become wholly virtual, we will live and work completely online or perhaps technology and governments will collapse, and we will go back to candles and cave painting, hunting and scavenging or perhaps still something new will be invented allowing us to physically transcend time and space? In the words of William Blake,What is now proved was once only imagined” but as we, like him, will be long gone, we can only imagine what the Relics of Futures Past will be.

  • Relics of Future’s Past’ opens on Thursday 17th November at La Joya Space, Calle Quart 21, 2, Valencia, 46001 from 19.00-21.00, by invitation only; to get an invite please email fred@desouzagallery.com or on WhatsApp  at 630882045; exhibition runs until 8 December, after the 17th, open by appointment only; artists’ talk, Thursday 1 December, please email to be put on the list
  • More at https://desouzagallery.com and http://lajoya.space/

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