Lázaro Galdiano Museum
From February 5 to May 4, 2020
Opening: February 5 – 19:00 h
A beating heart Installation
Chapel of Architects
From Fenbruary 19 to May 4 , 2020
Opening reception: February 19 – 20:30 h
Museum of Passions
Solo show. Lázaro Galdiano Museum
From 5 February to 4 May, 2020
This exhibition of Javier Viver at the Lázaro Galdiano Museum (February 5 – May 4) and at the Chapel of Architects in the San Sebastian Church (February 13 – May 4) is the result of two programs. First is part of the exhibition program of the Lázaro Galdiano Museum that invites contemporary artists to set up a dialogue with the Museum’s masterpieces. Second it takes part of the activities of the Royal Congregation of Architects wich proposes a fruitful meeting between the Church and the contemporary culture.
Here Javier Viver starts an open conversation on human passions by relating the works of the Museum and the Chapel´s architecture with documentary photographs belonging to his Révélations book (on the Iconography of the Parisian psychiatric hospital in Salpêtrière, a book that won the National Prize to the Best Art Book of 2015), the Aurelia Immortal (on a jellyfish spicies capable to achieve the immortality, book granted with the Residency Enaire Price 2018) and his next book Christs and Antichrists (a 1930 Gospel illustrated with images of the Spanish Civil War and religious desecration).
In this peculiar treatise of passions that Viver raises, surprising relationships between the photographic document and the religious fiction of the Museum Collection are revealed. The exhibition is completed with some sculptural installations of human figure from the author’s religious imagery production, which in this new context play with the works of the Museum.
The main piece of the show is The Lot´s wife. It is inspired by an engraving of the Liber Chronicarum (1493) in which the biblical character of Edit is turned into a salt statue as a punishment for looking back. With this reference, Javier Viver has created a statue of more than 6 meters high made with consolidated salt that will be set on the former Dance Hall of the Museum. A reference to the Salpêtrière (stone salt in French) in which the human passions were fixed with silver salts. A reflection on the look at the past in a Museum dedicated to the conservation of classical works.
On the other hand, in the Chapel of Architects of the Church of San Sebastián, an excellent work by Ventura Rodríguez, Viver creates a unique installation titled A beating heart. Here the structure of the Greek cross plant is associated with the crucified body suggested in the documentary photographs of the Salpêtrière Iconography (the hands of the patients on the arms of the cross). The head on the front and on the center of the cross, where the heart would be, Viver places another stone salt statue of Lot’s wife, this time on a real scale). Finally, the ornamentation of the dome of Ventura Rodríguez, composed of flowered coffers, is related to the microscopic images of flower petals printed on a monumental canvas. In this way the invisible of the microcosm and the macrocosm of the celestial dome in the Chapel of Architects is made visible thanks to the installation of Javier Viver.