Montage of Attractions (Pull the Thread. ARTIUM Collection)

From: Friday, 05 October 2012

To: Sunday, 06 January 2013

Place: North Gallery

The exhibition has adopted cinema as a reference, establishing a parallel between exhibition montage and film montage.

Leaflet Works on show What is Pull the Thread?

This project has adopted cinema as a reference, establishing a parallel between exhibition montage and film montage in order to present a story resembling the cinematographic. From this starting point, it will seek to address a —partial and deliberately subjective— review of the ARTIUM collection in terms of its socio-political aspect, with all the contradictions and complexities that this may entail.

The title is an appropriation of the type of Soviet montage developed by Sergei Eisenstein, one of the key names associated with the Soviet school of the 1920s and 30s, who viewed cinema as an intellectual and dialectical construct. At the same time, it aims to ironically refer to the inclusion of art in the realm of performance and the entertainment industry.

Eisenstein argued for a dialectical cinema, for film that is less a representation than articulated discourse. It essentially involves taking two seemingly unrelated ideas and bringing them together, thereby giving them an ideological connotation and symbolism.

The exhibition opens with Homenaje a Velázquez by Jorge Oteiza, after which the next milestone is Oteiza's own archive, which contains material from his film entitled Acteón, which was never completed. Oteiza viewed cinema as an essential aspect of people's aesthetic education and embarked on his cinematographic project to pursue the viewer. There is also a connection with Brecht and Eisenstein's ideas about the medium in his quest to “rouse the audience from it's self-absorption, forcing it to abandon its passiveness as a mere recipient of stories and turning it into a participant in a work that cannot exist without its active presence.”

Following on from this, a series of works reflects on the socio-political and the impossibility of representing this. The basis at all times is the need to focus on this subject from the realm of micropolitics in an attempt to create an environment of aesthetical research.

In formal terms, the proposal is full of references to the world of cinema, not only because of what may be contained in the pieces themselves (frames,“artistic flou”, split-screens, etc), but also in the use of devices such as ellipses, elements outside the field of vision—including works outside the exhibition room— and flashbacks—by introducing works by artists who occupied this selfsame gallery space in the previous exhibition—as well as flash forwards, motifs and jump cuts.

The rhythm gradually alters as the exhibition moves on from the opening sequences, in which a much more literal allusion to film is sought, and begins to deal with issues such as the construction of identities, situations that reveal Eurocentric postcolonial attitudes to violence(s) in the realm of the domestic and social, as well as the problems of exploitation, terrorism, armed violence and military conflicts. The music for some pieces has also been established as a means to channel these issues and functions as a metaphor, a soundtrack to a tale with clear dystopian features and suffocating pessimistic cynicism. In short, the exhibition, like Oteiza's film, attempts to overcome the distinction between what happens and what is explained, and its narrative outline, as in Acteón, is a snare that ensures that that which might occur actually happens to the viewer.

With the support of:


Cooperation project
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