Carrying sculpture on our backs
With the same eagerness, almost voracious, with which Fuentesal Arenillas traverses, analyses and breaks down the places of sculpture that since the mid-1960s have been configured on the basis of the metaphorical possibilities of the materials, their allegorical and linguistic implications, and, in short, their multiple transformations, contaminations and drifts in that celebrated expanded territory, in short, from its multiple transformations, contaminations and drifts in that celebrated expanded territory, it is no less true that its objectual constructions are inserted - installed - in other circuits of material and cultural - popular - production, whose route is independent of the itineraries of modernity. In other words, Fuentesal Arenillas' work is situated in an intersectional space that draws almost equally from both traditions. Moreover, his sculptures represent a constant playful exercise between the mechanics of handicraft and the constant winks to the formal and conceptual repertoire of the modern genealogy in three-dimensional practice.
This constant to-ing and fro-ing is the basis of a practice of "absent-mindedness" that finally situates and legitimises his pieces in the present, as if it imposed a kind of necessary and unrenounceable mandate for the sphere of a sculpture that seeks to find new expanded territories. But unlike other historical and well-known moments in which the complexity and elasticity of three-dimensional forms no longer produce astonishment, there seems to be now, and certainly leaves no room for doubt in the work of Fuentesal Arenillas, a return to certain elementary conditions in the configuration of objects more typical of other past moments: assembling, articulating, rotating, balancing, stimulating kinetic conditions, manifesting a dynamic of dis(balance), making sculpture, in short, a three-dimensional and articulated collage.
For the Nordés gallery, the artists have created a series of pieces that, with more emphasis than in other recent productions, are installed in a popular tradition that is not alien to them, specific places and locations where history and life take place, images and artefacts of the past that are claimed in a time that, in reality, has not finished passing. These articulated "toys" are placed in the space in a state of rest, but we immediately perceive that their nature, their raison d'être, is indissoluble to a performativity linked to the body as motor energy. The story is incomplete if we do not carry them on our backs as celebratory banners in the liturgies of the promenade or as puppets acting in a small theatre made up of silent entities belonging to an "other" visual grammar.
Next to them appears an orthogonal window illuminated despite its opacity, a small upside-down curtain that contemplates not only these pieces in a resting position but also ourselves as an expectant audience. We trust that, at some indeterminate moment, it will have to be raised so that the inhabited space will also be the stage for the event.
Juan de Nieves
Fuentesal Arenillas (Huelva, 1986 / Cadiz, 1989)
Julia Fuentesal and Pablo M. Arenillas studied at the University of Fine Arts in Seville. They have lived and worked in London, Berlin and Madrid, where they currently reside. Their work explores the playful dimension of artistic practice, intertwining autobiographical aspects with formal resources such as the double figure and repetition. In their work processes, wood has a privileged place, using the craft as a reference. They have proposed from games with small pieces to large panels, recovered beams, warm floors, sculptures or spaces, trying and finding forms that stimulate the gaze and the body.
They have exhibited individually with Cubierta Brillante, thin margin curated by Juan Canela for the Primera Fase award of the Community of Madrid and the DKV Foundation, 2021. Mínimo Roce at the Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo ECCO in Cádiz, 2020. La resistencia del ello / Azul como una naranja, Luis Adelantado Gallery, Valencia. GameShow/PlayShow at Blue Project Foundation Barcelona, 2018. We are looking for... curated by Juan de Nieves at Espacio Santa Inés in Seville, thanks to the INICIARTE grant, 2017.
Recent group exhibitions in which they have participated include: 2022 Dialecto, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid. La vista y el tacto (ca.1929-30) Centro Federico García Lorca, Granada. Replica Shift. Construction/Composition, Patio Herreriano Museum, Valladolid. Expanded Sculpture, Andalusian Center of Contemporary Art, Seville. 2021.... And she keeps a stone from every place she has visited, curated by Ángel Calvo Ulloa at Galería Juan Silió Madrid and Tangled up in play at Galería F2 Madrid. 2020 Where Water Rumbles Metallised at SCAN Contemporary art network, London or I Got You Under My Skin at Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Madrid. And in Art Fairs such as ARCO and Artissima, among others.
Some of the awards, grants or residencies they have received are: Vl Cervezas Alhambra Award for Emerging Art ARCO 2022. V Research and Production Program of C3A (Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucia), Córdoba. Production grants from Matadero Crea Madrid, 2021 with the project Charco Claro/Fondo Sólido. First phase, Artistic production program. III edition Comunidad de Madrid and DKV Arteria, 2020 with the project Cubierta Brillante/Margen Delgado. XXX Edition of the Circuitos de Artes Plásticas de la Comunidad de Madrid, 2019. Daniel Vázquez Díaz Grant, Diputación de Huelva, 2019. Production and residency program, Blue Project Foundation Barcelona, 2018. GlogauAir Berlin artist-in-residence program, 2018.
Soon, they will participate in the exhibition Devenir isla at the Casa Encendida in Madrid, an award-winning project in Inéditos 2022 curated by Aina Pomar Cloquell.
Their work is part of the following collections: Colección Comunidad de Madrid CA2M, Spain ; Pietro Molina_s Collectio_n. Italy; Banco Sabadell Foundation. Spain; Blueproject Foundation. Spain ; SCAN Collection. United Kingdom; CuldeSac Collection. Spain; DKV Collection. Madrid, Spain; Complutense University Foundation (c to c). Spain; Fundación Universidad Santa Isabel de Hungría. Spain; Fundación Universidad de Huelva. Spain; Newcastle Foundation. Spain; Ayuntamiento Genalguacil. Spain; Valdearte Foundation. Spain; Michael Jenkins and Javier Romero Collection. USA.