Forbidden Zones | Zonas Prohibidas


Ignacio García Sánchez | The Future is Behind

50 years ago, in theaters all around the world, one of the most amazing endings of the history of cinema was projected. The last scene of Planet of the Apes, released in 1968 (a prolific year for science fiction film), quickly entered the popular imagination for its hallmark plot. The world that the audience was watching for almost two hours collapses in the last minutes of the film, when the Statue of Liberty appears half-buried on a beach reached by the protagonist when entering the Forbidden Zone. This area is a space isolated by social convention, where the remains of a previous civilization reveal that this isolated planet is indeed the Earth. The Forbidden Zone is therefore established as the place where fiction connects with reality.

Science fiction is often described as the literature of the possible. Theorist Fredric Jameson argues that one of the main characteristics of speculative fiction is its political and transforming potential, meaning that in order to build something new, it needs to be imagined before. In that way, art, being the announcer of hypotheses and the creator of different scenarios, becomes an important driving force in the definition of the current world. A powerful narrative strategy to analyze and understand the closest context is fiction used to draw a remote future, an alternative past or a parallel present. The art projects that take on this challenge can be considered as forbidden zones. In that order, we propose a tour through the pieces of artists from the Spanish scene that use fiction as a way to think about the world around us.

We start with Future Past Architecture by Andrea Canepa (Lima, 1980), where she presents a temporal line of 82 cinematographic images in which future cities are imagined. A chronologically series following the period of each film, without considering when they were shot. In Canepa's work, the order as a construction and the analytical capacity are fundamental strategies. In this case, his meticulous artistic work presents a particular sample of architectural forms and imagined urban solutions, which allows us to analyze the desires and intentions that have created the projection of futures in the film industry.

Andrea Canepa | Future Past Architecture

The work of Ignacio García Sánchez (Madrid, 1987) is often represented from the perspective of science fiction. His art works construct contexts for incomprehensible events according to current codes of conduct and power relations. He has a strong narrative skill that seems to condense in a single vignette universal stories. Starting from purely museum objects, his series The future is behind faces the challenge of imagining uncertain futures that avoid absolute judgments and purely utopian or dystopian conclusions to question the basis of the notion of progress.

Paco Chanivet (Sevilla, 1984) works especially in the field of costumbrist speculation related to literature, cinema and conspiracy theories. Through different media, Chanivet connects primitive myths and contemporary technology in order to develop spaces dealing with science fiction, but from very particular imaginaries. His film La veda is autobiographical fiction piece, halfway between souvenir video, essay cinema and speculative fiction. Made from home videos recorded by their parents during a vacation, Chanivet proposes an audiovisual piece set in a cruise, which describes the social structure of a rather dystopian society.

Paco Chanive | La veda

The Reality Toys project. Moon Park by the artist Jonathan Notario (León, 1981) reflects on the limits of reality through the use of legal and commercial structures, creating narrations that break the barriers between reality and fiction. In 1980, American artist Dennis Hope, taking advantage of a legal vacuum of the UN, registered the Moon under his name and created a company called "Lunar Embassy" dedicated to the sale of lunar parcels. By purchasing one of the lands offered by Dennis Hope's company, Jonathan Notario has designed a theme park, pioneer in the field of lunar leisure.

Jonathan Notario | The Reality Toys project. Moon Park

Rosell Meseguer (Orihuela, 1976) works on history, fiction and myth through projects of different formats. In her project Lo Invisible she uses the file format, very common in her practice, and she documents different methods and scientific initiatives to get closer to the unknown, the invisible, the unattainable. The selection of pieces in this exhibition show two of these systems: the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico, dedicated to the observation of stellar objects and communication; and the plumb system used to measure the deep distance or out of reach places on Earth. This connects the human aspirations of exploration with those directed towards the center of the planet.

Rosell Meseguer | Lo invisible

This series of works propose round trips between reality and fiction. Darko Suvin, one of the most emblematic theorists of science fiction, uses the term "novum" to refer to the connection between fiction and reality. He explains that in every science fiction narrative there is a phenomenon that deflects the norm of reality, a "bridge between the literary and the extraliterary, the fictitious and the empirical, the formal and the ideological." This set of pieces invites you to cross these bridges and enter their own universes.

ZONAS PROHIBIDAS

Hace 50 años en las salas de medio mundo se proyectaba uno de los finales más sorprendentes de la Historia del cine. La última escena de El Planeta de los Simios, estrenada en 1968 (un año prolífico para la ciencia ficción cinematográfica), entró rápidamente en el imaginario popular por su alucinante giro argumental. El mundo que el espectador ha visto y construido durante casi dos horas se desmorona en los últimos minutos del largometraje cuando aparece la Estatua de la Libertad semienterrada en una playa que el protagonista alcanza al adentrarse en la Zona Prohibida. Esta zona es un espacio, aislado por convención social, donde se esconden los restos de una civilización anterior que desvelan que ese planeta aislado en realidad la Tierra. La Zona Prohibida se establece así como el lugar en el que la ficción se conecta con la realidad.

La ciencia ficción es descrita a menudo como la literatura de lo posible. El teórico Fredric Jameson defiende que una de las principales características de la ficción especulativa es su potencial político y transformador, dado que para que algo nuevo se construya tiene que ser imaginado antes. De manera análoga el arte, como presentador de hipótesis y fábrica de escenarios posibles, se convierte en un importante motor en la definición del mundo actual. Los proyectos artísticos que asumen este reto pueden ser considerados zonas prohibidas. En esta línea, proponemos un recorrido por las piezas de artistas de la escena española que emplean la ficción como vía para pensar desde distintas perspectivas el mundo que nos rodea.

Arrancamos con Future Past Architecture de Andrea Canepa (Lima, 1980) donde presenta una línea temporal de 82 imágenes cinematográficas en las que se imaginan ciudades futuras. El trabajo de Ignacio García Sánchez (Madrid, 1987) se posiciona a menudo desde la perspectiva de la ciencia ficción. A partir de objetos puramente museísticos, su serie El futuro queda atrás enfrenta el reto de imaginar lo radicalmente nuevo y lo hace a través de un imaginario de futuribles inciertos que evita los juicios absolutos y las conclusiones puramente utópicas o distópicas para cuestionar de base la noción de progreso. La película La veda de Paco Chanivet (Sevilla, 1984) es una pieza de ficción autobiográfica, a medio camino entre el vídeo souvenir, el cine ensayo y la ficción especulativa. El proyecto Reality Toys. Moon Park del artista Jonathan Notario (León, 1981) reflexiona sobre los límites de lo real a través de la utilización de estructuras legales y comerciales, para dar lugar a narraciones que rompen las barreras entre lo verídico y lo ficticio dentro de la práctica artística. Por su parte, Rosell Meseguer (Orihuela, 1976) trabaja en torno a la historia, la ficción y el mito a través de proyectos de distinto formato. En el proyecto Lo Invisible a través del formato de archivo, muy habitual en su práctica, Meseguer documenta distintos métodos e iniciativas científicas para acercarse a lo desconocido, lo invisible, lo inalcanzable.

Este conjunto de obras, plantean viajes de ida y vuelta entre realidad y ficción. Darko Suvin, uno de los teóricos más emblemáticos de la ciencia ficción, utiliza el término “novum” para denominar esa conexión entre ficción y realidad tan propia del género. Explica que en toda narración de ciencia ficción existe un fenómeno o relación que desvía la norma de realidad, un “puente entre lo literario y lo extraliterario, lo ficticio y lo empírico, lo formal y lo ideológico”. Esta sección de piezas invita a cruzar esos puentes y adentrarse en los universos que sugieren o representan.

Jaime González Cela y Manuela Pedrón Nicolau


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