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Eugènia Balcells

EUGÈNIA BALCELLS
(Barcelona, 1942). Straddling the completely disparate Spanish and US realities of the 1970s, Balcells explored the collective imaginary conveyed by cinema, mass culture and the mass media as pertaining to the roles and stereotypes ascribed to women and men. Stand out moments in her career are installations and videos such as Re-prise (1976-1977) and Boy meets Girl (1978) which, in hindsight, can be acknowledged as truly pioneering works in Spain. Balcells later championed the use of different visual technologies within art.

balcells_albumPerformance Álbum portátil 1993
Colour video with sound
Courtesy of the artist
In this video, we see a performance the artist did for the first time at Tartessos Bookshop, in Barcelona.The artist is wearing a kind of transparent plastic coat filled with a series of postcards of women from different time periods: Nefertiti, Colette, Virginia Woolf, Janis Joplin…
In the words of Balcells: ‘On me, I have all women: the famous and the unknown, the young and the old, those who are terribly wise and those who know very little, and all of my favourites ones… For me, wearing them is an honour that fills me with gratitude.’

eugeniaRe-prise 1977
Video-installation, 3-channel colour video with sound
Variable dimensions
Courtesy of the artist
Originally, this work consisted of eight video projections with audio. On this occasion, only three are shown. The images are stills from different commercial movies which at the time enjoyed huge popular success. The artist selected those showing representations of female and male characters, as well as relationships of heterosexual couples, as portrayed in mainstream Hollywood cinema. This threeimage projection allows us to see how the different roles of men and women are constructed through gestures, movements, gazes, clothing…

Anar i tornar 1978
Offset print on paper
21 x 15,5 cm
Collection MACBA. Consorcio MACBA
The concept of this book is unusual. It is a product of the collaboration between Eugènia Balcells and the poet Carles H. Mor, which contains texts and images from different sources. Among them we find the following: a line of female faces, a man in a fetishistic attitude, a close-up image of a female mouth with the inscription ‘Call me Madam’, several buildings of phallic appearance…
The objetive was to create a play between the artist and the poet: while one of them turned a page with image or text, he or she could change it or add something to it before passing it to another person and so forth.

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