Artist: Antoni Hervàs
Exhibition title: The Rubbery
Venue: 1646, The Hague, The Netherlands
Date: December 15, 2017 – January 21, 2018
Photography: Jhoeko / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and 1646, The Hague
1646 is proud to present the first solo exhibition of Antoni Hervàs in The Netherlands.
‘Pussies on Wheels’, different kinds of protection gear, some slimy cacti, DIY instruction book-aesthetics, a deconstructed rysograph comic zine, and a roadmap of intestines are just some of the elements used to create this exhibition. With ‘The Rubbery’ Antoni Hervàs will show new work that through the exploration of a variety of subjects, challenges the imposed normativity of stereotypes associated with masculinity and femininity and body politics, and that explores freedom of bodily self-expression.
‘The Rubbery’ reflects the eclectic attitude in Hervàs’ artistic work in which the final result is the outcome of a process of research, observation, aggregation and subversion of (cultural) material Antoni finds himself at work with at that moment. The process towards this show entailed the mining of subject matter such as male roller-derby contests, the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts and a fifties gay motorcycle club that engages in the practice of fistfucking while distributing underground photocopied zines containing instructions on protection, drawings of Tom of Finland and personal stories. These divergent topics are linked by his interest in defying attitudes towards the powers of society regulate the human body.
Drawing is for him the means to jot down notes of his discoveries, to reflect on them and to transform them anew in a process that he would describe as ‘liquid’. He takes advantage of the transformative power of the expanded method of drawing and installation for a larger study, rummaging the discarded edges of cultures, like the folkloristic and vernacular expressions of a particular context.
The final physical result could be seen as a digestion of his initial research, where the sculptures, video, and drawings take on an autonomous form of their own. They themselves turn into entities that defy authorative conventions of representation, as in the end the work resists any fixed interpretation.
Antoni Hervàs studied fine arts at the University of Barcelona (2006) and completed coursework in engraving and printing at the Escola de la Llotja. He has exhibited solo at the Espai Cultural Caja Madrid, Barcelona (2012), Galeria Sis, Sabadell (2015), Agón at the Galeria etHALL, Barcelona (2016) and La Capella, Barcelona (awarded with the Barcelona’s visual arts grant of 2016). Hervàs has participated in many group exhibitions, including at Centre d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2014), MACBA, Barcelona (2016) and La casa encendida, Madrid (2016). As part of his artistic practice, Hervàs has led Fènix (2013-2016), Sant Andreu Contemporani’s educational programme, which involves various artists from Barcelona in its different stages. He has also carried out many self-managed publishing projects like Grapandmopotheper (2009), tributo a Ray Harryhausen (Degénero Ediciones, 2014) and La Trama for Mataró Art Contemporani (2015). He has also curated periodic exhibitions like Domestica, together with Ariadna Parreu (since 2009), and performative events like Mercuri Splash, together with David Bestué, for the fundació Miró (2015).