Beatriz Olabarrieta at CentroCentro

Artist: Beatriz Olabarrieta

Exhibition title: Medium

Curated by: Rafa Barber Cortell

Venue: CentroCentro, Madrid, Spain

Date: February 21 – May 24, 2020

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and CentroCentro, Madrid

A small gesture is capable of revealing that grey area that exists between the worlds we live in; a small fold, a slash in the series of meanings that constitute a medium, can expose the tricks with which it is built. In Medium, Beatriz Olabarrieta gesticulates with the forms, lifting them up, giving them atmosphere and making stratagems with their meaning rather than telling us what they are. For this exhibition, her sculptures take over the fifth floor of CentroCentro to create a universe of forms that you can walk through and that are articulated around a series of audiovisuals that mark the time of this wordless story, in which objects become verbs.

In one of its beginnings – in Medium you won’t find any ways in or ways out – a video shows a kind of impossible conversation between a hand compulsively scribbling on a pile of blank sheets of paper together with a voice – we don’t know if it’s trying to translate, or it may well be that what you hear is a voice trying to narrate an absurd gesticulation, or maybe it’s all a dictated choreography. What does it matter? Nearby, a series of structures create spaces, which could be doors or could be the sheets of that pile that have managed to escape from the audiovisual and have become solid and opaque. These forms are distributed around the room letting the air flow through them, they allow you to use your body as a scale, as a reference to understand them, as a tool with which to edit them, searching with one another for a new meaning. Circular forms scattered throughout the space create signs of gestural punctuation, slashes, crushes, rests that circulate through this narrative and seem to come from somewhere else and at the same time to lead us to another somewhere.

In another of the beginnings of the exhibition, a second audiovisual presents images of tornado hunters, people who risk their lives chasing this natural phenomenon. A music piece by Armin Lorenz Gerold coexist with this work and leads us cognitively to another place, pacifying the violence of this tornado and turning it into a kind of breeze that circulates throughout the exhibition, blowing among the large structures, circulating among the spirals and creating new ones. Perhaps the tornado is still blowing among those sheets that seem to run, perhaps this elliptical breeze is what created those circular forms, perhaps all these gestures were made by the weather, you’ll never know.

In Medium, Beatriz Olabarrieta writes a new chapter in a practice that investigates the limits of representation, narration and writing through her use of form. For this exhibition her works continue a kind of uplifting, getting closer to your eye, positioning themselves before you with daring and inviting you to think with them. Medium plays with its own name to create a world that works as a medium and a message at the same time, a polysemy of meanings that orbit around the room, turning it into a portal, a space made of verbs that are conjugated in present continuous tense. A present full of interferences among which there may be meaning, among which perhaps you can come to understand the things I don’t understand, in which perhaps you can see what they don’t see and tell us about it.

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid

Beatriz Olabarrieta, Medium, 2020, exhibition view, CentroCentro, Madrid