Joel Dean at Cordova

Artist: Joel Dean

Exhibition title: Perfectamundo

Venue: Cordova, Barcelona, Spain

Date: January 18 – March 2, 2019

Photography: Roberto Ruiz, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Cordova

“Will it cost the world’s savings to transform humans and will we be left with ​onecreature at the end?”1

On May 27, 1995, during a dressage competition, the actor Christopher Reeve was thrown from his horse, Eastern Express, nicknamed “Buck”. Witnesses said that the horse made a refusal while beginning the third fence jump and suddenly stopped. Reeve fell forward off the horse. He landed head first on the far side of the fence, shattering his first and second vertebrae. This cervical spinal injury paralyzed him from the neck down and halted his ability to breathe without the assistance of a respirator.

At the time of the accident, Reeve was best known for his role as Superman in the original Superman film series, which began in 1978. While preparing for the role he’d rejected the idea of wearing fake muscles under the Superman suit and instead opted to go through an intense two-month training regimen that former British weightlifting champion David Prowse supervised. Prowse,​​also an actor, performed the physical component of the role of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films, the first of which premiered a year prior to Superman in 1977.

The vocal component of Darth Vader was performed by James Earl Jones, a 47 year old actor from Arkabutla, Mississippi. Jones suffered a stutter for most of his childhood, and accounts that the affliction was so bad that he was effectively a mute from his first day of school through the year he entered high school, when Jones’s teacher, Donald Crouch, took an interest in his​​poetry and encouraged him to end his silence.

“The ultimate source of light no longer shines itself, but rather lets another shine.”2

Perfectamundo, 2019
Found objects, wine
Dimensions variable

Fertile, 2019
Earth
Dimensions variable

1Sol Yurick, Metatron
2Peter Sloterdijk, Bubbles: Spheres I

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