Art
ART IN VALENCIA … ‘OFICINA ESOUND’

##The Esound Music & Arts agency, responsible for events and concerts by artists such as Chano Domínguez, Carmen Consoli, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Martirio, opens its physical headquarters with the artistic curatorial project Oficina Esound, which consists of inviting established artists to create an installation at the agency’s headquarters, located in the Ruzafa neighbourhood.

-Valencian artist Keke Vilabelda inaugurates the space with his intervention entitled “Common Grounds”, an investigation into the pink lakes of Australia and Spain.

-Visits to the intervention will take place by appointment and following COVID protection protocols.

The Valencian artist Keke Vilabelda is the artist who inaugurates this proposal.

After seven years of activity and organisation of musical events and concerts all over the world by artists such as Chano Domínguez, Silvia Pérez Cruz, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Martirio and Carmen Consoli, the Esound Music & Arts agency opens its new physical headquarters in the Valencian neighbourhood of Ruzafa and does so by adding an original and innovative proposal to the already consolidated musical activity: Oficina Esound, a project focused on contemporary art and collecting.

At such an uncertain time as the one we are living in, the idea of an art gallery seemed not very viable for the agency, considering the reduction of the capacity and the restrictions derived from the Covid 19 pandemic, so Eleonora Battiston, curator, art critic and the creator behind this project, seeks to experiment with this new format, which consists of inviting an artist with an already consolidated career to mount an intervention in Esound’s office and demonstrate that art can and should inhabit everyday spaces, adding value to our lives, banishing the prejudice that works should be confined to museums and galleries and that collecting is not a practice that has to be limited to a select few.

“The main intention is to work and design together with the artist a site-specific installation, the transformation of the space of Tomassos street through the direct intervention of the artist and the insertion of videos, installations and two-dimensional works”, explains Battiston, an Italian who lives in Valencia and whose curriculum includes experience as art director of different galleries in China, Italy and Spain.

“The need to create a new way of experiencing art arose after months in which it was impossible for us to visit museums and galleries. To be able to observe and enjoy works of art only through the screen seemed to us too reductive and contradictory in itself. We think it is necessary for more people to surround themselves with art and have a direct experience with all kinds of works, in the hope that the work of artists will increasingly penetrate our homes, offices, public and private spaces.”

As a first step in this new phase, they have invited the Valencian artist Keke Vilabelda, whose artistic development and growth has been followed for years by the creative team of the Esound Music & Arts agency.

The project that the artist wanted to adapt to the space is called “Common Ground”. a work that was exhibited in 2019 at the Grau Projekt in Melbourne (Australia) and at the Lambert Collection in Avignon (France).

“Common Ground” began as a solo show presented at the Grau Projekt Contemporary Art space in Melbourne, Australia. It includes a sound installation, several paintings, the two-channel video “Pink Lakes” and a large installation consisting of a ton of sea salt deposited on the ground. Through this new series of works, Keke Vilabelda explores the sensations of remoteness and familiarity with landscapes.

“Spain and Australia are places on opposite sides of the world, yet they are physically connected through unique geographical features. This is the case of the pink lakes, a singularity found in both hemispheres. These paintings are produced by simulating natural processes, such as sedimentation and evaporation. The layers of paint dry at different rates, cracking or diluting the pigments on the canvas. Gravity plays an important role when painting horizontally, water flows across the surface. What at first glance looks like an abstract painting can become, under the viewer’s gaze, an aerial view of an unknown landscape,” Vilabelda explains.

The video installation, projected in a loop through two screens, shows HD aerial views recorded from a drone, taken at Laguna Salada (in Spain) and Lake Tyrell (in Australia).

“Both terrains seen from above show their beautiful and diverse textures, two pictorial images, gliding side by side. Each video has an atmospheric soundtrack by French musician Etienne Haan and, because they are slightly different lengths, they produce different rhythms and patterns. It is a hypnotic audio-visual experience about the incessant visual and sonic encounters of the two terrestrial hemispheres,” explains the artist.

“Common Ground” is the first intervention at Oficina Esound and marks the personality of this new space open to creation with a pioneering and groundbreaking proposal, which seeks to explore new ways of bringing art closer to the public.

Oficina Esound’ plans to offer a new intervention every three months, which means that there will be between three and four works throughout the year, which will outline an artistic offer focused on normalising the presence of art in all living spaces.

The exhibition can be visited until the end of March by appointment and following the protocols of protection against Covid 19. Those interested can write to the following email: communication@esound.es to arrange a date and time.

KEKE VILABELDA
With a degree in Fine Arts from the Faculty of San Carlos in Valencia and a Master’s degree from Central Saint Martins in London, Keke has presented solo exhibitions at the Kir Royal Gallery, Las Atarazanas, Ademuz Espai D’Art and Galería 9 in Valencia and in international spaces such as Plecto EAC, in the Colombian city of Medellín; the Rodríguez Gallery in Poznan, Poland and the Coldharbour London Gallery. His CV also includes the First Prize in the Fundación Mainel competition (2016), his selection for the Luis Adelantado Mexican Zona_Seis, one of the Injuve’s Ayudas a la Creación Joven (2015) and the Alfonso Roig grants awarded by the Diputación Valenciana (2014), the First Prize of the Academy of Fine Arts of San Carlos in 2012, his selection by the Saatchi Gallery for NEW SENSATIONS 2011 and his Manolo Valdés Prize for Plastic Arts (2009), among other awards.

Report by 24/7 Valencia team

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