The Subjects, Spanish Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015

“The Subjetcs”, the exhibition at the Spanish Pavilion, presents an asinchronic dialogue between Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz, Pepo Salazar and Salvador Dalí. History and present times from a queer theory and feminism approach.

The artists Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz and Pepo Salazar, under the guiding light of Salvador Dalí, will serve up the main course in the Spanish Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The curator Martí Manen has orchestrated a collective project where Dalí will be present as a subject, though not represented by his work. The show reinterprets and repositions Dalí from a contemporary perspective, channelled through the voices of Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz and Pepo Salazar.

In order to explore Dalí, the Spanish Pavilion does not need to show his paintings. Instead, it will explore the Dalí of interviews and words, Dalí the subject. It will reveal Dalí through other voices, those of artists who are conceptually linked to him and to each other. Using the sensuality of the persona-subject as its point of departure, the exhibition will go on to explore other subjects that also lend themselves to extraordinary interpretations.

With Dalí providing the premise and setting the tone, Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz and Pepo Salazar will present three artistic proposals exploring gender issues, the power of mass media and the relationship with object-image culture. Salvador Dalí is contextualised in the present as an artist who understood and knew how to use the media to his own ends, an artist in constant symbiosis with both public and private.

Cabello/Carceller have designed an artistic proposal that revolves around the idea of multiple identities and the possibility of non-definition. Their performance, film and installation work, rooted in feminist stances and queer theory, will offer a critical insight into the definition of identity and the political fight of the individual. Francesc Ruiz will create a space for surreal, sensual narration, using comics as his working context. This artist’s presence will be twofold, for in addition to his work displayed inside the pavilion, Ruiz will occupy the entire Giardini at the Venice Biennale for the first week of the event. The spirit of Dalí will also be present in the legendary artist’s own newspaper.

At the Spanish Pavilion, Pepo Salazar will present a work in keeping with his particular modus operandi, an atomized creation that mixes moments and types and creates a framework in which all options are possible. Like Dalí, Pepo Salazar expands the range of artistic action by flouting conventions and cultivating a profound knowledge of what it means to work in the field of art. His section of the pavilion invites us to consider the difficulty of access as a sensual option, the linguistic weight of materials, and impact as strategy. Salazar’s project for the pavilion is tied in with Salvador Dalí’s Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and of the Rights of Man to His Own Madness (1939).


Salvador Dalí

Performativity, the public image.

Interviews about Dalí and with Dalí, confronting the actual times with the Construction of the media figure by the artist. From the central part of the Pavilion it is possible to walk directly to the Three artistic Projects by Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz and Pepo Salazar

The Merv Griffin Show (1965)

Dali’s interview with Mike Wallace (1958)

NO-DO newsreel (1966)
No-Do was the film propaganda tool by Franco´s regime in Spain. Dalí was an object at No-Do,but he was also perverting the forms of what was possible to do or say in it.

Invitation Gala Dalí
Some documentation connects Dalí with Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz and Pepo Salazar. The figure of Dalí appears not just as an historic presence but as someone to observe from today.

Pepo Salazar

Pepo Salazar has participated in exhibitions such as Pop Politics. Activismos a 33 revoluciones (CA2M, Móstoles), Prix Altadis (Palais de Tokyo, Paris), Values (Art in General, New York), Cartografías del arte contemporáneo en Euskadi (Guggenheim Museum Bilbao), Institutional Flirts (FLACC, Ghent), Vídeos de ocasión (Fundació Tàpies, Barcelona) and Basado en hechos reales (ARTIUM, Vitoria).

The Spanish Pavilion is realized under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain in collaboration with Spain’s Public Agency for Cultural Action (AC/E).

Multiple layers, desire, industrial culture, structural language.

What rest from a total (2015)
Cheetos, metal, sound, videos… the amount of material at Pepo Salazar’s installation is moving from popular Culture to industrial behaviour.


Cabello/Carceller have participated in exhibitions such as Global Feminism (Brooklyn Museum, New York), Fiction and Reality (MMOMA, Moscow Museum of Modern Art), BB4 On Producing Possibilities (Bucharest Biennale), the Latin American Visual Arts Biennial (Curitiba), Re.act Feminism (Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and other venues), Genealogías feministas (MUSAC, León) and The Screen Eye of the New Image (Casino Luxembourg).

Cabello/Carceller work deals with gender, politics and art. Four characters talk about the situation in Europe today and the possibilities and impossibilities to be outside the norm.

Francesc Ruiz

Francesc Ruiz has been featured in exhibitions such as Invisible Violence (Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade), Kaboom! Komik in der kunst (Weserburg Museum, Bremen), Arqueológica (Matadero, Madrid), The Last Newspaper (New Museum, New York), The Graphic Unconscious (Temple Gallery, Philadelphia), El Mal de Escritura (MACBA, Barcelona), Sequelism (Arnolfini, Bristol), Artificial Nature (MOCA, Shanghai) and Everyday Utopias (La Centrale Électrique, Brussels).

The World as a newsstand. Information and reality. Francesc Ruiz understands the newsstands as a pre-internet idea. Information is there in multiple layers.

The two newsstands from Francesc Ruiz observe media in Italy. From general media to specific publications.

Spanish Pavilion
The Spanish pavilion houses Spain’s national representation during the Venice Biennale arts festivals. The pavilion was designed and built by Francisco Javier de Luque between 1921 and 1922. While its façade shows influence of 17th century Spanish Baroque architecture, its internal layout is similar to that of the German Pavilion, for a kind of uniformity in the early Giardini buildings. The painter-architect Joaquín Vaquero Palacios restored the pavilion in 1952 and made its façade more modern, with a continuous brick face.

Venice Biennale 2015
The 2015 Art Biennale closes a sort of trilogy that began with the exhibition curated by Bice Curiger in 2011, Illuminations, and continued with the Encyclopedic Palace of Massimiliano Gioni (2013). With All The World’s Futures, La Biennale continues its research on useful references for making aesthetic judgments on contemporary art, a “critical” issue after the end of the avant-garde and “non-art” art.

Through the exhibition curated by Okwui Enwezor, La Biennale returns to observe the relationship between art and the development of human, social and political reality, in the pressing of external forces and phenomena: the ways in which, that is, the tensions of the external world solicit the sensitivities, the vital and expressive energies of the artists, their desires, the motions of the soul (their inner song ).

La Biennale di Venezia was founded in 1895. Paolo Baratta has been its President since 2008, and before that from 1998 to 2001. La Biennale, who stands at the forefront of research and promotion of new contemporary art trends, organizes exhibitions, festivals and researches in all its specific sectors: Arts (1895), Architecture (1980), Cinema (1932), Dance (1999), Music (1930), and Theatre (1934). Its activities are documented at the Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts (ASAC) that recently has been completely renovated.

The relationship with the local community has been strengthened through Educational activities and guided visits, with the participation of a growing number of schools from the Veneto region and beyond. This spreads the creativity on the new generation (3,000 teachers and 30,000 pupils involved in 2014). These activities have been supported by the Venice Chamber of Commerce. A cooperation with Universities and research institutes making special tours and stays at the exhibitions has also been established. In the three years from 2012-2014, 227 universities (79 Italian and 148 international) have joined the Biennale Sessions project.

In all sectors there have been more research and production opportunities addressed to the younger generation of artists, directly in contact with renowned teachers; this has become more systematic and continuous through the international project Biennale College, now running in the Dance, Theatre, Music, and Cinema sections.