Artist and writer engage in conversation, dialogue that coincides with the opening of SPLENDIDE-HOTEL, a site-specific project carried out by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster in the Palacio de Cristal. Fiction within reality, compulsive reading or literature as a tool for understanding the world, these are elements shared by both and mark an ongoing collaboration.
In 1887 the Palacio de Cristal is opened as the venue for the Exhibition of Flora from the Philippine Islands, a Spanish colony at that time. The modern ideal of a diaphanous and transparent space is employed to exhibit the ‘other’ as a wild and exotic creature. This is also the year that Freud notes down the ideas in the Hotel Bellevue that would give rise to psychoanalysis, considered “an attack against European civilization” at the time. One year before, in 1886, the poems Illuminations appear, the work of Rimbaud, who, a poet no longer fantasising about exhibiting himself, is now a colonial merchant. Another of art’s deserters, Marcel Duchamp, is also born in 1887.
Setting out from the interplay, passage and journey between literature and history, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster takes on board these and other references to turn the Palacio de Cristal into a past space that modifies the present. The Splendide is the hotel where Rimbaud would write one of his verses, and also the hotel, with just one room, the artist superimposes on the Palacio de Cristal; thus, the anachronism, standing between reality and fiction, is used to give modernity back some of its ghosts.
This conference is divided into two parts. In the first, Enrique Vila-Matas gives a lecture on an unpublished text that, through the relationship between the artist and writer, comments on the multiple narrative connections of SPLENDIDE-HOTEL. In the second, Gonzalez-Foerster and Vila-Matas enter into dialogue.
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (Strasbourg, 1965), artist. Her work, often associated with the work of Philippe Parreno and Pierre Huyghe, is represented in the collections of the most pre-eminent museums. She has recently exhibited in New York’s New Museum and MUSAC in León, among other centres.
Enrique Vila-Matas (Barcelona, 1948), writer. His work, standing between narrative and essay writing, has been translated into a many languages and has been given recognition through literary awards such as Rómulo Gallegos, Herralde and the Medicis. Recent noteworthy publications include Aire de Dylan (2012) and Kassel no invita a la lógica (2014).