Eva Lootz

Making as if Wondering: So What Is This?

12 June - 2 September 2024 /
Sabatini Building, Floor 1

With the words “Making as if Wondering: So What Is This?”, Eva Lootz (Vienna, 1940) alludes to a particular way of understanding the activity of art: to let oneself, while making, interrogate the world from scratch. With this as a premise, the exhibition sets forth a non-chronological, but panoramic journey through five decades of Lootz’s art, displaying an ensemble of pieces recently donated by the artist to the Museo Reina Sofía and other works, some of which will be on view for the first time or remade specifically for the occasion: in sum, paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, photographic series and sound pieces, all representative of Lootz’s work. There is a focus on the drawings which, straddling exploration and text, constitute a sort of writing running parallel to the artist's researches and which, at different points, do act as a diary.

Lootz arrived in Madrid in the 1960s. The works made in the 1970s—a period she calls “primordial soup”—coincided with the development of Process art and Anti-Form in the United States and Europe, where process was just as important as the outcomes. While these pieces rely on matter’s literalness other works, later, investigate the materiality of language. Over time, this interest in language and tongues densified into the need of rethinking the interspecies dialogue between humans and other animals, as well as warning about the extinction of tongues still happening in territories subject to colonial dynamics.

Additionally, Lootz’s practice enquires contemporary visuality: the overexposure to images, the impact of digital culture and their effects on how we experience things. How, then, to reach what remains obscured in the blind spots of our vision? Lootz refers to this endeavour as “looking from the corner of one’s eye.” A strategy for those historically relegated to the margins of culture, such as women, it both evades the direct gaze and is an alternative way of reading the world. To look from the corner of the eye grants Lootz, for instance, an understanding of mines—those places for the extraction of the raw materials sustaining how our societies live—as “negative monuments” exposing what those same societies hide, and the raw materials as the mistreated “underwear” of History with a capital h. If human action is gripped by mental crystallisations, Lootz’s insistence on materials that flow, on threads and their knots, calls to think both beyond fixed entities and within the material grid we live in.

Across the exhibition itinerary there are fragments of texts by Lootz capturing her idiosyncratic references and ways of doing.

Ayuntamiento de Madrid

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Reina Sofía
Fernando López