Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa. Do you want a master? You will have it!

October 10, 2012 - February 25, 2013 /
Sabatini Building, Protocol Room and Espacio Uno

Do you want a master? You will have it! This is the title used by Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa in connection with the reflections of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (“the master's discourse”). Agirregoikoa says that “the Real is continually hitting us and art is a way to manage and negotiate the anguish that it provokes.”

Two pictorial series in Espacio Uno show the emergence of “lo real”. The first room takes us to “a world of pain” that is seemingly hermetic; it tends not to be verbalized and Lacan would conceptualize it as "the Real” as opposed to the human discourse educated to conceal or symbolize that displaces the boundaries of the former, which due to its rawness and violent nature, cannot be reduced to a sign and thus emerges over and over again from the psyche.

In the adjacent room two pictorial friezes engage in a dialogue: the upper frieze likens human behaviour to that of a dog. The dog's trained animal nature and the imposition of a master, which Agirregoikoa compares to the State and to culture. In the words of the artist: “Culture is one of the most pathetic things in existence. Our fate depends to a large extent on our geopolitical situation and on the wealth and seniority of the one in which we happen to be born. (…) re-education, this is what gives us the keys to get out of the snares in which they trap us and in which we trap ourselves.”

The lower frieze, entitled Mutar, shows three public figures associated with political, aristocratic or sexual authority. These masters, examples of artificial and authoritarian vitality, have been domesticated by watercolour which, nonetheless, does not elude the mutation and decline that accompany ageing. A grotesque memento mori that highlights the decadent violence exuded by the former master. The two series occupy the periphery of the walls, a reminder of the opposition between the main discourse and the distortion of the Real, as Lacan put it.

To round out the selection two projections can be seen in the Protocol Room. Both of them express a critique of culture as a means of taming what is socially disturbing. The skater who initially vindicates the city but is then metamorphosed by logos, and the generation in rebellion that, in the destruction of old icons, finds new freedom to create its own, which are in turn the new masters of the future.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa