Impure Vision. Works from the Permanent Collection

February 14 - September 11, 2006 /
Nouvel Building, Floor 1

The exhibition La visión impura (Impure Vision) presents a selection of works recently acquired by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and does so using the title to highlight the fact that the art produced in the latter part of the 20th century undermines any notion of purely visual art.

The installations, performances and video pieces, paintings, photography and sculptures all portray the hybridised nature of mixed media and heterogeneous mediums in contemporary artistic production. The viewers, aware of this diversity, are equally invited to respond to the methods of plural observation, feel the experience of a composition, combine glances and gazes, deem that there are works that require knowledge, or a theory, that helps to gain a better understanding, and others that demand a more poetic view that touches upon meaning.

This selection of works from over forty artists, the majority displayed for the first time in the rooms of the Museo, represent the complexity of the relationship between the viewer and the work of art; therefore, the exhibition puts forward ideas on the interests and practices that define the most current art, in the process helping to outline a broader discourse on how the artwork is received and how it is visualised.

The exhibition aims to take a closer look at one of the key aspects of how the work is received: the assertion that the visual goes beyond optical characteristics. Therefore, it portrays the normalisation that has been produced over recent decades in certain artistic practices that work to exceed these optical characteristics of art, the infallibility of the work and the specific and immediate sensorial dimension. Other works look at what is invisible, veiled and hidden, what goes unnoticed, and the presence of sound and tactile visibility.

Furthermore, the exhibition considers the relationship between the visual and the textual - beyond perception, in every work of vision there is also a work of interpretation. This joins the consideration that there does not exist pure mediums, that all mediums, from the perspective of sensorial methods, are mixed.