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The cave wall was always there
Group show

Rafa Munárriz, Steven Claydon, Lucas Simoes, Carlos Irijalba, Claudia Peña Salinas, Alice Channer, Ricardo Alcaide and N Dash

Nit de l'art 2018

Each artist explores different relationships between various materials and their position within our understanding of the world. As artist's materials and processes are changing with their developments come new meaning, understanding and sensibility. With these new approaches artists discover sites of tension which they interrogate and elevate. Highlighting ways in which we can gain new insight into how materials and process shape not only the world around us but come to affect and create our understanding of it. In the artist's hands a material's history is unearthed and transformed to draw new discoveries and ideas from seemingly common materials.

The name of the exhibition is from a text written by artist Carlos Irijalba in which he recounts a story central to his practice of a technological company's forgotten digital archive of a prehistoric cave site - the digital scans of the cave's interior were commissioned to reproduce its surface for perpetuity and protection, to prevent them from being damaged by atmospheric changes or the visiting public. Subsequently the company closed, and the project and data were abandoned until salvaged by the artist, becoming material to explore its wider meaning in the contemporary world. Here we see our changing relationship with materials, the development of technology, and timelessness of the natural environment.

The cave is an ancient symbol, as a birth place of human civilisation and creativity, it is an important historic site. The cave is a unique site of temporality remaining as a present reminder to our ancient past, primal and timeless. The cave exists alongside our progression and human endeavour as it has since our ancestors sought shelter within them and found inspiration in their surfaces and spaces many millennia ago. Vastly different timescales are at play when we think of the cave; here geological and human timescales meet.

The works of the exhibition can be categorised within these different timescales: the geological timescale seen directly in Carlos Irijalba's Majorcan rock samples tracing the strata of geological time and change. Whilst also in the earth materials of graphite and adobe mud in the work of N. Dash, which constitute the raw materials upon which our global society exists. We shift then to consider time in relationship to the human and cultural, archaeological timescale, present here in the artefacts and objects at play in the installations by Claudia Pena Salinas or manipulated and transformed by Steven Claydon. Lucas Simões' and Ricardo Alcaide's work both explore the human timescale further, in close relationship to architecture and urbanism. Spanning these timescales - from the geological to the social one - are the works of Alice Channer which conflate timeless surfaces or forms with new technologies and materials akin to fashion or modern production methods, similar to Rafael Munárriz' industrial sculptures, which seemingly act as monuments to our interaction with the world and our desire to shape and respond to our environment.