Blanca Gracia_Syzigy_05/08/18_07/30/18_Dossier

In astronomy, syzygy describes the moment when three or more celestial objects are aligned. The term, which comes from the Greek, gives name to such planetary configurations and also means “yoke” or “union”. As a project featuring video, drawing, sculpture and installations, Syzygy strives for what is celestial, for what is marvellously real, while at the same time reminding us of what is inevitably anchored down into what is terrestrial and tangible. We do not know whether this eclipse is a conjunction or an opposition of features, yet we are aware of being immersed in a moment of change.

The animation “Hipnosis para encontrar tu lugar en el mundo” [Hypnosis to Find Your Place in the World] is a reflection of our contemporaneity. It invites viewers to reflect on the current socio-political situation while encouraging them to escape from it. Escapism is a recurrent theme in the work of Blanca Gracia. For this project, she proposes a delirious instruction manual comprised of various vanishing points, running from ataraxy to the search for utopias, which work as alternatives to a world that is chaotic and absurd.

The characters featured in this project search for a master meaning for this atonal world we find ourselves in. The idea is to lift up the celestial curtain of Flammarion, “the end of the world”, to cross this flat Earth and discover if it is indeed true there are dragons on the other side (as all those medieval mapa mundis suggested), or if, in contrast, we are simply talking about our own shadows. This step into new territories is played out when the spectator is required to cross through the large woven cloth dividing the room, which at the beginning hides a good part of the exhibition from us.

Once on the other side, the object-based pieces are gathered as if votive offerings, the remains of a secret or strange cult. Such objects have been left there so as to win the favour of supernatural powers. The small sculptures symbolise the yearnings of whoever offers them up, with a pair of broken glasses, a man dressed up as a bird, or a fallen watchtower, to give a few examples.

In this way, the installations, sculptures and video all guide us along a circular voyage running from the ethereal to the earthly, where mass psychology and social unrest are blended together with mesmerism, levitation and even astral travelling. We should not be surprised to find the famous phrase of Vivian Leigh from A Streetcar Named Desire included in the video, as a kind of manifesto: “I don’t want realism! I want magic!”

Without magic, this work would be altogether impossible.