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Rogelio López Cuenca. Cercanías [Outskirts]
Date: 3 March - 15 May 2011
Exhibition Session: The Political Constitution of the Present

Cercanías [Outskirts] is a work of criticism which, in various ways and via different works, allows us to reflect on one of the Western world's most violent forms of domination: representation.

As in some of his more recent works, in this exhibition project Rogelio López Cuenca focuses on Andalusia, devising a route map that takes in history, memory, Al-Andalus, Orientalism, migrations, tourism and different iconic personalities to draw attention to a fabric created by policies of domination. Cercanías may be thought of as a political act, not only due to the subject matter it addresses or the place the artist occupies as a producer, but because it works with the materials and signs of this politics in order to dismantle the very logic of representation from within.

In this context, he begins by analyzing the impact of tourism as a radical transformer of life, with works like the project that is still under way on the "Picassoization" of Málaga, the video-installation Nerja Once [Nerja Eleven], and the intervention Holidays in the Sun. Canto VI and Bienvenidos [Welcome] deal with tourism and migration, two forms that tauten and drastically change the territory.

Finally, El paraíso es de los extraños [Paradise Belongs to Strangers] addresses the construction of the image of the Arab-Islamic world in the West with videos like Haram (2000) and Voyage en Orient [Voyage to the Orient] (2000). On the one hand, the Arab past is glorified as a historic legacy of the area, and on the other, people live in fear of the aesthetic and political changes occurring in cities and towns with African-Moslem migrations, above all in the case of Andalusia. Thus, in works like La Alhambra sobrevivió [The Alhambra Survived], an installation simulating a tourist souvenir shop, the artist uses the souvenir in such a way that the act of recall is not produced by the "trinket" alone but also by the counter-information scattered all around.




Rogelio López Cuenca. Bienvenidos. 1998

Rogelio López Cuenca. Málaga, Ciudad Picasso. 2011

Rogelio López Cuenca. Holidays in the Sun, 2008

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