Inauguration of ‘On the Wings of the Bat’ and ‘FREEGRATIS’ exhibitions

Noticia, Portada UMH

19 October 2020

The Vice Rectorate for Culture at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH) has organized the ‘On the Wings of the Bat’ exhibition by artist Greta Alfaro in the Universitas Room of the Rectorado & Consejo Social Building on the Elche Campus. Likewise, the UMH has inaugurated the ‘FREEGRATIS’ exhibition created by the Elche artistic duo of Realmente Bravo, in the Gray Room of the aforementioned building. Both exhibitions are to remain open to the public until January 22, 2021.

Critic Isabel Tejeda has curated a retrospective sample by Navarra artist Greta Alfaro on disasters and the end of civilization that arose during the recent Spanish State of Emergency. For their part, the Elche duo of Realmente Bravo has occupied the Gray Room with their ‘FREEGRATIS,’ consisting of logos, stickers, and maximized spam.

According to its organizers, ‘On the Wings of the Bat’ addresses the symbolic imagery of contemporary dystopia with notions of cataclysm and phantasmagoric Europe. Going beyond the chronological logic of a retrospective exhibition, the display envisioned by Isabel Tejeda on the work by Greta Alfaro for the Universitas Room of the UMH is based on the examination of some of her work for the creation of a statement in accordance with the advent of the pandemic and ensuing reclusion. According to exhibition curator, Isabel Tejeda, said statement consists of “an alternative story to reflect the stupor and uncertainty we have endured. The reception that this curator has been putting together from Alfaro’s work is tinged with the daily experience of the silence rising from the streets perceived by the balcony above, the lone window subject to chance, most of them connecting with a cataclysmic idea that, although of course it exists in the work by Greta Alfaro, it was updated every day.”

The new normal and latent emergence of another confinement transform into the social context and background wherein an exhibition full of works made almost with a visionary character is inserted. The exhibition’s videos, including Decimocuarta estación (2019), In Ictu Oculi (2009), plus El cataclismo nos alcanzará impávidos (2015), its photographic pieces, such as Invención #4 (2012), Fall On Us, in addition to Hide Us #2 (2011), and installations, such as Budapest y Viena (2007), together weave a kind of map referencing the Baroque, decadence of colonial powers, and echoes of past eras erased by pandemics.

This exhibition, put together by the UMH Vice Rectorate for Culture, adds to the initiative to organize one project like this every year with an art gallery from the Valencian Community, with the aim of bringing the university closer to the particularities of the art market. In this manner, the intention is to contribute to the dissemination and showing of art produced within this territory, as well as to boost cultural tourism within the city of Elche and on the university campus. On this particular occasion, the project was carried out with collaboration by the Rosa Santos Gallery (Valencia), which represents work by Greta Alfaro.

Furthermore, the Gray Room is host to the ‘FREEGRATIS’ exhibition created by the Elche artistic duo of Realmente Bravo. According to its organizers, from the label of a large brand to the small sticker of a locksmith, everything becomes new images, a humorous approach to the bombardment of banners consumed by society, through an invasive installation, a scenario of visual terror with a corporate amalgamation of popups.

Visiting hours for both exhibitions are from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday. In order to comply with necessary safety measures and Covid-19 prevention measures instituted by the UMH, reserving attendance is necessary for the inaugural ceremony. This can be accomplished by sending an email to cultura@umh.es. The capacity for the exhibition spaces is limited, social distancing measures must be respected, and everybody must wear a mask at all times.

Highlights