By Lisa on Apr 03, 2015 with Comments 0
I joined an art tour through the city of Palma the other day. Surprised? Imagine how surprised I was to be there!
Txema contacted Ciceró dArt, a company dedicated to promoting art and culture. This company also organises walking tours like this one, with a guide and a set route, taking people to discover new art, concepts and galleries. They have just added tours in different languages, including English and Italian.
This art tour through Palma de Mallorca is not just for beginners and clueless people like our group, but would also be suitable for those people who are used to interpreting art.
I have to admit, I didn’t think it would be my cup of tea; I’m far too cynical to understand all that mumbo-jumbo arty stuff, plus I don’t like art.
Okay, I know how that sounds!
Don’t get mad. Don’t call me ignorant. Well, you can if you want. I am.
But it’s true; I don’t like art.
And this was contemporary art so I did really well to stay on my feet, let alone take anything in. Plus I’d already spent the afternoon giving myself a guided tour of the ‘dress route’ in Festival Park and that had really taken it out of me.
Our Winter Activities group was met just off the Born in Palma by Ana, our art guide and representative of Ciceró dArt.
Ana knew she was speaking to a mostly clueless bunch and knew she would be up against it to keep our interest. I have to say, she did a very good job.
She started off by comparing art to people: some people are really interesting and you always want to hear what they have to say. There are other people that constantly say stupid things and bore you. Well art is the same: some of it can really interest you and you want to see everything by a particular artist, and some does nothing for you at all. And the person that you find stupid or boring, might for someone else, be interesting and funny. Just as a particular artist does nothing for you, others might rave about him or her.
So the point is that art is subjective. Ana made it very clear from the beginning that a lot of what she would be sharing were her own opinions and perceptions and that we were more than welcome to disagree at any moment.
Our Art Tour in Palma de Mallorca
Without further ado we set off around the corner to the first gallery.
I should just mention here maybe the most important thing that I learnt on this art tour in Palma:
You should never feel embarrassed or shy about going into an art gallery. Now, I know that you would not feel shy about going into a big gallery like the Louvre or the Tate Modern or somewhere like that where there are hoards of people, but many people feel apprehensive about entering a small shop-sized gallery where they think that they will be the only visitor and the staff will look at them like they don’t belong. Actually, art gallery staff are just dying to talk about whatever project they are exhibiting at the moment and are really friendly and welcoming.
So next time you are about to walk past a gallery, take a deep breath and push the door open. You might discover a whole new world…
The artists that are making future history
The route that we followed took us around four galleries with a total of five exhibitions.
We were looking mostly at site-specific projects. This means that the artist designs or fits the art especially to the space available. This also means that just a few weeks or months earlier or whenever the exhibitions opened, the artist was in this very space, creating his or her work.
You can’t get any more actual than that. We were taking a tour of the modern art of today. Of literally today.
Ana told us that you could go to other galleries in Palma such as Es Baluard Museum or Miró Foundation and see the modern art of a century ago. Yes, it is still contemporary and is still relevant, but you would be looking at art history. There was nothing historical about what we would be seeing today. Not yet anyway.
That thought was quite exciting: would we be witnessing contemporary art that in decades or centuries to come would be hanging behind bulletproof glass? Would the emerging artists of today stand the test of time? Or would their work get buried under all the other emerging art from all over the world? Only time will tell…
La Caja Blanca, or the White Box was the first place we visited.
La Caja Blanca is a small, independent gallery which specialises in site-specific projects.
Our guide, Ana, told us all about the work of Noa Lidor, the artist whose work is being showcased here at the moment.
It seemed to me that this artist was completely barmy and that her work was too, but no, apparently she is a genius who gets people to pay up to 4,000€ for something that they could quite easily make (or destroy) in their own home. Hats off.
Next we were to continue on our way across to the other side of the Born where we would find Casal Solleric.
Casal Solleric is a wonderful 18th century Mallorcan palace with one of the most amazing courtyards in the city.
It is now open to the public and houses the tourist information centre and various temporary exhibitions.
We were here to see two exhibitions: those of Santiago Villanueva and Marcos Vidal.
These two artists are both in their 50s, so are of the same generation, but have extremely different ways of expressing themselves through art.
Later this week I will be publishing a separate post about Casal Solleric as a centre for art exhibitions and about their two current artists.
We moved on to L21, the next gallery, which opened in 2011 with the objective of promoting emerging artists.
The space that we visited in L21 was The Apartment, a space that looks, well, like someone’s apartment. The artist can do whatever he or she wants with the apartment to best showcase their work in the space.
When we visited The Apartment at L21, it was Antonio Gonzalez who had his work on show. He had decided to strip the apartment to its bare minimum so that the thing that stood out the most was his artwork.
Later this week I will be publishing a separate post about L21 and The Apartment.
Fran Reus Gallery
Our last stop was at the Fran Reus Gallery, a place that has existed since 2003.
Their current exhibition was called (Self) Portrait and featured several artists, not just one.
This was my favourite collection, probably because to my non-art mind, it was the easiest to understand.
This is how the (Self) Portrait project worked:
The gallery had paired together a local artist and a local photographer. They had to spend time together and then the photographer had to take a portrait photo of the artist, styled in any way the photographer saw fit. The artist had to then use that photo and interpret the best way to draw him/herself based on the photo.
Later this week I will be publishing a separate post about the Fran Reus Gallery in Palma.
Vino at DiVino
After such a heavy art gallery tour we were ready for a glass of wine! We went to a new place called DiVino, just off Las Ramblas.
The place was interesting and funky, with mismatched tables and chairs. With wine on display for sale it was more like a shop. And there was a dining room for proper meals in the back.
We just had a few tapas and a glass of wine while we discussed our first contemporary art experience.
What do you think? Do you fancy the art tour in Palma? Have you ever heard of any of the galleries that we visited? Don’t forget, stay tuned here this month for more information about each of the galleries that we visited and the artists on show there.
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....