For its summer exhibition, CAP • Saint-Fons invites artist Armando Andrade Tudela to take over the exhibition space with his new project; Teatro Disociativo.
According to Tudela: “Teatro Disociativo is a project based on the construction of an inner structure/stage inside the exhibition space of the CAP St Fons. This structure, halfway between a confinement cell and a maze, is the container of a series of objectual and corporeal relationships developed around notions of visibility and opacity, of social structures and modes of representation while emphasizing the idea of how spaces regulate social dynamics (be them economical, affective, or political)1”.
The title condenses the two concepts at the heart of the exhibition; the theatre as synonym of enactment, but also as a stage, a physical place – a place of «looking» – on which actions and narratives unfold. And the notion of dissociation or dissociative experience. This is a concept common to many disciplines, from psychology to anthropology; it is a shift, a disconnection between our perception of things and the surrounding environment that impacts our perception and consequently the way we experience the world.
Tudela builds his dissociative theatre enhancing the ambiguity between inside/outside, container and content, perception and experience. Two units – similar to containment cells – are assembled with construction materials, recycled materials or materials from previous exhibitions. They define spaces into which we can enter, or through which the works can only be looked at, through the cutting of openings/accesses/passages that only the eye can cross.
The artist plays with perspectives, allowing the viewer’s gaze through cuts in the wall allowing or blocking the view reminding us that representation is organized by a set of rules that are both political and cultural; a «contract» stipulated in the exhibition between the artist and the viewer. On the floor and on the walls, are printed some fragments of a text. Structure, Coupes couleurs, X Propriétaire, Rebut2 was commissioned in 2019 by the artist to writer Elsa Boyer as a potential scenario for a film that hasn’t been shot yet. This scenario, which was never used, finds its place here.
Armando Andrade Tudela is known for his sculptures and installations – as well as photography and video – which question the mode of circulation/translation and assimilation of forms and ideas in different cultural contexts. We find these notions in the exhibition together with recurring elements running through his practice for instance, the use of building materials, the relationship to architecture, but also the notion of productivity and work. Teatro disociativo draws a parallel between the dissociative condition proposed by the installation and the roots of the artist’s working process; a process nourished by two different cultural and political heritages that run through his work3.
In Teatro disociativo, Tudela questions the exhibition space as an object where the boundary between the artwork and the exhibition space is deliberately blurred.
It is an experiment in which the artist establishes the rules and orchestrates the relationship between the inside and the outside of the spaces as well as the potential narratives intertwining the works.
And in this sculptural-stage, which is both the place and the object of representation, how can we be sure where the artwork begins and where it ends?