Installation view, © Marta de Gonzalo y Públio Pérez Prieto

La intención (The intention), 2008
Gonzalo, Marta de & Pérez Prieto, Públio
Video installation and didactic programme to foster audiovisual literacy

Marta de Gonzalo and Publio Pérez have developed an artistic discourse linking their production to educational practices; that is, they have established as a premise that the artistic function is, in itself, a form of education. This outlook is based on the fact that all aesthetic experience constitutes a crisis in the face of an unsatisfactory reality, and that each individual’s Utopian thought provides the only liberating possibility in the face of the managed world. The production of tools for an alternative awareness thus becomes a priority, to construct a subjectivity not determined by the assimilation of archetypes derived from the economic system. Such universal premises collide headlong with individualizing atomization and relativism. They are situated, incidentally, outside the artistic circuit as a guarantee of corporative and essentially aesthetic recognition, and break with a model of artistic autonomy that, despite its transvestism and pretence, does not escape from its modern legacy.

La intención, therefore, aims to be both an applicable educative project and an artistic project. Given the nature of its mise-en-scene, it encompasses various formats and discourses, and is shown at exhibits as a series of four videos screened at school-desk-shaped wooden structures, with an accompanying set of drawings and prints done on paper or right on the wall. The content of the videos is an extensive series of voice-over narrations over a montage of images including interviews and fragments grouped by subject, from childhood, adolescence, and adulthood to old age. The project is completed by a book that aims to serve as an practical manual in the real educational work of teachers at different stages of education. The audiovisual device is not only presented with the exhibit; instead, it circulates with the book as material that can be used in various educationally-oriented settings.

The preparation of an alternative “textbook” would be a focal point of resistance going back to the origin of the knowing-seeing problem, to a sensitive understanding of reality, in epistemological terms and its political dimension, from which it is inseparable. The epicentre of political action that can contribute to artistic discourse therefore seems to lie in a reinvention of educational strategies.

The approaches taken by Marta de Gonzalo and Publio Pérez are linked to a tradition of the historical Avant Garde oriented toward the transformation of awareness through art, but they do so from a new media context where aesthetic awareness is determined by audiovisual codes. In fact, they reinterpret the function of art in a context in which symbolic traffic and the industries of subjectivity go beyond former concepts of propaganda. In this new reality, the notion of audiovisual literacy lies at the core of the works based on educational experience. Their own work as educators thus lends meaning to the need for their work as a response to the lack of protection the system fosters and forces them to find a way around the ideological risks of dogmatism that already proved stumbling blocks to Avant Garde projects of the past

Project produced with these grants: Ayudas Francisco de Zurbarán de la Consejería de Cultura de la Junta de Extremadura and Ayudas a la Creación Contemporánea del Área de Las Artes del Ayuntamiento de Madrid.
SEACEXLABoralFundación TelefónicaZKMInstitut Ramon LlullMediaLabMadridINBAsociación BanqueteUnesco
web in progress