The artists Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz and Pepo Salazar, under the guiding light of Salvador Dalí, will serve up the main course in the Spanish Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, due to open on 9 May. The curator Martí Manen has orchestrated a collective project where Dalí will be present as a subject, though not represented by his work. The show reinterprets and repositions Dalí from a contemporary perspective, channelled through the voices of Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz and Pepo Salazar.
In order to explore Dalí, the Spanish Pavilion does not need to show his paintings. Instead, it will explore the Dalí of interviews and words, Dalí the subject. It will reveal Dalí through other voices, those of artists who are conceptually linked to him and to each other. Using the sensuality of the persona-subject as its point of departure, the exhibition will go on to explore other subjects that also lend themselves to extraordinary interpretations.
With Dalí providing the premise and setting the tone, Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz and Pepo Salazar will present three artistic proposals expressed in an international language yet attentive to Spain's particular interpretations of contemporary art. Salvador Dalí is contextualised in the present as an artist who understood and knew how to use the media to his own ends, an artist in constant symbiosis with both public and private.
Cabello/Carceller have designed an artistic proposal that revolves around the idea of multiple identities and the possibility of non-definition. Their performance, film and installation work, rooted in feminist stances and queer theory, will offer a surprising critical insight into private aspects of Dalí's life.
Francesc Ruiz will create a space for surreal, sensual narration, using comics as his working context. This artist's presence will be twofold, for in addition to his work displayed inside the pavilion, Ruiz will occupy the entire Giardini at the Venice Biennale for the first week of the event. The spirit of Dalí will also be present in the legendary artist's own newspaper and contributions to various journals.
At the Spanish Pavilion, Pepo Salazar will present a work in keeping with his particular modus operandi—in other words, an atomised creation that mixes moments and types and creates a framework in which all options are possible. Like Dalí, Pepo Salazar expands the range of artistic action by flouting conventions and cultivating a profound knowledge of what it means to work in the field of art. His section of the pavilion invites us to consider the difficulty of access as a sensual option, the linguistic weight of materials, and impact as strategy.
Salazar's project for the pavilion is tied in with Salvador Dalí's "Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and of the Rights of Man to His Own Madness" (1939).