For their 2019 Venice Biennale pavilion, Catalonia presented an exhibition exploring the life of public statues and reflecting on the capacity of artworks to possess agency. The project considers the often-intense relationship that forms between humans and statues, focusing on fifteen such works from around Catalonia. At times celebrated, vandalized, protected, or destroyed, figurative sculptures have a strange capacity to inspire intense emotions, to make one "lose their head." The collective artist book, To Lose Your Head (Idols), includes written and artistic reflections on the exhibition's theme, exploring the idea of artistic agency as it analyses the passions that are sparked when dealing with figurative sculpture. Pedro Azara, an architect, archaeologist, and professor of aesthetics, explores the perception of images as living entities. Looking at the deep reverence and radical iconoclastic urges inspired by works of public art, he considers how the Western artistic tradition might still be deeply animist. Six contemporary Catalan artists--David Bestue, Lua Coderch, Lola Lasurt, Daniela Ortiz, Perejaume, and Francesc Torres--take on this question from the perspective of artistic practice, creating works and essays in response to Azara. The publication includes documentation of the exhibition and provides information on accompanying works by playwright Marcel Borras, architect Tiziano Schu rch, and filmmaker Albert Garcia-Alzorriz, in collaboration with poet Gabriel Ventura.
TO LOSE YOUR HEAD (IDOLS) - Catalonia in Venice
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