TRAILER “The UNOFFICIAL HOUSE OF BENT TOUR”
We are taking part in the exhibition “DE REÜLL: 1990-2020. Cultivate, share, practice…”, curated by Rafael Tormo Cuenca at the CCCC Arts Centre in Valencia, with the House of Bent installation in which we use a transfeminist and queer methodology blurring the boundaries between art, crafts and “handicrafts” in order to question the values of the art institutions and the art market.
House of Bent is an expansive and anatomical installation based on La Erreria, our house-museum in Xàtiva and its collection, which reflects another way of collecting, based on affectivity, story-telling and quer/transfeminist activism.
It features work by Aldo Alcota, Alice Roth, Almudena López, Amaury Grisel, Angela Dalinger, Annie Sprinkle y Beth Stephens, Balfourgisnacht Monster, Cabello/Carceller, Chris Korda, Divine David, J. Palacios, Joan Isobel Bell, jole, Jose Ruiz Segura, Macarena De La Cruz, Marquéz de Gea, Mery Sut, O.R.G.I.A., Prefix-poly, Rampova, Rapha Hu, Samantha Sweeting, Simon Murphy and Toni Cordero amongst others.
Follow our “In the Spotlight Today” campaign on Instagram to see photos and info of the pieces on: https://www.instagram.com/annamariastaiano.erreria/
On the 6 of February we carried out a guided tour to the installation with Rafa Tormo and students of the postgraduate Cultural Management course from the University of Valencia talking about the work we do with the association of artists AVAAC to improve the working conditions of artists.
(This interview was carried out in Spanish and has been translated by La Erreria (House of Bent). The original text can be consulted here )
“To mix, to mess up, to bring the domestic and the private into the spotlight in order to contrast the relational process itself with the verification; the insignificant with the meaningful.”
These are the intentions which distinguish the discourse of La Erreria (House of Bent) collective, led by the artists Anna Maria Staiano and Graham Bell Tornado. Their work can be seen in the De Reüll: 1990-2020 exhibition at the CCCC Contemporary Arts Centre which “compiles the artistic trajectory of De Reüll, an artistic group founded in the Marina Alta (Alicante), and analyses the context in which contemporary art has developed in the Valencian region from the Transition to the present.” (Milagros Pellicer)
An atypical and productive creative group whose curiosity and work on art and nature led to an inevitable meeting, in 2010, between the vertebral discourse of the Grup de Reüll and the peripheral, queer idiosyncrasies built on the foundations of La Erreria through its Ecogender project, elucidated from its headquarters in Xàtiva and with subsequent spinoffs in Valencia.
However, to delve into the foundations that establish the central concepts of La Erreria (House of Bent), the retrospective gaze must go back several decades to when Anna Maria and Graham laid roots down in this land, leaving behind their luxuriant manifestations in the unorthodox basements of the London performance scene.
“We arrived in Valencia in 2003”, recalls Graham, “and began to do performances, cabarets, then we did our first coronation in 2006. They were very difficult years in this city. The worst. We came from a situation in which, from time to time, you could make subsidized art” and they ended up in a Valencian artistic context at a time “when everything seemed impossible.”
It would be in 2009 when the extent of their concerns would take on an experiential morphology in their house museum, in the very epicentre of the capital of the Costera region, which opened its nineteenth-century doors with the dissident talent The World of Rampova Cabaret, an artist whose paintings, drawings, texts, comics, performances and costumes would dignify not only their own memorable legacy but also that of their political cabaret group Ploma 2 (together with the ill-fated Clara Bowie). This exhibition would also allow La Erreria (House of Bent) to constitute, from then on, an unprecedented way of being / thinking / exhibiting.
A way of being and remaining in the Valencian artistic cosmos that has allowed Graham and Anna Maria (both of them driven by their “love for a unnatural nature influenced by punk, baroque and retro modernism”) to endorse the work of a vast list of creators whose discourses evolve from concepts such as gender, ecology and feminism in La Erreria, through “exhibitions, concerts and guided tours of the space.”
Distinguishing characteristics that, within the exhibition De Reüll: 1990-2020, are expressed through their facet as “collectors and collected, since in a world full of objects we need to ask ourselves how we relate to the present and the past, how we share space and if they will be with us in the future (if there is one)”, as stated in the curatorial text.
A common bond of relationships ordered by the central, fundamental concept of the aforementioned (geographical and semantic) backlands, through which “we have gathered, through emotional ties, a small collection of friends work. Queer, feminist and eco artists”, repeats Graham Bell Tornado.
More than twenty artists and almost fifty works amongst which “there is no hierarchy of what is and is not art. What is fine art, craft, kitsch?” Graham wonders. “Everything is mixed together.”
Pieces by Alice Roth, The Divine David, Amaury Grisel, Angela Dalinger, Simon Murphy, O.R.G.I.A., Almudena López, Toni Cordero, Cabello / Carceller, Rampova or Chris Korda, amongst others, alongside anonymous works rescued from the rubbish at the Valencian flea-market, maternal embroideries, cruising beach scenes, hair pieces and fetishes “that form part of queer practice”, heraldic shields and pastel drawings, as well as some pointed acronym wordplay such as U.D.M.A.D. (Uniform of Director of Museum of Decorative Arts) ’and‘ H.M.R.C. (Tools and Mementoes of the Royal Coronations)’.
An iconoclastic anthology which interferes in the workings of the institution, opposite which Graham, dressed in 2011 as the illustrious Consuelo Ciskar (at the time director of the Valencian Museum of Modern Art), would vindicate, “a diverse museum, open… to fags, whores, blacks… the whole world.” A time of high heels and banners during which, they explained “I was very vulnerable”. However, taking that oppositional stance “was important. Nowadays it would probably be much less scary to carry out an action like that.”
Not so distant times of feverish “street fighting, (LGTBQI) pride”, which, “thanks to the goddess, younger generations can enjoy.”
For this reason, and based on their long-standing commitment, “we are waiting for recognition from those social and cultural agents we have supported in the past and who are now in positions of power.” Nevertheless, as Graham cautions, “change is very slow. Although there are laws that improve our situation, mentalities do not change so quickly. There is more visibility, but in return, there are more and more reactionary people who come out against us.”
Tags: bent, baroque, minimalist, kitsch, ecoqueer, surreal, transfeminist, punk, post-porn, retro-modernist etc… More information: http://www.consorcimuseus.gva.es/centro-del-carmen/exposicion/de-reull-1990-2020/?lang=e
Tags: retorcido, cuir, barroco, minimalista, kitsch, surreal, transfeminista, punk, postporno, ecoqueer, retromodernista etc… Más información: http://www.consorcimuseus.gva.es/centro-del-carmen/exposicion/de-reull-1990-2020/?lang=es
Participamos en la exposición “DE REÜLL: 1990-2020. Cultivar,compartir, practicar. De representacions, pràctiques i contextos”, comisariada por Rafael Tormo Cuenca en el Centro del Carmen de Valencia, con la instalación House of Bent donde utilizamos una metodología transfeminista y queer/cuir, difuminando los limites entre arte, artesanía y manualidades para cuestionar los valores de las instituciones y el mercado del arte.
House of Bent es una instalación expansiva y anatómica, en torno a nuestra casa-museo La Erreria de Xàtiva y su colección, que muestra otra forma de hacer coleccionismo basada en la afectividad, el relato y el activismo cuir/transfeminista.
Incluye obras de Aldo Alcota, Alice Roth, Almudena López, Amaury Grisel, Angela Dalinger, Annie Sprinkle y Beth Stephens, Balfourgisnacht Monster, Cabello/Carceller, Chris Korda, Divine David, J. Palacios, Joan Isobel Bell, jole, Jose Ruiz Segura, Macarena De La Cruz, Marquéz de Gea, Mery Sut, O.R.G.I.A., Prefix-poly, Rampova, Rapha Hu, Samantha Sweeting, Simon Murphy y Toni Cordero entre otrxs.
Más fotos e info sobre las obras en nuestra campaña “En el Blanco hoy” en: http://www.instagram.com/annamariastaiano.erreria
El 6 de febrero hicimos una visita guiada a la instalación con Rafa Tormo y lxs estudiantes del posgrado en Gestión Cultural de la UV.
Article by Marisol Salanova for Mirall magazine