“You must change your life,” Rainer Maria Rilke concluded in his poem, Archaic Torso of Apollo. Rilke has always inspired us to accept change and transformation and to remain open to life. The title, therefore, of this exhibition—Live Your Transformation can be understood as a tribute to this willingness to engage with the forces and energies that change art practice and the world. And this is a characteristic feature of Annette Barcelo’s work.
Live Your Transformation gives us the opportunity to discover an artistic practice dedicated to exploring the connection between different areas of life and fiction, but also the forces that shape gender and identity. The exhibition aims to provide a new perspective on Annette Barcelo’s long-standing artistic practice through a special installation of numerous works, ranging from earlier to current productions.
At the center of the exhibition are three series of works: Barcelo’s series of bathtubs, animals, and reverse glass paintings. The first of these series comprises large-scale paintings depicting human beings, mostly women, in bathtubs. The bathtub is a strange space that very privately serves as a nest for the body, reflecting the need for a safe and constricting space. The animal series from the early 2000s includes portraits that equate the face and body of animals with the presence of humans. These works reference both the historical presence of animals in art and their right to live with us on their own terms and as a fundamental part of our society. Finally, in the series of reverse glass paintings begun in 2017, Barcelo uses a rare technique. As such, light and transparency, but also storytelling, become fundamental elements of these colorful, bright, and dynamic works.