• text
  • pictures
  • Elena del Rivero
Madrid, Spain
My friends and other animals
15 Sep 2016 - 05 Nov 2016
Tere Recarens

‘CUARTO TRAVIESO’ 2016 Installation view ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016.
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Elena del Rivero

‘Letter from Home’, 2016 Installtion view ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Ángeles Marco

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Tere Recarens

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Kiki Bauer

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Elena del Rivero

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Elena del Rivero

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Elena del Rivero

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Esther Ferrer

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Esther Ferrer

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Janice Guy

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Kiki Smith

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Elena del Rivero

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

John Coplans

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Freya Powell

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Freya Powell

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Lily van der Stokker

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

Kiki Bauer

Installation view. ‘My friends and other animals’, 2016
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid

The idea of this exhibition came back to me some months ago when I was beginning my relationship with Travesía Cuatro. I proposed to introduce myself as an artist of the gallery, surrounded by friends, and in the context of an exhibition that would address the symbolic language of the “relationship”. Silvia and Inés welcomed this approach with excitement.

The genesis of this project is rooted in my friendship with Assumpta Bassas and in the countless hours spent discussing, and sometimes disagreeing, on practices of feminism and of sexual difference.

We, as artists, are challenged with how we use, transform and alter symbols through our work. The passage of time, the unavoidable condition of my conception, and an economy of means have been some of the tools that I have used to thread my work. All artists in this show, Coplans included, share similar concerns within the complex critique of art making itself.

The artists are the catalyst for this proposal, and together with the collaboration of Travesía Cuatro they have allowed me to research the semantic scope of the symbolic language of ‘the relationship.’ I selected works that, when brought together, have become the syntax for the dialogue I am creating. My aim, through the installation, is to reveal the poetry in each individual work while uncovering the interconnections between them. I have included my work in this mise-en-scène as the agent of these social relations.

The motivation, while gratifying and uplifting, has no pretentions of confronting modernist ideas. Nor have I taken into account the new languages that spring from social media, even though they too promote a relationship. Besides the urgent nature of the works selected, I have been drawn to them by their visual impact, the allegories they trigger, and their classicism.

My relationships with the artists vary from the neighbourly to those of great friendship. Some have been mentors, others collaborators; one I have admired all my life and recently, finally met. And the relationship continues, like an open window, forever stimulating dialogue.

The title of the show is adapted from Gerald Durrell’s My family and other animals, which I enjoyed reading when I was young.

Elena del Rivero, New York, May 2016