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The Reconstruction project is a reflection on the current moment and the paradigm shift it entails. A procedural and collaborative approach with an experimental phase distended in time that does not take anything for granted beforehand.

Nathalie Rey changes the look towards anything that her work encompasses: the audience, her experience (on site or virtual), the new concepts of distance and closeness, the reinvention of objects and memories, as well as virtual / invented / inherited / real / reinterpreted spaces.

Such complete paradigm shift is what we experience today, inside and outside of art. We re-adapt and get used to it, a new reality startles us for a while, until after a few months, it disappears submerged in habit.

In Reconstruction the work also mutates and travels; we observe its coexistence in different galleries and environments, although always through a virtual filter. Almost tracing a mapping of new conventions of how to make art travel, as a parallel to our new conditions of displacement.

Change as a fixed value, but now a little different. Let’s imagine together open and flexible models that lead us to resilience; this Reconstruction seeks a model that adapts to the unpredictable.

The participation of multiple spaces in the city, with different visions and influences in the project is also an indicative factor of the new ways of creating that we will need to develop. In an uncertain future, co-creation and collaboration will be essential.

Nathalie's work is often determined by its procedural aspect, which gives to it a dimension that transcends the conceptual work and the installation. From her conception, through her research and experimentation, her work takes multidimensional perspectives and profiles that address intimate yet universal themes. Taking references from a childhood with which we all identify in one way or another, to the reinvention of objects that surround us, endowing them with a complexity of meaning.

This curatorial text is written from the expectation; understanding that the potential of transformation of the work (also unpredictable) depends on the spontaneous participation of the audience from an adaptable and fickle perspective. Let’s direct our gaze towards what is to come, instead of towards what has been. Let’s start.

Sara Catalán

Ideograma Foundation, Bcn

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Ideograma Foundation, Bcn

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Ideograma Foundation, Bcn

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És-fera 72 gallery, Sant Cugat

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És-fera 72 gallery, Sant Cugat

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Espronceda, Institute of Art and Culture, Bcn

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Espronceda, Institute of Art and Culture, Bcn

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Espronceda, Institute of Art and Culture, Bcn

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Alalimón gallery, Bcn

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Alalimón gallery, Bcn

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Chiquita Room, Bcn

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Chiquita Room, Bcn

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Chiquita Room, Bcn

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Pol & Grace hotel, Bcn

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Pol & Grace hotel, Bcn

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santcorneliarts(2), Cardedeu

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santcorneliarts(2), Cardedeu

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santcorneliarts(2), Cardedeu

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santcorneliarts(2), Cardedeu

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Espai d'Arts Roca Umbert, Granollers

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Espai d'Arts Roca Umbert, Granollers

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Espai d'Arts Roca Umbert, Granollers

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Espai d'Arts Roca Umbert, Granollers

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"Reconstruction" is a hybrid project of production and exhibition (and in the end neither one thing nor the other) of the work "Composition with stuffed animals’ remains IV (cell)" which consists in its complete version in a circular space of approximately 5, 5m in diameter (inside) delimited by 12 canvases on which are sewn small pieces of multicolored fabric coming from the dismemberment of hundreds of stuffed animals.

The term "reconstruction" refers to three different aspects of the project.

The first one, prior to the project itself, corresponds to the work of manipulation of the stuffed animals, which consists of a cycle of deconstruction and reconstruction, in which the stuffed animals are completely unstitched and stripped of their non-textile attributes, then sewn again according to different configurations .

Then, the reconstruction process occurs in the fabrication and set up phase of the cellular structure. Here several considerations are mixed. "Composition with stuffed animals’ remains IV" is an ambitious project, economically and in terms of space. Therefore, its relevance could be questioned given the current circumstances of post-corona virus crisis. In fact, I’m launching this project in a spirit of contradiction and provocation. My intention is to build the work little by little, according to my possibilities as well as the conditions (space, duration of the intervention, coexistence with other activities, etc.) that the spaces willing to host the project will offer me. Ideally, I would like to work with 5 or 6 galleries over a period of ten months, starting in September 2020, and exhibit the finished work at the Alalimón gallery with which I mainly collaborate in Barcelona. With each change of location, the work will be rebuilt from scratch, slightly larger than the previous time, and will be dismantled again. Therefore, it is not an exhibition (apart from the final phase), but a work in progress that aims at being a metaphor for the difficult times that await artists, galleries, cultural institutions and society in general after the pandemic trauma; because we will have to rebuild ourselves, reinvent a way to continue existing.

And this is how I get to the third aspect of the project that lies in the particularity of its broadcast. Since the new watchword is social distancing, we must rethink the activities that involve the old customs of gathering people together and, as far as we are concerned, the way of visiting the exhibitions and celebrating their openings. It is for this reason that I propose an exhibition that is not one, without opening and possibly without audience, in which the fabrication process would be visible, on the one hand, in streaming from the different galleries and, on the other hand, documented in the form of a video, which consequently would become a full-fledged aspect of the work and would be exhibited together with the cell, once the reconstruction process is complete.

Composition with stuffed animals’ remains IV - cell

(fragment of the original text)

The series of works entitled "Composition with stuffed animals’ remains" is part of a larger group in which these remains of stuffed animals are the raw material. These are, like other recurring figures in my work, the symbol both of childhood (and, by extension, the part of subjectivity assumed by the work) and of a popular culture anchored in the consumer society. Thus, the "Millennium Monsters" are the most literal and spectacular manifestation of this collision of two antagonistic concepts.

The remains, fragments or residue of the soft toys are literally leftovers from the previous series. In a way, throwing away those discarded pieces of fabric for their obviousness, ugliness, or inadequacy would have been avoiding the problem. In fact, the stuffed animals I work with are, for the most part, edifyingly ugly; They are given to me or I find them in a second hand sale app, for the good reason that nobody wants them (in the best case because they got in the way). Then all sorts of naive questions arise: why do children have so many toys? What is the nature of this aesthetics that we think is suitable for kids? More generally, how do we get to this popular aesthetics of the cool, kawai, dull, cute, cheesy, etc.?

As my objective, in much of my work, is to work on this fine line between the criticism of some phenomena linked to capitalist society and mass culture and the appropriation of the same criticized phenomena, I found myself obliged to return their Letters of nobility to these residues of icons of the consumer society.

April 2020.