A Certain Darkness Exhibition Essay

There is an art exhibition in the Caixa forum Musuem called A Certain

Darkness created by several artists displaying their work. Behind this

exhibition, mysterious works and arts were shown in a way that makes you

wonder about the artists’ feelings, thoughts, and imagination in the time

that they were creating this art. Some of these artists attracted my

attention by their fantastic work and some were not that much interesting.

Every single piece of art in this exhibition has a story which makes you stop

and stare at it for a long time thinking about what is behind this creativity.

The artists of this exhibition that I will talk about are Alexandra Laudo, Joan

Brossa, Perejaume, Tim Rollins, Jose Maldonado, Juan Francisco Isidro, and

Hiroshi Sugimoto.

First of all, Alexandra Laudo is the curator of this exhibition. Laudo had

guarded a lot of exhibitions such as “The Possibility of an island”, “Fundaci?

Miro”, “A Certain Darkness” and others.

She was awarded several times like the “Terrassa Comissariat Award”, as

well as the “BCN Producci? Comissariat Award” because her creative work

is considered as philosophy.

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This exhibition started by a question that says “Can art be the gap?” This

question expresses the mystery in the missing things that we found in

every single piece of art.

The first portrait in this exhibition by Martin Parr, 2012 was a portrait about

Mona Lisa which is painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the Renaissance period.

In this portrait, there is a crowd of people watching Mona Lisa in the

museum and taking pictures.

It was clear in the portrait that some people in the back can’t see Mona Lisa

because of the crowd but they were taking pictures for it. That means

people don’t care if they see Mona Lisa in real life and stare to watch the

magic in it, they just want to take pictures in order to show others that

they were in front of Mona Lisa. It is sad to notice that because people don’t

care about art as much as they care about social media and technology.

The artist in this portrait has expressed real life issue which is happening

nowadays in every museum with every piece of art. He is trying to show us

the people’s interests on one hand, and on the other hand he is trying to

show us the importance of Mona Lisa. I think it’s interesting to see this side

of the world now in one portrait which expresses reality.

Mona Lisa is simply the most important single painting in the world. It’s a

painting that expresses such a presence with her smile and characteristic

that makes the painting fascinating. Leonardo da Vinci has considered her

one of his favorite paintings and she was loved, written about, and adored

by all people. It appears in countless advertising and known worldwide

although it is just 30 x 21 inches with a dull color and glum expressions.

The existence of Mona Lisa in this exhibition is one small mystery because

there’s a bigger one in the next work. There’s an old newspaper that shows

the missing Mona Lisa. This newspaper shows that Mona Lisa was

stolen from a museum in the year 1911 which made a great impact on the

people during this period. It took them two years to find it and return it to

its original place. No one knows why would the thief Vincenzo Peruggia stole

Mona Lisa in this period.

Losing Mona Lisa for two years is an important event which people now in

our generation have no idea about it. I think it’s quite remarkable for this

very old newspaper to be seen in this exhibition which makes people more

excited about the work.

Besides starting the exhibition with Mona Lisa, also it started with a piece of

art for Joan Brossa named Elegy to Leonardo which was created in the year

1989. It is a poem object that is hinged from the deficiency as elements of

retention. It is formed of a white marble related to Renaissance

architecture and it has a blank compass box. Although the compass is not

found in the box, it represents reality and scientific explication and it is

considered as a statement for an expiry of a decorative tradition.

When this artistic object is seen for the first time, it is viewed like a

personal computer with no keyboard and screen. Then when you get closer,

you can see that there are missing objects inside it which expresses in a

certain way that they are scientific materials. Later, you start wondering

what is this important object that could be missing from this box and

presented in a museum. When you catch the idea that it’s a shape of a

compass, you realize that it’s no longer used in our generation since people

depends on technology which affords all these missing materials. From my

perspective, this art for Brossa is objective because we can realize that

technology is controlling our minds and these important materials are

ignored and forgotten.

Moreover, there was an art done by Perejaume called

El Lloc I La Data in 1991 which is described by two pieces of wood joined

together to form a shape of a frame or a half of a frame. When I saw it

first, I couldn’t guess what is the purpose behind it and what did the artist

think about putting it together in this way. Then, I found out that he’s

playing with space and time by showing horizontal and vertical lines

intersecting each other.

Perejaume expresses his art in unpainted way. He follows different methods

such as collage and the sense of hearing. He is exploring in landscape and

expressing his paintings in his way. Retrieved from:

In my opinion, this art is mysterious and different than what we see usually

in paintings and it lets you think about what’s behind this art and what does

he meant in joining two pieces of wood together in order to look like a

frame with missing edges. He could have expressed the play in space and

time in a different way other than the frame. Actually, he meant to distract

us from the main idea to let us be far from the scientific reality. I think it’s

too far from reality and he can’t just present two pieces of wood as a piece

of art with a huge mystery because it’s not described in the correct way for

the coordinated and interaction between space and time.

Furthermore, one of the important pieces of art which was displayed in the

exhibition is Gold Alice l which is made by Tim Rollins with a help from his

students. His aim was to surround the students with the spirit of art but

that was not agreed by the educational program. The painting is described

as a rectangular shape with gold painted that shows the drawing of Alice in

Wonderland through the shades of gold. It’s consisted of pages surrounded

by a wide cover of gold enamel that were in a special edition from Alice in


In my point of view, watching this portrait is interesting for people and they

can stand and stare for a long time somehow just to catch the drawing of

Alice behind the golden painting and follow its expressions and shape to

understand the portrait and the mystery behind it.

Nevertheless, A Certain Darkness had a painting by Jose Maldonado which

is called Ventana ll, it is made in 1989. This painting represents an open

window which has a thick frame that covers the outer perimeter of the

canvas. Inside the window or the frame, no visual appearance is presented

as a view from the opening window. There is no sign for any place or person

to be seen from it. It’s all covered in a dark color which is showing us the

contrast between the abstraction of the inside and outside is abolished.

Maldonado has established a figure that highlights on the Renaissance

design through the window and on the delusory area of the Baroque

strategy connection, antagonistic to the Alberti’s aspects theories which is

related to paintings depending on which the painting canvas should appear

and work as a translucent window in reality. Maldonado illustrates in this

work Ventana ll, as several other works for him, the artists’ temptation with

respect to creativity, sharpness, awareness of extremity, and the

characteristics of representation.

Actually, this painting is attractive that it could be seen from a long

distance and it leads you to get closer and stare to know why does it look

like two frames coinciding as well as being an opening window. I think it is a

pessimistic painting because it shows a complete darkness behind the

window and expresses twilight instead of a cheerful view or landscape.

Although this painting shows a different, dull window from reality, it is really

puzzling to think about the conceptual idea behind this illustration. This

wooden frame could be the door for the end of the world’s humanity where

there is no more limit for all the harm and mischief, it will be as dark as this


Additionally, the great artist Juan Francisco Isidro was having a work in A

Certain Darkness exhibition which was entitled as the submerged continents

and formed in the year 1991. It is consisted of one hundred and sixty

ordinary envelopes forming rectangular shapes with large sizes and having

a white color plus a transparent piece in the front. They are all described by

a specific drawn object that could only be seen in the through the small

translucent cover which is made to see the name of the recipient through it.

But in Francisco’s work, these transparent apertures act as screens which

shows cinematographic chain of the recorded item that is formed. Part of

these images are hidden as well as the existence of the red line that crosses

the whole figure horizontally and passes from the edge to the other. This

red line sets up a tightness between what is can be seen and what is

concealed in the envelopes.

I personally suppose that the red lines express a distraction and a path. It’s

a distraction because the viewer will focus more on the relation between the

envelopes and the red line without estimating the small figures in every

envelope which are repetitive in all of them presenting movements.

At the same time, I think the artist Francisco is showing us two paths

throughout the red lines forming the shape of loops on one ending and on

the other ending they are separated as well as they are disappearing in

some parts. It seems to me that these two lines describe the life of two

persons or two generations that met at first using envelopes as

communication. Then this way of messaging started to fade where the two

lines also started to be separated in different paths.

Besides all of these artworks, there is a spectacular artwork in the

exhibition for Hiroshi Sugimoto named Rialto, Pasadena, which is one of his

popular photographic series created in the year 1993. It is described as a

cinema pure screen with no signs for any images on it, plus it shows the

first few rows of seats and part of the walls. Actually, it looks like a theatre

with a blank cinema screen in the middle which reflects the light of the film

that will take place. This image sheds light on distinguishing between what’s

shining and what’s being dull as well as between what exists and what is

not alive.

From where I am standing, I see that Sugimoto is showing us a real conflict

between cinema and theatre and he highlighted on this idea by showing a

three dimensions image which attracts the viewer’s attention.

In conclusion, A Certain Darkness exhibition was a very interesting

exhibition to be seen because it makes the viewer thoughtful because of all

the mysteries in every artwork. The talented artist Alexandra Laudo made a

huge puzzle out of certain enigmas that took us to different imaginations

and definitely, every artwork in this exhibition had widen more our


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