Eva Lootz. Hacer como quien dice: ¿y esto qué es? Museo Reina Sofía


A little less than a year ago, in the summer of 2023, the donation to the Reina Sofía Museum of 36 works by Eva Lootz was announced and the commitment that, later, the same would happen with the rest of the production of this Austrian artist, settled in Spain since the sixties. The donated pieces corresponded in their dating to the last decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 2000s, they were added to the nine works of his that the MNCARS already had and currently a selection of them is part of the anthology that this space He dedicates it under the curatorship of Fernando López, who was his assistant.

It is titled “Do as someone says: what is this?” and in Madrid it is added to the one that, since last May and until July, can be seen in Alcalá 31, which brings together more recent projects; The links between both exhibitions are almost constant and a tour can perfectly begin at the Reina Sofía and end at the Antonio Palacios building if we want to acquire a clear notion of the concerns of Lootz, an author whose production Manuel Segade has referred to today as hyper-complex. , deeply beautiful and political in its contents. These often have to do with ecology, the psychology of language or the languages, species and memories that could disappear.

The succession of pieces in the rooms on the ground floor of the MNCARS has been planned as a concatenation of worlds, according to a singular rhythm, in which the issues that have crossed the career of this artist are highlighted, one being central, As Lootz herself has explained today, that of the new concept of matter that we can handle today, by which it can no longer be understood as inert or opposed to the mind. He also invites us to appreciate the desire to empty the self that he soon wanted to grant to his work, a desire to put aside his subjectivity and his personal experiences as a starting point to focus on materials and processes: he soon left the wings to begin to use liquid binders, molten tin and, after this, mercury, an element that, in turn, led him to question the effects of mining and industrial activities based on the extraction of raw materials to which it has been referred to today as underwear history (Salt is also very present in this exhibition, as is marble sand, the latter starring in an entire room that has been converted into a white bubble with which it seeks to challenge the oversaturation of data and the omnipresence of screens that have modified our visuality).

The hundred long pieces that make up this retrospective, several hitherto unseen in Madrid, are completed with texts written by Lootz over the years in which he gives an account of the transformations in his ways of doing things: in the first he refers to the liquids that he soon began to use (wax, paraffin, sealing waxes, glues) as elementary porridge capable of generating a kind of archaic evocative materials that refer to what preceded the structure when it cooled. In his words: I guess what I wanted deep down back then was to melt the world and at the same time cook it again. In fact, it didn't take me long to melt lead and deal with the mercury. That in turn led me to become interested in archaeometallurgy and mining, in that peculiar theater that the extraction of minerals and stones displays in the landscape.

I guess what I wanted deep down back then was to melt the world and at the same time cook it again. In fact, it didn't take me long to melt lead and deal with the mercury.

Then came his compositions for a film that was never made about Almadén and Riotinto, his exploration of the implications of barter (which he considers prefigures language by establishing communication around matter, first with use value and then of change), of the language itself, of the traces in time of human activity and of the historical condition of women, to whom he refers with an eye to the past as fundamental social glue.

At the beginning of the exhibition we will see projects of diverse materials and chronologies, manifestations of the early departure from the audiovisual training that Lootz had received and his openness to experimentation with wrinkles, folds, amalgams, vibrations or with the application of heat; In short, he tried to ensure that the materials were the ones that expressed themselves literally (in the seventies, when he adopted these processes, currents were developed in Europe, precisely processual, that placed more emphasis on the creative path than on its ultimate results. ).

As time progresses, this work with the literality of the materials would be followed by his interest in the literality of the aforementioned language, which makes up our messages and which also leaves remains: at the Reina Sofía we will contemplate numerous body fragments (from ears, feet and hands to their celebrated languages) subject to intentionally ambiguous readings, and accompanied by non-physiological elements that usually refer to absences, such as shoes, handles, shirts or gloves.

Eva Lootz.  Do as someone says: what is this?  Reina Sofia Museum

That installation that we said submerged us in a white bubble (and it is intended that it was individual) in the face of visual noise is called A Farewell to Isaac Newton, in reference to its contrast with this scientist's own mechanistic approach to the world. A walkway has been arranged on the floor of a room completely covered with the marble sand we mentioned; In this environment of whiteness, Lootz asks us to question how to relearn to see in a time, like ours, in which overstimulation generates new forms of blindness.

The artist refers to this proposal as a place for a solitary walk, a note for a white meteorology and ends in a dark space where two videos also dedicated to the phenomenon of vision await us: in It's nothing but a small hole in my chest, sand falling into a container generates an eye-shaped image; while Blind Spot It invites us to think about what happens with blind corners.

In a fourth room on the tour, we will see unpublished drawings about our treatment of water resources, as well as the series Hydrographs, a study of basins and their transformations; in the fifth, sculptures based on 3D files, on data mining: he carried them out based on bibliographic consultations, with the help of a computer scientist and in Macael marble, and we can classify them, without fear, as digital sculptures.

Eva Lootz.  Do as someone says: what is this?  Reina Sofia Museum
Eva Lootz.  Do as someone says: what is this?  Reina Sofia Museum

This exhibition at the Reina Sofía gives us the opportunity to see, for the first time in its entirety, the photographic series Small drift theater, dated in the nineties: these are two dozen black and white images in which we will see characters alone or in groups, mostly women, poetically carrying supposed prostheses that complete their bodies, or that give rise to new ones by incorporating alleged failures. Already in one of the pieces in Alcalá 31 she wrote: There is nothing outside the text, says Derrida, that is, everything can be another way…

Until now we have not referred to knots, another element reiterated in Lootz's work because it appears in the research of so many disciplines that interest him: mathematics, philosophy, psychology… They refer to union and self-absorption and will appear in several drawings and, above all, in the video installation In handsin which a double-screen game of twine links them with numerous cultures and also with memory, language and body.

Eva Lootz.  Do as someone says: what is this?  Reina Sofia Museum

And at the end of this exhibition, languages ​​will return: we will hear The language of birdsa sound piece that reproduces an attempted dialogue between birds and a flute player in Valsaín and that, more than twenty years ago, already ended up at the Crystal Palace, and we will contemplate The agony of languages, his very expressive tribute to those who are in danger of disappearing in South America. Finally, his photographs of the aforementioned extractions in Almadén and Riotinto, which he refers to as negative sculptures; series dedicated to women, such as The undifferentiated depth of consciousness, in which she invites viewers to decipher female artists and intellectuals based on their first name and the initial of their last name; and 12 monthsa visual diary from 2015 in which he captured what was going through his mind, the everyday, the symbolic and where the one and the other converged.

Eva Lootz.  Do as someone says: what is this?  Reina Sofia Museum

Eva Lootz. “Do as someone says: what is this?”


C/ Santa Isabel, 52


From June 12 to September 2, 2024

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