The Zoo Hypothesis is a term coined in 1973 by astronomer John Ball to give name to the theory according to which there are numerous alien civilizations that hide their existence from us so as not to interfere with our development, as if humans were being observed by more aliens. ready and advanced within a cosmic zoo called Earth. Taiwanese artist Hsu Che-Yu borrows the expression for a videographic work that rescues two stories lived during the occupation of Taiwan in World War II. On the one hand, the ceremony held in a zoo in tribute to the animals killed during military operations (elephants and orangutans were trained to kneel as a sign of mourning) and, on the other, the mass execution of the inhabitants of another zoo to avoid casualties. civilians in case a possible bombing by the US army caused a real rout.
Hsu Che-Yu, winner of the Han Nefkens Foundation production grant, has reconstructed them using forensic equipment that scans and recreates crime scenes in 3D, giving the images we see at the Fundació Miró an air of strangeness, as if they were cardboard memories struggling to shake off the horror. We are at Loop, the video creation festival that every year, for two decades, transforms Barcelona and l'Hospitalet into a gigantic multi-screen, a moving track along which lovers of image marathons will run these days. There are 58 refreshment points (museums, galleries, art centers, hotels...), and in them we find documentaries, short fiction, experimental cinema, video art... The offer is overwhelming, diverse, stimulating and enjoyable. Some of the screens will fade to black on the 24th while others will continue to be on for the next few weeks and even months.
A few steps from Miró, at the MNAC, Mabel Palacín challenges our ability to see in Homeland. The photograph of a domestic interior fragmented into 1,000 pieces whose entirety we will never see, as if it were one of the museum's Gothic altarpieces that, as if it were a comic, tell stories through vignettes, each of which contains in turn new micro-stories. And going to museums these days has a reward. Whether it is the possibility of visiting the lavish neoclassical room of the Picasso radiated by the colorful LED screens that the Chinese artist Tao Hui has installed on a wheeled cart. Or being able to see (and smell) one of the fascinating experimental devices by filmmaker José Val del Omar next to the Marès optical toys, in a room that smells of thyme, chamomile, tea, bay leaf, marjoram and coriander.
Loop also offers the possibility of revisiting classics such as El sopar in which Pere Portabella brought together five political prisoners on the same day as Salvador Puig Antich's execution with a vile garrote and whose reflections expressed in the most distressing clandestinity resonate strongly in the exhibition that Mayoral gallery dedicated to Tàpies and Miró. We are in Eixample and this is just one of the many possible routes. The best luggage that a video lover has to carry is an exploratory spirit. It's worth the risk. Perhaps the name of Camila Flores-Fernández, Peruvian artist and anthropologist, does not mean anything to you, but surely you will not be able to forget for long the protagonists of We are here, two queer migrants, an African and a Georgian (the latter made history in his country as the first drag queen at 22 years old), who are fighting in Brussels to have their refugee status recognized due to their sexual orientation. His new life: “There is still tension here but there is no longer fear.”
Just a few minutes from the metro, Tecla Sala de l'Hospitalet hosts Anoxia. A constant prelude, an “aquatic opera”, as its author, the artist Fito Conesa, defines it, which from a complex perspective on the Mediterranean, critical and at the same time sensitive, puts before our eyes the environmental and humanitarian crises it is going through, that which was and is no longer, and the warning that anoxia, the lack of oxygen that causes the death of fish in the Mar Menor due to spills, will be reproduced in other points due to inaction.
It is not a scream but a song (in the voice of Claudia Schneider) but it is very similar to that “No!” that the most famous mime in the world, Marcel Marceau, exclaimed in Mel Brooks' wordless film The Last Madness, when a director proposed him to star in a silent film. The Swede Erik Bünger confronts him with another unexpected “No!”, that of the chimpanzee Caesar from Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The video installation is titled The Mime and the Ape and is located in the nearby Ethall gallery.