“Instant Life” is an idea developed by the philosopher and sociologist Zygmunt Bauman in his “Liquid Modernity” essay published in 2000. Bauman was building the concept of “liquid and solid modernity” until his decease in 2017, being one of the most brilliant thinkers of the 21st century. According to him, the individual does not long to free himself from nothing or no-one today but, on the contrary, submit to the structures of the society to which he belongs. Our identity is always built in accordance with “the other”, by his acceptance of oneself through the “likes”, for example, and by the addictive accumulation of consumer goods. All this leads us to a feeling of frustration and a lack of self-fulfilment with no apparent solution. The hedonistic and narcissistic individual that Gilles Lipovetsky describes in his “L’ère du vide” (1983) looks at himself on the mirror and can only see a selfish citizen where filanthropy, solidarity, and empathy are conspicuous by their absence in favour of the “hyper individualism”.
Life turned up to be a software instead of a hardware: nomadism, precariousness, uncertainty. Always yearning for the next release, the next version of the program of our lives. The instant life that we live rejects the short term just because nothing lasts forever: neither your job, your partner, or your Zara sweater. On the contrary, you seize the day: a sort of radical carpe diem.
In this exhibition project, the curator gives carte blanche to a handful of artists to pick up a single artwork from their body of work that, they believe, either develops or denies the concept of “instant life”, and he does it just two months in advance to the opening of the show. Thus, the curator vindicates impulsiveness and a way to make “fast art”, seeking to reflect the liquidity of our modern lives: immediacy, constant change, transience, non-planning, the ephemeral and the instantaneous, the impulsive versus the reflective, the visceral versus the rational.
Participating artists: Alfonso Almendros, Mira Bernabeu, Matías Costa, Iñaki Domingo, Mendia Echeverria, Sandra Paula Fernández, Joan Fontcuberta, Fernando Maselli.
Curated by Juan Curto
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Activity funded by the Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte of Spain.