The symbolic importance of colour. Cristina Lucas

Castellano Català

Arts Santa Monica, or the Santa Monica I no longer know. We are standing in front of the door. Inside the exhibition is being set. Several exhibitions. In fact, to reach a room with a sample of Gil de Viedma  I had to go below a staircase where some people were painting. This is fun, gives naturalness to the exhibition: there is no problem in mounting an exhibition, there is who paints, who hangs stuff on the walls no need to hide it as if it was the houskeepers of the stately homes of the past centuries.

In the terrace, in addition, there is the exhibition Efímera by the music band Love Of Lesbian. A music video made with a 360º screen which, with a chair that can be turned around, allows you to listen to an unpublished song that covers totally. If you have time it will be open to the public until the 4th of October.

Gunshots in the middle of the concert

In the hall we meet Cristina Lucas, the artist, and Celia Diego, curator of the exhibition cycle.  She explains us that Gunshots in the middle of the concert emerges from the critical reflection of our society and the current world conflicts, and from how the artists use their art to get out of the museum into the streets while attending parallel activities such as MicroRavals, with routes that link the exhibition with the neighborhood or the involve actions, the talks or the guided tours with experts and other artists.

inici ii_

microravals ii_


All about colour

We sit on the chairs located in front of Pantone -500 +2007, the central work of the exhibition, that have been placed there for to press conference that will start briefly. I already knew the work Pantone since I was one of the collaborators and I had the chance to write and record the audio for one of the parts. It consists of a video of a coloured world map in which the colours change with the borders as the years pass by. Next to the screen some loudspeakers emit, all together, the voices of the eight historians that participated in the making of the exhibition telling a summarized history of each of these zones of the world. 

Cristina Lucas in front of ‘Vexilología’

“It’s an exhibition that talks about the colour. At first I used that as something merely technical, to distinguish the different nation states, since the map portrays them, (that’s why there are so many clans that are not represented ). Colours moreover are a representative element of the flags, shields, etc. In the end, the presence of so many colours  made me decide to call it Pantone.”

Making maps in the twentieth century is fundamental to understand issues beyond territorial conflicts while analysing the instruments of power

It is a map that depicts the wars between states and territorial conflicts, the expansionist desires of each region. It tells us  that maps are made from language and human relationships: “Making maps in the twentieth century is fundamental to understand issues beyond territorial conflicts while analysing the instruments of power”.

Another concept that conveys the exhibition is globalization. “We are part of a globe and the planet is every day smaller to us. Pantone puts at the same level all civilizations, but it has not a remarkable point, it is in this sense that it’s universalizing. What does that drawing mean? each of the historian collaborators decided to explain what they wanted or thought was best to expose in a way that may intended to be objective but in the end inevitably subjective. All performances are heard at the same time as a cacophony, to give importance to all and none simultaneously. It is a story of the whole, everything happens at the same time. “

The centerpiece of the exhibition, Pantone -500 +2007 was born as a silent video, and it wasn’t until 2006 – in the Biennal of Istambul – that it became a performance and a speech recorded exhibition. She explains us that her dream would be to show this work in the United Nations headquarters and with a representative of each nation explaining the history of their region.

Since globalization started, our life has changed, the awareness of living in a finite, concrete and shrinking space is something that unites us and condemns us to share the same place

In the back of the room we find another map that discusses with Pantone, we refer to Vexilología, which connects directly with the topic of globalization. Since globalization started, our life has changed, the awareness of living in a finite, concrete and shrinking space is something that unites us and condemns us to share the same place.” To Cristina the fact of thinking together and create in community is a physical, moral and intellectual need.

‘Pantone -500 +2007’

Vexilología is a compendium of images of football fans. “We are articulated by many events and global factors such as football, and FIFA is the institution that brings together more nations (it is present in 211 countries).” In the pictures we see fans with their colours (again, colours!), with the flags of their respective countries. Your team becomes your homeland. It is something very strong that nearly engulfs us as a nation. “Membership in a group, enthusiasm, etc.  bring and equalise us all.” The work becomes an anthropological study of behaviour and the transformation of the person into a flag, into its colours.

Finally we talk about the work that welcomes us to the show: Gestal Five. It consists of five music conductors who perform the first movement of Beethoven’s fifth symphony, which is one of the most famous in history. “It’s a melody that reverberates our consciousness. He composed it as a tribute to the French revolution, as an intellectual of the time he supported the revolution and the people standing up, to him it was something like ” attention, attention, something big is going to happen, the people will rise. “

They recorded them with a fixed camera, and the piece is presented on four monitors completely voiceless, so their movements are emphasized. She explains that “Beethoven was a very meticulous composer and was one of the first to use the metronome in his scores, so there was only one correct way to interpret them, something immovable, with this idea, with this rhythm.” It is closely linked with the sense of the increasingly globalized world, where every individual wants to leverage their individuality and create some feeling to justify that each of us is unique.

“That’s why he created his music to be performed in a very concrete and fixed way. Still, each of them conducts differently, although it is immovable. That’s what this is about,” she says and empathizes, “is a supposed objectivity, but it is impossible. Like history, like Pantone. You explain history but it is a intended objectivity, in reality it is a subjective matter, to explain why, the reasons behind the facts or even when we give more importance to an event rather than other “.

You need to have your own idea of things in order to have your own identity within this globalization, although you belong to a group.

We laughed and went on. There are still some things to set up. The noise coming from the work is mixed with our voices, the phone tape recorder has reached its limits. Thank you very much for everything, Cristina, Celia and the other team members 🙂

Guiomar Sánchez

To know more about Cristina Lucas: interview in the Spanish television La2 (in spanish)

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