Eulàlia Valldosera
Spain, 1963
After studying painting at the Department of Fine Art at the University of Barcelona, Eulalia Valldosera spent two years at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam between 1990 and 1991. This experience brought about a major change in her budding career, and her artistic project underwent a conceptual shift to take in the spectrum of media she then went on to use, including painting, video, installation and photography. In 1990 she made her first series of photographs, ‘Habitáculos’, in which she superimposed her own body onto empty interior architectural spaces or used just a mattress; in each case her body floated phantasmagorically. Between this series and 1999 she consolidated her interest in photography with new series, ‘Quemaduras’ and ‘Apariencias’, among others, which all centred on blurred bodies that appeared and disappeared in her images. She describes the process through which the photographs were created as follows: “My photographs are made through successive exposures on the same negative. In each exposure I illuminate one part of the body. At the end I illuminate the surroundings. Each exposure is recorded in a single view, the view of the photograph, so the final result bears witness to the disappearance of the areas where no light has reached.” In these photographs, as well as in the installations and performances carried out during the nineties, she always explicitly showed her interest in the private and the everyday and kept up an attitude she called “ecological”, because it entailed a respectful, conscious position towards the body. Hence her use of cigarette ends smoked by her for her installation and performance The Navel of the World, and also her constant references to health and hygiene in general, particularly personal hygiene, and use of all kinds of bottles, containers and products from the medicine cabinet. The artist has used these objects because of their symbolic power for her, but also to visualise the physical routes of light beams that then, as she says, “become containers of liquids with an emotional alchemy and end up simulating feminine human presences turned into large-scale shadows.” In an installation like Flying No. 1 New York, 10 projectors, mirrors and small electric motors are used to slowly project the continuous moving images of the containers onto the walls of the exhibition space. These kinds of installations combine light sources with mirrors which, as they constantly turn, duplicate the images as well as producing complex plays of light and shadows. These constantly moving simple mechanical devices, low-tech resources, produce ingenious rituals of everyday life and end up physically involving the spectator. In her installations, spectators move between objects and projections and their own shadow joins the play of appearances that many of her works turn into: “By moving through the space between things and their projections, between objects and their signs, the spectator becomes involved in reconstructing this kind of missing link. Their presence is aimed at re-establishing the link between both realities. The observer thus becomes aware of the location of the light sources which, far from remaining hidden as a conjurer would have them, are there […] and this enables them to discover the mechanisms by which adjacent yet contradictory realities are shown, to conclude that both are nothing more than a form of appearance.”
Glòria Picazo