Oriol Vilanova presents a performance inspired by an episode of “The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí” when one day at school Dalí decided to literally offer “duros a cuatro pesetas”, as a first surrealist gesture. There is something absurd but also productive in subverting the aim for profit. It is resisting economy and capitalism, it is a failure.
The performance at Granpalazzo was first presented at Rob Pruitt’s Flea Market Project at the Musée de la Monaie in Paris in 2012. It is a very simple gesture: subverting the idea of making profit that is intrinsic to an art fair or any sort of economic transition. It is an absurd gesture that comes from a Spanish saying “Nadie da duros a cuatro pesetas”, which means that you should be suspicious when somebody offers you something too good or valuable to be real. The idea of cheating is very present in Spanish culture. There is a literary character from 17th century literature, the pícaro, a very poor young boy that is constantly trying to cheat his patron through small tricks, in order to get out of his miserable condition. The figure of the pícaro has been associated frequently with Latin idiosyncrasy.
The flea market is the main resource of research and production for Vilanova’s work. He goes religiously every Sunday, in each city he travels to. He studies its dynamics and its objects. In the performance Last Price (2014) he eliminated the fixed price of entrance to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) in order to encourage the bargaining, as it happens in flea markets. The performance was executed between the staff of the museum and by the visitors. He opened a space of negotiation, with other times, other laws and theatricality between seller and buyer. More recently The Green Parrot commissioned another project by Vilanova, To be precise, which pilled more than 90.000 postcards in a way that none of the images is visible. These postcards were sources out of his trips to several flea markets, as well as of storages of printing and distribution postcard companies.
Oriol Vilanova (Manresa 1980, lives and works in Brussels). Vilanova is interested in the paradoxes inherent to mass culture. His artistic approach is conceptual through minimalist and architectural installations, performances and writings, based on repetition and exaggeration. Solo exhibitions (selected); Renoncer à te décrire, Centre d’Édition Contemporaine, Geneva (2014); Petit taxi, Grand Taxi, L’Appartement 22, Rabat (2014); She corrects manners laughingly, Fundació Joan Miró – Espai 13, Barcelona (2013); The Small Collection Room, Nottingham Contemporary (2013); Quizá es cierto en teoría, Parra & Romero Gallery, Madrid (2012); Ex Aequo, Palais de Tokyo – Modules, Paris (2012), Group exhibitions (selected); The whole world, up to today, Villa du Parc, Annemasse (2015); Generación 2015, La Casa Encendida , Madrid (2015); Sous nos yeux, MACBA, Barcelona (2014); Le Tamis et le Sable, Maison Populaire, Paris (2013); Au revoir, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne,Reims(2012).