Hers, His, Yours, Theirs
Last Friday saw the launch of Project VIA, a new artist-run initiative which aims to connect young artists in Barcelona. Monica Tolia, an American artist/curator and founder of VIA, transforms her apartment into a platform for contemporary art exchange which focuses on showing inter-disciplinary art. To launch the project she put together an exhibition of video works entitled Hers, His, Yours, Theirs which features eight pieces by nine artists from Norway, Lebanon, USA, Brazil, Palestine, and Australia, including one of her own. The exhibition explores different points of view through pieces that represent the artist himself on some level while inviting the viewers to consider their own perspective. The title of the exhibition, Hers, His, Yours, Theirs, alludes to the different perspectives addressed in the exhibition through which the artists raise issues of identity, isolation, and migration, amongst others.
The curation of the exhibition was thoughtful and the use of space resourceful. The pieces selected were all very strong in their concept and execution and, despite their disparate backgrounds, there was a real harmony and correlation between them, both in their approach and aesthetic sensibility. My favourite was perhaps The Loser by Anas Bakr (Palestine), a video at once comical and tragic, where we follow the solitary artist through an abandoned scenery carrying a cake. He is the town loser, perpetually alone and laughable. We sympathise and we mock, yet we can all relate. Moving, humorous, disturbing, and somber, the exhibition is an emotional journey which addresses serious topics as well as revelling in moments of peace.
The space, an ample apartment which Monica shares with four other artists and art-lovers, is a traditional flat with high ceilings, narrow hallways, and a large terrace. Being very personal pieces they suited the intimate setting of a residential space, in fact some were even enhanced by their strategic placement, the most personal pieces positioned in a bedroom, for example. The spacious terrace is the perfect spot for wine and conversation and for exhibiting some larger pieces, in this case the installation by Catherine Holmes, Stillness.
We were very impressed by this first venture which showed great enthusiasm and drive and we look forward to seeing how the project evolves. VIA’s next exhibition, Role Play, is scheduled for June and promises to be an interesting one, we are confident that Monica and her team will not disappoint.