Until April 9th, 2023 the exhibition “El cristal es mi piel” (Crystal is my skin) by the artists Pauline Boudry (Switzerland, 1972) and Renate Lorenz (Germany, 1963) can be visited at the Palacio de Cristal, Madrid.
The installation is starred by two fog machines which make the transparency of the space doubtful, not only in the physical sense.
The Crystal Palace of the Retiro Park (a space of the Reina Sofía Museum) finds its voice through the installation by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, accompanied by a song by Aérea Negrot, whose lyrics she wrote in collaboration with the artists. Between the three of them they have created a scenario in which the viewer can feel as much in the past as in the future, in any situation after all, as long as it is not reality.
Once the visitor enters, the space comes across two platforms covered with mirrors, inspired by queer clubs, which at certain times of the day exhale smoke and covered with a fog that prevents us from seeing beyond ourselves. The hidden message of this action is to denounce the appropriation of wealth and knowledge through the subjugation of the colonized peoples that the past of this location houses, due to the fact that the Palacio de Cristal was built in 1887 for the General Exposition of the Philippine Islands, which included in its exhibition Filipino people "within their own natural ecosystem" almost as a human zoo.
The hidden message of this action is to denounce the appropriation of wealth and knowledge through the subjugation of the colonized peoples that the past of this location houses...
Although a priori the queer inspiration may not seem to have anything to do with it, what Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz are trying to do is to re-imagine the Palace with a possible alternative past, fantasizing that it had been built to establish different relationships or dance until all the bodies looked like one. Instead of now facing the question of its transparency for not having followed a process of decolonization in which the stolen possessions and ideas were returned.
What Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz are trying to do is to re-imagine the Palace with a possible alternative past
It is a way of turning the stage into a machine of desires for those who step on it, or at least of reflecting on what they really want when thinking about what they would ask for. in the artists´ own words "in our work the stage evokes that moment when one 'enters the scene', when one appears in public, when one begins to act. It is a moment of transition, the fragile instant that separates not acting from acting, entering from not entering the stage, invisibility from visibility" so at the same time the installation confronts us with our own most fragile figure, that of our stage fright or the nightmares we have about appearing in public.
The installation confronts us with our own most fragile figure, that of our stage fright or the nightmares we have about appearing in public
The fog machines are activated at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00. The installation can be visited from October 7th, 2022 to April 9th, 2023.