22 October 2020 - 21 March 2021
It is in this context that Postmodernism and a global vision of the world became established. It is in this context, which saw in art – but not only art – the relationships between individuals of different cultures and geographic areas undergo enormous change, that Surrealism and its ramifications gave way to the Surreal. That is if Surrealism offered images of oneiric visions, immediately perceived as improbable in the reality of everyday, the Surreal instead proposed real images that are hard to accept as true, to the point of being easily confused with oneiric or imaginary visions. Therefore, if Surrealism is the mirror of the individual’s upheavals of the unconscious, which are projected into reality as a work of art, the Surreal is the mirror of reality that is projected into the unconscious of the individual, causing upheavals. In this sense, Surreal versus Surrealism in Contemporary Art focuses in particular on images showing unreal situations that at first glance are perceived as real and on true situations, on the contrary, that are perceived as a figment of one’s imagination. Surreal versus Surrealism in Contemporary Art, curated by Gianni Mercurio and Demetrio Paparoni for the IVAM in Valencia, addresses this important aspect of today’s art for the first time. The exhibition shows that while the surrealistic concepts that developed from the early 1920s are still in the works of several important artists of today, many others have developed an aesthetic concept influenced by the languages of the telematic tools for the masses. The exhibition uses the term “Surreal” as opposed to “Surrealism” for the first time, thus giving rise to the formulation of an original critique. The exhibition is divided into four chronological sections, each of which presents works from a different decade, from the 1980s to the present day and includes works by: Matthew Barney, Ross Bleckner, John Bock, Monica Bonvicini, Maurizio Cattelan, Francesco Clemente, Roberto Cuoghi, Hans Op de Beeck, Nathalie Djurberg, Francesco Gennari, Dionisio Gonzalez, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Robert Gober, Douglas Gordon, Peter Halley, Carsten Höller, Shirazeh Houshiary, Michael Joo, Li Tianbing, Anish Kapoor, Oleg Kulik, Yue Minjun, Komar e Melamid, Liu Jianhua, Ma Liuming, Rudi Mantofani, Wangechi Mutu, Vik Muniz, Luigi Ontani, Tony Oursler, Javier Perez, Richard Prince, Neo Rauch, Marc Quinn, Shi Yong, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, Inez Van Lamsweerde / Vinoodh Matadin, Ronald Ventura, Wang Guangyi, Wang Qingsong, Erwin Wurm, Zhang Xiaogang.