“CORREOS” is the title of the second solo show of Francesc Ruiz (Barcelona, 1971) at García Galería. The exhibition presents a set of reflections on various key aspects from his recent oeuvre: the site specific, distribution as a space for artistic intervention, and comic books, graphic design, and pornography as cultural materials to be appropriated critically. Recent projects such as “Edicola Mundo”, presented at the Venice Biennial in 2015, which analysed the influence of Silvio Berlusconi and Renzo Barbieri on the Italian media, or “Les Esses”, also presented last year at IVAM, where he analysed the connection between the New Wave of Comic in Valencia and the idea of the city-as-brand, already delved into this personal line of research.
On this occasion, the starting point for the work is the corporate image of the Spanish post. The itinerary of the exhibition begins with a first set of works that under the title “CORREOS” presents various groupings of objects that point to the various degrees of transparency and opacity, belonging, adherence or impregnation within a distribution system like the postal service, using the company’s graphic branding and colour. Yellow works here like in “Desvío para o Vermelho” (1967-1984) by Cildo Meireles. The apparent continuity that is thus generated reveals itself as a cloak or cape under which objects, merchandise and materials are transformed, making us think of the essence of the objects, the real, the false, and its limits. Monochrome surfaces that look like postboxes, or trucks, postmen’s uniforms, letters or packets, storage systems, illegal goods, unidentifiable shapes, images, opacity, and some involuntary actors will regularly add to the contents of the exhibition, connecting it to the real postal network.
The exhibition continues with “THE MIDAS TOUCH”, a détournement of a comic book that was distributed in schools. It was published by the Mail and Telegraph Business Enterprise in 1999, and narrates the journey of a letter as it travels from its sender to its recipient, revealing the postal service’s internal workings. The original text has been substituted by an English version of the King Midas legend, and the entire comic book has been tinted in corporate yellow, now transformed into gold. The result is an allegory of the historical connections between the postal system and both the monarchy and the accumulation of capital.
Finally, in the form of Ruiz’s characteristic panels, “MARCAR” brings together some of the corporate brands that the designer and artist José Maria Cruz Novillo created for some of Spain’s most important companies and institutions of the past forty years. From the logo of CORREOS, adapted and made popular in the 70s, to the logos of PRISA, ENDESA, EL MUNDO, COPE, PSOE, RENFE, REPSOL… Cruz Novillo also designed banknotes of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 pesetas, which were under circulation in Spain before the adoption of the Euro. His work constitutes an unparalleled example of ubiquity in the country’s iconography.
Francesc Ruiz has shown his work at IVAM (Valencia), Gasworks (London), MNCARS (Madrid) o en ARTIUM (Vitoria) and has participated in group show at the Venice Bienale, Salburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Fundació Miró (Barcelona), MACBA (Barcelona), Weserburg Museum (Bremen), Matadero (Madrid) CA2M (Madrid); MOCA (Shangai), MOCA (Los Angeles) or at Carré d’Art (Nimes) among others.