The title of the exhibition is taken from an essay of the same title written by Donald Judd in 1993, where he speculates on the differences between his job as a designer and an artist. In the former, functionality takes precedence over the symbolic, whilst in the latter it is only one of the many factors involved in the creative process.
Using this sentence as a starting point, David Mutiloa (Pamplona, 1979) takes a critical standpoint that goes beyond the exclusivity of the art world to break down the symbolic value of design. By doing so he is able to analyse the importance of market economy and its role as a reflection of the political situation in a specific historical moment, or society’s position within the cultural industry.
The artist develops his work by building upon a documentary base that often includes found photographs and publications. The incorporation of specific historical visual references provides the visual and aesthetic capital that rounds off the work, enriching it with a multitude of intertwined references. The resulting combination transcends individual singularity in order to establish the work as a case study that allows us to rethink the present moment.
Mutiloa has created “A Good Display”, a modular metal structure that fills up the entire space of the gallery, and which is a fundamental element of his exhibition. It is reminiscent -both technically and visually- of furniture from the mid 20th Century, a classic period for industrial design. The piece works both as a sculpture and as a display unit from which other works are hung, so that it is at once content and container. Whilst remaining functional, “A Good Display” is thought of as an instrument that allows for a subjective gaze to alter the perception of the artworks exhibited within it.
David Mutiloa studied Industrial Design and Fine Art at the University of Barcelona and the University of the Basque Country, and has participated in exhibitions at the Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Fabra i Coats, and Fundaciò Antoni Tàpies. He lives and works in Barcelona.