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MÓNICA CABO. There will be a Sea Battle Tomorrow [PROBLEMATICS: Artists in the Incomplete Story]

MÓNICA CABO. There will be a Sea Battle Tomorrow [PROBLEMATICS: Artists in the Incomplete Story]


29 April 2016 - 26 June 2016
Annex [main hall]
Tuesday to Saturday (including bank holidays) from 11am to 2:30pm and from 5pm to 9pm. Sunday, from 11am to 2:30pm
MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, in collaboration with "Unidade de Igualdade, Universidade de Vigo"
Chus Martínez Domínguez

PROBLEMATICS. Artists in the Incomplete Story

Programme of exhibitions curated by Chus Martínez Domínguez

Starting April 29, a new programme of exhibitions is housed in the Annex at MARCO, a space transformed into a project room in 2015. Faithful to the MARCO trademark programming style, this new line highlights MARCO's self-produced projects, both regarding site-specific works and cycles of exhibitions in which a single curator organises a year-long programme of exhibitions. All along 2016, art critic and curator Chus Martínez Domínguez presents the programme ‘PROBLEMATICS. Artists in the Incomplete Story’.

Taking as a starting point the problematic realities and circumstances which arise from the interaction between women artists and the art system, the programme here poses different questions regarding artistic theory and practice. Through four site-specific proposals the cycle materializes research, concepts, and poetics surrounding the works of each woman’s proposal.

Proposals by creators of different generations and genres ranging from visual arts to architecture or audio visual art — Mónica Cabo (Oviedo, 1978), Pascuala Campos de Michelena/Ana Gallego Palacios (Jaén, 1938/Cáceres, 1975), Xisela Franco (Vigo, 1978) and Carolina Bonfim (São Paulo, Brasil, 1982) — conform this exhibition programme of intertwined stories about representation, identity, politics and territory from a perspective which is filled with criticism, humour, subversion and memory. These are just a few questions of an extended discourse about the work by women artists, which always seems to be disposed or imposed in an incomplete stage, under construction and re-vindication.

The Annex at MARCO becomes the perfect metaphor of the spaces women artists are so familiar with: working in the margins, in resistance, in the hidden corners of the system. However, this project wants to rephrase the questions and insist on those places, to transform them into stories scripted by the artists themselves, using them as an opportunity to propose new realities by reacting against circumstances which limit, condition, and debilitate. Transversal thoughts in the form of actions; a present in which the question of genre is still taken as problematic.

On the occasion of the opening day, Friday April 29 at 7:30pm, an open meet-and-greet with the audience will be led by the artist Mónica Cabo and the curator Chus Martínez Domínguez.

Programming and calendar

Mónica Cabo
29 April – 26 June 2016

Pascuala Campos de Michelena/Ana Gallego Palacios
8 July – 11 September 2016

Xisela Franco
23 September 2016 – 8 January 2017

Carolina Bonfim
20 January – 26 March 2017

Information and visits

The gallery staff welcomes queries from visitors regarding the exhibition and offers the usual guided tours:

  • Daily tours at 6:00pm
  • À la carte group tours, by appointment only. For bookings, call +34 986 113900


Mónica Cabo observes normality. Not just any normality, but rather that which is based on a dangerous idea. The artist is suspicious of how we code, group together and value life. Hers and everybody else’s. A systematic paradox with which we approach reality, always peering into it to reduce any form of uncertainty, labelling our desires, behaviours and routines. A group of hermetic compartments favoured by a set design the artist finds as problematic as decisive and attractive for the activation of art.

Her works reach her spectators. They draw them into a subversive game, forcing them to face their conflicts removed from the coherence of their experience in the world, leading to new disturbances. The specific project for the MARCO proposes a thesis structured around issues that overlapped in previous projects (integrating experiences related to politics, society, leisure, sex and identity), but which now require interpretation from a complementary viewpoint.

There Will Be a Sea Battle Tomorrow takes its title from a proposition by Aristotle about the future: "there will be a sea battle tomorrow/there won’t be a sea battle tomorrow”, from which the artist creates a suggestive landscape around the idea of possibility. Thus, illusion again finds its way into her work as a concept, but this time closer to fatality. The Annex drowns in need but nothing in it is necessary. The space comprises four pieces existing in an eventuality that acts outside, against and from each object. The sculpture, a bicycle absorbed in its specular duplicity; the video with the scene of a dryer hanging from its cable, batting from side to side when it is turned on; the scaffolding, installed on small wooden pedestals, is used as a structure to hang a backcloth.

Four works that create an accidental present that rebukes the future. Will the future really happen? The answer seems painfully distant, abstract in circumstantial isolation of the representations; hitting the illogical body of the bicycle, the repetition of the unpredictable dryer, the eroticism of the backcloth, the inactivity of the scaffolding in order to trigger a series of associations in confrontation. Disturbing, imperfect, symbolically black, ironic with the space itself. The story is assimilated from certainty and simulation, perhaps understood as a metaphor of the system of art. And of the artist herself, self-portrayed in the disturbing video titled Self portrait (2013); transposing her own body hanging by a thread, at risk. 

The exhibition alternates moments of dynamism and stillness that put the public in a state of anxiety and surprise regarding the anomalous/unknown, with the instability and tension of an action that does not exist beyond the gesture in which it takes place: as happens with sex, gender, an argument, the creative act. It measures structures that are ambiguous and unpredictable. Pieces that add humour to everyday situations, which are tested and represented to reveal the connection between distant worlds, in which the gender issue remains the backdrop as a political metaphor for any practice generated outside the line marked as “normal”.

This exhibition at MARCO will be her sixth solo exhibition. In the first one, Ridy tu pley (Sala Alterarte, 2006) Mónica Cabo made a statement of intent, warning that she was ready to play. Fortunately, since then she has not stopped. She has contributed in an exceptional way to developing an active, renovated discourse in visual arts from the perspective of gender, borrowing the symbols and procedures of the queer theory. Located from and opposite what is in the margin, on the edges of what has been legitimated, of what is good and homogeneous. The uniqueness and talent of her work is evident in this exhibition.

Chus Martínez Domínguez


Mónica Cabo


Graduate in Fine Arts by the University of Vigo, Mónica Cabo (Oviedo, 1978) lives and works in Barcelona. Several awards and recognitions include the grant Workshop in Artistic Creation Fabra i Coat, San Andreu Contemporani, Barcelona (2013); the 1st prize of Plastic Arts awarded by Principado de Asturias (2012); and the grant San Martiño Pinario for artistic production, Xunta de Galicia (2005).

Among her solo exhibitions and projects are: Crossover (Sala Borrón, Oviedo, 2013); A Justine (In situ Space, Fundación Granell, Santiago de Compostela, 2009); Una pieza para tu mundo… (Sala LAI. Gijón, 2008); Safe Word (DF Galería de arte contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela, 2007); Ridy tu pley (Sala Alterarte, Campus de Ourense, Universidade de Vigo, 2006).

Between 2005 and 2016 she has participated in several group exhibitions in art centres and institutions such us: Museo Provincial de Lugo, Sant Andreu Contemporani (Barcelona), MUSAC (León), Fundación Luis Seoane (A Coruña), Blissland Gallery (Berlin), Sala Espacio AV (Murcia), MACUF (A Coruña), Espacio Menosuno (Madrid), Auditorio de Galicia (Santiago de Compostela), DF Galería (Santiago de Compostela), Museum Kloster Asbach (Alemania), Museo Miquel Casablancas (Barcelona).


Chus Martínez Domínguez

Graduate in Art History by the University of Santiago de Compostela, Chus Martínez Domínguez (Tui, 1976) is an expert in contemporary visual arts. She is an acclaimed art critic and a regular contributor to Babelia, the cultural magazine of the newspaper El País and the magazine Tempos Novos an also to other Galician and Spanish specialized publications such as ArtNotes, Arte y Parte and Artecontexto. She has written texts and researches on contemporary artistic creation and women in the art system and taken part in various research programs, catalogues and essays. She has worked for public and private institutions such as Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Consello da Cultura Galega, Museo Barjola, Gijón, Deputación de Ourense, Deputación de Lugo, University of Vigo, University of Santiago and University of A Coruña. Clear examples of her work as curator are exhibitions at CGAC, Auditorio de Galicia, Sala Alterarte and Casa da Parra, among others. Deserves special mention her work as coordinator at (CGAC, 2008), a ground-breaking website dedicated to Galician artists, and also her work as editor of the homonymous the publication resulting from this project. She has been a member of the area of Creation and Modern Visual Arts of the Council for Galician Culture since 2012.