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Próspera de Carme Nogueira

Próspera de Carme Nogueira


22 February 2008 - 11 May 2008
Espazo Anexo
Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11.00 to 14.00 and 17.00 to 21.00. Sundays, 11.00 to 14.00
MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo / Instituto Cervantes
Iñaki Martínez Antelo

Works on display

Intended as a continuation of the PRÓSPERA project presented last September at the Instituto Cervantes in Beijing, artist Carme Nogueira (Vigo, Spain, 1970) seeks to resume the dialogue she initiated then with the Chinese culture, this time drawing on a more familiar context: the city in which she lives and works.

Her proposal for the MARCO's Espazo Anexo consists of various interventions on display both inside and outside the conventional exhibition remit, and plays with the ambivalence attached to public and private places. These interventions include street actions, interior installations and video-projections, and an intervention produced with fellow artist Azucena Vieites on the back wall of the MARCO opposite the Espazo Anexo.



PRÓSPERA, by Galician artist Carme Nogueira, was commissioned to form part of the artistic and cultural activities organised by the Instituto Cervantes to mark the celebration of the Spain Year in China. Thus in September 2007, the MARCO of Vigo presented at the Instituto Cervantes in Beijing Carme Nogueira's proposal, which sought to bring the Chinese and Spanish cultures into dialogue while paying particular attention to the subject of economic and urban expansion.

The name of the project alludes to both the Spanish próspero, which originates from the Latin prospĕrus, meaning favourable, propitious or successful, and to the name of a Chinese bazaar in Vigo, the artist's city of residence.

Carme Nogueira's Beijing proposal consisted of several interrelated elements, including street actions, a site-specific intervention on the façade, and an installation mounted inside the exhibition room. The project is now enjoying continuity in the MARCO's Espazo Anexo, where the artist's understanding of the public space, the urban context, its uses and alterations, already present in earlier proposals, is further played out.

The intervention on the façade of the Instituto Cervantes building in Beijing is paralleled in Vigo through an action realised on the back wall of the MARCO in collaboration with the artist Azucena Vieites. The street action executed in China, which included a sales and distribution point of T-shirts with the word ‘Próspera' printed on them, acquires new meaning because of the difference in the urban, social, cultural and commercial contexts. And both actions are further mirrored inside the Espazo Anexo, where videos documenting the actions are projected onto one of the inside walls and the boxes that form that installation of the series entitled Refugios.

Azucena Vieites's intervention -a piece of graffiti art inspired on the front cover of the book New Feminism (Eds. Marina Gržinić, Rosa Reitsamer. Löcker Verlag, Vienna, 2007) designed by the same artist- was executed on the back wall of the MARCO in a quiet backstreet, just prior to the inauguration, at a late hour, and in almost total darkness, thus emphasizing the idea of acting on the margins of the established. Inside the gallery, the audiovisuals documenting the actions of Beijing and Vigo stand opposite one another to enhance the contrast between day and night, communal space and conflictive space, like a dialogue between partners. There is also a photographic installation above the boxes making up Refugios, the structure of which is based on a hutong, a traditional neighbourhood of small, shared houses that evinces the importance of the communal life in Chinese society.

Carme Nogueira's Refugios, made of cardboard boxes to human scale, suggest a form of spatial occupation associated not only with an architectural and urbanised context but also with the notion of in-corporation, of making a space part of the body: these are emotional and almost physical shelters that render us aware of the precariousness of our position.


Carme Nogueira

Carme Nogueira (Vigo, Spain, 1970) holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Salamanca and a Doctorate from the Univeristy of Vigo. Awarded the extraordinary prize during the doctorate course of 2001-2002, Nogueira has worked as an associate professor and researcher at the University of Vigo and benefited from a grant to attend the Hochschule of Berlin. She has also studied with Pedro G. Romero (Quincena de Arte de Montesquiu, 1990) and taken part in projects including the Atelier Christophe Colomb (Bordeaux-Seville-Salamanca, 1993); Encuentros (Bordeaux-Arteleku-Salamanca, 1993); Maastrich Biennial (1993), and Sólo para tus ojos (Arteleku, 1997). She co-founded the arts and culture review Fe (1995-1999).

She is author of La representación como puesta en escena: para una teoría de la mirada (Alfons el Magnanim, ed. Valencia, 2001), which analyses the convergence occurred between art and spectator in post-historical models of representation and explores the various strategies of cultural and political identity that underpin this relationship. Following this line of enquiry, she has also written a number of papers and articles, including Los otros espectadores. Identidades multiculturales (Univ. Vigo 1998), Reinterpretando el privilegio: estrategias de resistencia cotidiana (II Congreso de estudios postcoloniales, 2001) and La representación puesta en escena: contextos (Desacuerdos. Mutaciones del feminismo: genealogías y prácticas artísticas. Arteleku, San Sebastián, April 2005).

Among Nogueira's most salient exhibition projects are her participation in Idensitat (Barcelona, 2007), Nos Camiños (CGAC, Santiago, 2007), La ciudad interpretada (Santiago de Compostela, 2006), the project Travesía de Vigo, with Santiago Cirugeda (Galería adhoc, Vigo, 2006), the Refuxios series (Urbanitas, MARCO de Vigo, 2006; Metrònom, Barcelona, 2005/2006; Galería Adhoc, Vigo 2004/5; Coro de la Universidad de Santiago, 2003), Corpos de producción (Santiago, 2002-2003), El cuerpo extraño (Galería Adhoc, Vigo, 2001), Negro (Galería Visor, Valencia, 2002), Ecosofías (Sala Amadís, Madrid, 2000) and in the Bienal de Pontevedra (2000).


Curatorial text

The urban context with its implications, uses and alterations is the departure point from which Carme Nogueira has developed her most recent pieces. PRÓSPERA, co-produced by the MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, and the Instituto Cervantes to mark the celebration of ‘Spain's Year' in China, looks at the uses people make of public and private spaces and how transit areas are constantly given new connotations as a result of individual or collective experience.

The site-specific intervention realised on the façade of the Instituto Cervantes in Beijing in September 2007 acquires a new meaning in the context of the MARCO. The artist questions the uses of both places; and that first intervention executed opposite the Instituto Cervantes building is substituted in Vigo for an action in which Carme Nogueira, in collaboration with fellow artist Azucena Vieites, transforms the pedestrian street into a meeting point. The new action, whose imprint remains on the façade, again acts as a ‘false reflection', being reduced as it is to a single image occupying the front of the gallery that encapsulates the ‘unauthorised' public occupation carried out by the artist. The actions, the street interventions, the Refugios installation inside the museum, and the videos documenting her experience in Beijing all relate to the idea of public space as possessed space.

Carme Nogueira acts as a mediator between two institutions that have chosen her as the interpreter of a process in which the cultural is influenced by the economic, either because large-scale transnational negotiations are always thus or because of the popular image that is created. Conscious of the mercantile nature of routine international relations, the artist has centred her project on the Chinese bazaar in Vigo known as ‘Próspera'. Choosing a spot opposite the Instituto Cervantes, she set up a distribution point of white Lefties (Zara) t-shirts with the Spanish word próspera written backwards on the inside and its Chinese translation printed on the visible side. Resulting from the experience, the artist, now inside the exhibition room, presents an installation which evokes binomials such as inside / outside, interior / exterior, and Beijing / Vigo, the latter being where the project closes.

Iñaki Martínez Antelo
Exhibition curator


Artist's text

"How we behave, reveal or restrain ourselves, creates spaces which, though invisible, inhabit the context. Such spaces in-corporate attitudes to form new spaces, new ways of life, and constitute, in a sense, forms of ‘shelter' inside the social space. These ‘personal spaces' function in a similar fashion to those other forms of habitability which we refer to as popular architecture".

"These new personal spaces, when acting as either physical shelters or abstractions of emotional responses, ultimately influence the surrounding space in such a way as to alter its meaning. They deconstruct its signification. Just as physical shelters defy spatial planning, the conventions intended to give structure and meaning to an organised space ‒ or the emotional walls we erect when defending a personal stance, maintaining a critical distance, or defining our own terrain ‒ also transform the social context in which they are applied".

Carme Nogueira


Iñaki Martínez Antelo

Iñaki Martínez Antelo (Santiago de Compostela, 1969) is MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo Director from November 18, 2005. He has a B. A. in Contemporary Art History at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and a Master’s Degree in Aesthetics and Art Theory at the Institute of Aesthetics attached to the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid. After his period at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela (1996-1998), he led the coordination of exhibitions at Auditorio de Galicia (1998-2002) and also coordinated cultural activities at Casa Asia in Barcelona (2002-2003). In 2003, he entered MARCO, Museum of Contemporary Art Vigo, just after being opened, where he has worked as Head of Exhibitions and became director in November 2005. In February 2011 he was elected President of ADACE, Asociación de Directores de Arte Contemporáneo de España.