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Loreto Martínez Troncoso. Entering the work I

Loreto Martínez Troncoso. Entering the work I


28 January 2011 - 27 March 2011
Exhibition rooms on the first floor
Tuesday to Saturday (holidays included ) From 11am to 9pm. Sundays, from 11am to 3pm
MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo
Agar Ledo
Iñaki Martínez Antelo




With Loreto Martínez Troncoso’s show, the MARCO opens a cycle of exhibitions, titled ‘ENTERING THE WORK’, which will run for several months in the galleries of the first floor and whose title is borrowed from the celebrated piece by Giovanni Anselmo, Entrare nell’opera (1971). The paradox that surrounds the concept of spectator and which situates the latter somewhere between passivity and action is the departure point of this series of projects, which analyses the public, the visitor, the viewer, and the audience as an integral part of the work.


Loreto Martínez Troncoso (Vigo, 1978) builds situations from texts, the written or spoken word, language and silence. The exhibition at the MARCO – the artist’s first individual show – brings together works made between 2009 and 2011 – two sound pieces, a small library, a plant, a facsimile of an oil on canvas by an anonymous artist, a video, a text on a transparency, a thought on a wall, and a slide projection – most of which serve as documents of the artist’s creative process. Her most recent piece, a sound installation titled ‘No sé si me da miedo la muerte, no sé casi nada desde que llegué al mar’ [sobre el miedo, esbozo#1] [‘I don’t know if I am afraid of death, I hardly know anything at all since I came to the sea’ (On fear, sketch #1)], is the result of several workshops and interviews the artist carried out with groups of secondary (IES Val Miñor, Nigrán), primary and preschool children (CEIP García Barbón, Vigo), and adults, and is accompanied by a selection of drawings by the workshop participants.




‘Entering the Work’ is a cycle of exhibitions which will run for several months in the first-floor galleries of the MARCO. The title is taken from Giovanni Anselmo’s celebrated piece, Entrare nell’opera (1971), a photographic emulsion on canvas, in which the artist photographs himself crossing a hillside in an action we interpret as revelatory of the relationship between the artist and his work and between space and time. The artist alters his role to generate a situation of integration, causing the spectator to react also, who, while without actually physically entering the work, nevertheless participates in it as a witness of the rupture of the limits traditionally dividing subject and object. The piece’s ultimate meaning, therefore, resides in the viewer’s reaction.

The fundamental role of the viewer in the creation of the artwork has informed discussions and essays in recent decades. Throughout the 20th century there arose a number of concepts a propos the open work, the emancipated spectator and the death of the author, and the role of the public, by virtue of either its physical presence or its need to involve itself actively, became essential for an artwork to become considered complete. The artist ceased to be the pivot of the process and, as Douglas Crimp has noted, the coordinates of perception were defined not just by the encounter of spectator and work but also by the space they occupied. To what extent does the public actually need to be before an artwork? Does not the simple fact of looking count for something?

The paradox surrounding the concept of spectator and which situates the latter somewhere between passivity and action is the departure point of this series of projects, which analyses the condition of the public as an integral part of the artwork. The direct relationship between the two, that is, their physical exchange and immediate reciprocity, generates a new dimension in which time and space alter the conditions of reception and perception.

The cycle ‘Entering the Work’ opens on 28 January with Loreto Martínez Troncoso, continues in April with Wilfredo Prieto (Sancti-Spiritus, Cuba, 1978), is followed by proposals by Rubén Grilo (Lugo, Spain, 1981), Karmelo Bermejo (Malaga, Spain, 1979), Judi Werthein (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1967), and Amaya González Reyes (Sanxenxo, Pontevedra, Spain, 1979).

Loreto Martínez Troncoso


Loreto Martínez Troncoso (Vigo, 1978) builds situations from texts, the written or spoken word, language and silence. Her letters, lectures, speeches and narratives speak to a necessary visitor, an addressee without whom there is no work and who acts as the receptor of the word and its transpositions.

Loreto Martínez Troncoso’s work is essentially immaterial and adopts different guises according to the context in which it unfolds, but it almost always presents a common thread: the constant calling into question of language, its established forms and addressees.

Her first performances deal with the concept of here and now, and we find this again in her recordings and sound pieces, thereby evincing a constant search, a non-answer, the ongoing rewriting of a single text that unfolds as autofiction.

In her proposal for the MARCO, the artist explores such themes as disappearance, memory and fear through either existing pieces and documents or fresh output built from quotations and superimpositions. Her works are palimpsests that reveal the power of language, and where intertextuality is a vehicle of communication. These transmission devices are central to her endeavour to establish a direct relationship with the public.


Loreto Martínez Troncoso

Loreto Martínez Troncoso was born in Vigo in 1978. She currently lives and works in Porto and Paris. In 1999 she transferred from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Vigo to the Fine Arts School of Bordeaux and the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts of Lyons, where she completed her studies. In the years following this, she was awarded several residencies in cities such as Budapest, Hendaye, San Sebastián, Leon, Porto and Paris. Some of her most remarkable exhibitions and actions have been seen in Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (Paris), Georges Pompidou Centre (Paris), Arteleku (San Sebastián) and Fundação Serralves (Porto); group shows include Urbanitas (MARCO, Vigo, 2006), Arte e investigación 07 (Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria) and El medio es el museo (MARCO, Vigo / Koldo Mitxelena, San Sebastián, 2008). She has also given workshops, published texts, and worked in collaborative projects as an integral part of her career. Loreto Martínez Troncoso is presently taking part in the artistic project Mugatxoan (

“Born 1978…, 1999 leaves for…, awarded scholarship for…, works with… 2000 praised for… 2001 takes part in…, shortlisted in… 2002 praised for…, bought for…, strings pulled for by… in…, video-projected in…, 2003 considered a French artist by… for…, announced as a ‘one-woman-show’ for…, video-installed in…, collaborates with…, 2004 collaborates with…, takes part in…, considered ‘an artist that works on’… for… by…, makes a reading as part of the… 2005 carte blanche in the…, ‘recommended’ as artist ‘worthy of the highest interest’ by…, candidature => held back for…, proposal of… rejected by…, considered ‘not politically correct’ by…, takes part in the exhibition…, presents herself as ‘conformist’ and does not perform in the festival x where is presented as ‘France’, awarded scholarship by… for… 2006 takes part as ‘young Galician artist’ in…, rejected in the Salón del Jardín and outside for… stripteases in…, in… and in… 2007 swats a fly in…, becomes a video-projection in…, In-presents herself…, protocols herself… 2008 departs En el camino…, her word(s) count or not in…, talks in a loop for exactly three months and seven days in the…, mediumizes herself and ‘shows a pessimistic outlook of life’ during…, showsifies herself in … and announces that the next time she will do a comedy…, is considered as a ‘creation of gender in Galicia’ in…, loses her mouth in…, 2009 is announced as an ‘atypical artist […] promises appetizing surprises’ during…, documents and registers herself in first person in…, finally gains first prize with (?)… dreams (and) does a ‘— … nice performance for a Sunday’ in the… and an ‘—…optimistic!’ conference with… as a lone man or… a solitary man in, in… gains first prize with… does not do a comedy… but instead quelque chose de spectaculaire with… at… la ferme (?)…, amongst other things.”


Loreto Martínez Troncoso, 2009

“Loreto Martínez Troncoso was born in, lives and works in. Her work consists essentially of who questions the between and. In recent years, has pursued an enquiry into, a mental space where the and the evoke the construction of. Imagines and puts in place not to adapt herself to. Has recently introduced principles in her works which, via a montage between and, or the introduction of a voice of, produce new sets in distance and effects of. Has worked with and exhibited in, at, in and in the and her latest projects have taken place in, at, on, and inat and inatonatin. With the aim of developing new, broadens her searches through the particularly and avails herself of the stop, thus committing the with, etc.”


LMT, 2010


 Loreto Martínez Troncoso

Performances (selection)

16.10.10 ¿Cómo asustar al pulpo? (sorcellerie culinaire), programme ‘Les Interlocuteurs III - Les Fausses confidences’, Printemps de septembre, Toulouse

20.06.10 Los escapados, Festival In-Presentable, La Casa Encendida, Madrid

07.06.10 Voyage autour de ma chambre et/ou Une chambre à moi pourraient être le(s) titre(s), si est-ce qu'un titre faudrait donner (et/ou entre parenthèse: (une lecture-performance pour un dimanche)), Fiction/Lectures performées #3, Espace Paul Ricard, Paris

18.12.09 Finalement (je/on finira/i avec?), Festival Reims Scènes d'Europe

28.11.09 La ferme! (soliloque d'un insomniaque), ‘Treasures for Theatre’, Centre d'art La Ferme du Buisson, Marne-la-Vallée

02.11.09 Un jour j'aimerais faire une comédie/et quelque chose de spectaculaire, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, ‘Nouveau Festival’, in collaboration with Jochen Dehn

24.10.09 Finalement (je/on finira/i avec?), closing act Wake up, please!, Le Quartier, Quimper

17.10.09 Heureux à Gentilly, Festival ‘frasq’, Le Générateur, Gentilly

24.09.09 Printemps de septembre (radiophonic piece), Toulouse

15.03.09 Título possível, se título houvesse: Y ¿(ahora) qué?, Ciclo DOCUMENTE-SE! Registos na primeira pessoa. Fundação Serralves, Porto

13.02.09 MUSIQUE DE SALON. Concert with Proxima Centauri. OPUS 9.1, TNT Manufacture de chaussures, Bordeaux

Group Exhibitions

2010 Les Vagues, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou. Curator: Emilie Renard

2010 Video screening, àngelsbarcelona, Barcelona

2010 Fréquence #2, Transpalette, Bourges. Curator: Leonor Nuridsany

2009 Treasures for theatre, Centre d'art La Ferme du Buisson. Marne-la-Vallée. Curator: Julie Pellegrin

2009 Wake up, please!, Le Quartier, Quimper. Curator: Keren Detton

2009 Peinture show, MOHLL'148 homestudioshow, Aubervillers

2009 Its somewhat ambitious title was ‘The Book of Life’, and it attempted to show how much an observant man might learn by an accurate and systematic examination of all that came in his way. It struck me as being a remarkable mixture of shrewdness and of absurdity. A SUPER, Paris. A proposal by Elodie Henrion

2008 El medio es el museo, MARCO, Vigo / Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, Donostia-San Sebastián. Curators: Pablo Fanego and Pedro de Llano

2008 Marxes e mapas. A creación de xénero en Galicia. Auditorio de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela. Curators: Chus Martínez and Xosé Manuel Lens

2007 We can’t be stopped. Galerie Nuke, Paris. Curator: Julie Pellegrin

2006 Urbanitas. MARCO, Vigo

2005 Mots d’ordre mots de passe. Espace Paul Ricard, Paris


2010 Los topos. In collaboration with Vassilis Salpistis

2010 Los escapados - la gravité est une illusion provoquée par le manque de légèreté / il y a peu de chance qu'il y ait quoi que ce soit qui change

2009 Pintura hablante. In collaboration with Vassilis Salpistis

2009 Recuperados. Stage design: António Júlio. Assistant stage design: Loreto Martínez Troncoso. Adaptation. António Júlio, Loreto Martínez Troncoso, TUP, Teatro Universitario do Porto. Presented at Fundação José Rodrigues, Porto / RITU (Rencontres Internationales de Théâtre Universitaire), Théâtre Universitaire Royal de Liège

2006-2007 B.A.T / Beautiful Animals Trying. A project by Ion Munduate in collaboration with Amaia Urra and Loreto Martínez Troncoso. Presented at Arteleku, Donostia-San Sebastián / Festival In-Presentables, La Casa Encendida, Madrid / Espace Pier Paolo Pasolini, Valenciennes

Published writings (selection)

2010 ‘It's Too Late to Say Littérature (aujourd'hui recherche formes désespérément)’, in the review ah! #10, conceived/proposed by Jean-Charles Massera

2009 ‘… mais où ê(te)s-vous/tu physiquement?’, in Hypertexte n°2, Principes de plaisir, principes de réalité

2009 ‘¿Te acuerdas de lo que me acuerdo? Gogoan al duzu nik gogoan dudana? Do you remember what I remember?’, in ZEHAR#65 PERFORMANCEDITION

2009 Cher toi.doc, ouestwesthereview:

2009 RoToR#1

2008 ‘Dans le flot de la vie (texte)’, in bs n°2. Le journal de Bétonsalon


01.05.2010 Ce que je voudrais le plus au monde…, L'Ecole Le Four, Lognes. La Ferme du Buisson, Centre d'Art et de Culture de Marne-la-Vallée

03.04.2010 C'est arrivé près de chez vous, ‘PIE Fiction d’écrire une œuvre’ project, MAC/VAL, Musée d’art Contemporain, Vitry-sur-Seine

2008-2009 Écrire et créer des situations, ‘PIE Fiction d’écrire une œuvre’ project, MAC/VAL, Musée d’art Contemporain, Vitry-sur-Seine

2006 (se) présenter à un public (pour dire) quelque chose, École des Beaux Arts de Rennes

2005 Écriture… identité, frontière, Lycée d'Esthétique, Domaine d'Abbadia, Hendaye


Curatorial text

“Loreto Martínez Troncoso uses words as vehicles of transmission; words which she transposes to invest them with new meanings and create new situations. Her works are palimpsests in which intertextuality is an instrument for communication, and her actions manifest themselves in the artist’s physical presence or through devices intended to act as a medium for the text, monologue, discourse or conference.

Loreto Martínez Troncoso’s work is essentially immaterial. Her first performances arose from very specific moments and assumed the protocols established for each particular context: events, exhibition openings, press conferences… The act of ‘taking the floor’ gave rise to concepts such as here and now and came to constitute the core content of the pieces. Questions such as ‘What is action?’ and ‘How and when does it begin?’ derive from the artist’s practice or experience as subject-object, a condition which implies the presence of the spectator in a given time and place.

The idea of the audience as the absolute and inalienable addressee without which there is no work (to borrow Rancière’s idea in The Emancipated Spectator) is fleshed out in recent works, where the artist abandons spontaneous intervention and the word is transmitted via physical devices such as headphones, projectors and loudspeakers that the spectator activates – maintaining his condition of performer – in his encounter with the work and place at a given time. Absence functions as a transposition of presence, for, as the artist argues, ‘inaction, too, is a form of action’.

The exhibition presented at the MARCO is composed of re-readings of existing pieces, new output, and documents that deal with themes such as disappearance, memory and fear – aspects that surface repeatedly throughout Loreto Martínez Troncoso’s oeuvre and which the artist conveys using a language that shows her awareness of the power of naming or excluding. First in French (she studied Fine Arts in Bordeaux and Lyons and has pursued most of her career in France), then in Spanish, Galician, Basque and Portuguese (she currently lives in Porto), her works are articulated as fragments or quotations that respond to the exhibition room as in a space of resonance. Each of her works is like a work in process, a fragment of a greater corpus, for as the art critic and curator François Piron wrote in a recent text about the artist, ‘For some years now, Loreto Martínez Troncoso has built her work exclusively from texts; or to be more exact, from one single text, subjacent, resumed and expanded upon in different successive appearances’.

The exhibition begins with Finalmente, ¿con o sin título? —domingo, 21 de junio de 2009—, 2011, a spoken text that functions as a reactivation of a situation of a presence (and a present) gone by. Recorded on vinyl, it is activated when the viewer places the needle on the disc, thereby allowing it to exist for a duration of time which is determined by the visitor and the medium, with a beginning and an end. The text, a performance in which allusion is made to the search for new spaces to be addressed, traces the journey of when the artist first ‘began to speak’, or ‘to take the floor’, to the present moment, and incorporates another element that serves as a nod to the spectator: What is that plant placed next to the record player doing? It functions as a physical representation in the space, as a transposition to an object of a fragment of the sound piece in which we hear the artist exclaim, Boas noites, estou aquí dereitiña como unha pranta! [Good evening. I am standing here straight as a plant!]

Just as these words are directed at a ‘you’ in the plural form, the sound piece En la noche, 2010, is directed at a singular ‘you’, a sole spectator invited to take part in an encounter ‘between you and me’. Originally installed in the FRAC des Pays de la Loire as part of an exhibition, Les Vagues, mounted during the 24th edition of the Ateliers Internationaux, opposite the only window or opening giving on to the exterior of the exhibition space, it is now shown translated from French into Spanish and acquires a new temporality and location, its back to the outside.

One of the galleries displays gatherings or fragments of processes – documents we might say – or that which arises in the margins of works. The power point projection titled ‘Viaje alrededor de mi cuarto’ o ‘Un cuarto propio’ podrían ser el título, si un título hubiese que darle. Y, entre paréntesis: (una lectura para un domingo), 2011, functions as a visual reading made up of a gathering of fragments visualised, read, said, heard, written; extracts taken from a multiplicity of sources and authorships. Bits and pieces that exist in parallel with her writing or with her more visible work and which have been left ‘unpolished’. Composed in the manner of an exquisite cadaver, the ‘reading’ threads together different fragments to provoke impossible meetings, like that of an oyster and the anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre or that of Francis Ford Coppola and Nina Simone who, at one point, evokes one of the themes of the exhibition: ‘to be free is to have no fear’.

Loreto Martínez Troncoso evokes the ‘passage to action’ as a sign of freedom in the slide projection Pela estrada fóra, 2011, an autofiction built on snips of memories of a journey made alone along the Portuguese coast in the winter of 2008. An archive of a journey revisited later in pieces such as Finalmente, ¿con o sin título? and begun as a form of escape, it represents not the journey itself, but what might have come of this physical journey the artist undertook after announcing, during a performance in 2006, that ‘the moment for going far away’ had come. At that point her work acquired the connotation of autofiction and its content pointed to a continuity, to a ‘passage to action’.

These pieces belong to the ‘margins’ – the fragmented background – the artist is rendering visible now, which include a selection of drawings made in December 2010 following a series of interviews with pupils of primary and secondary education at García Barbón school in Vigo, in which she asked them to describe their reactions to fear. The device of the interview is something the artist had used previously since it allows her to ‘yield the floor’ to others, as seen in a piece related to this one situated in the far end of the space, ‘No sé si me da miedo la muerte, no sé casi nada desde que llegué al mar’ [sobre el miedo, esbozo#1], 2011, a sound installation on ten channels which talks to us of imposed experiences and education drawing on fragments of interviews Loreto Martínez Troncoso held in Vigo and Nigrán (IES Val Miñor) with people of different ages: children, adolescents, adults and elderly persons. Using these interviews, the artist invites the spectator to enter a dialogue to reflect on concepts such as fear, loss and loneliness. It is part of a long-term project on the theme of silence or on the impossibility of passing to action, on freedom.

Loreto Martínez Troncoso’s oeuvre integrates elements of these margins or hiding-places wherein dwells the invisible and whence the visible emerges. This is the theme of the piece Vergadering der Dieren, 1965-1975 [Assembly of animals], a facsimile of an oil on canvas by an unknown painter in the collection of the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. The artist appropriates the image and uses it as the starting point of a reflection on the dichotomy between outside and inside. The areas below ground, the places for retiring or hiding, represented in the lower section of the painting, take us to a hidden space where unaccepted or not-so-visible thoughts and attitudes live side by side. All inner energy reaches the surface by some route or other.

The exhibition ends with a transparency-projected text on a wall [Un día escribí, sin fecha], originally published by NEKaTOENEa, the artists’ residence Domaine d’Abbadia, Hendaye, and a special edition made by the artist for this exhibition. Next to these reads a thought projected onto a wall (hay algo que me afecta y necesito reaccionar, there is something bothering me and I need to react) which refers to the need to ‘pass to action’ and is analogous with the act of ‘taking the floor’. We continue to talk of transpositions and alterations, and of temporalities, such as those revealed by the library made up of books that the artist has read and will read. Inside there are exhibition catalogues – again, transpositions of works – and short accounts that accompany her in her infinite search. To sum up: remains, fragments, quotations, words; pasts, presents, futures.”

Agar Ledo Arias and Iñaki Martínez Antelo
[Extract of the text written for the exhibition catalogue]


Agar Ledo

Agar Ledo is Chief Curator of the MARCO Vigo, where she has directed and curated the museum exhibition program for the last decade. She has curated exhibitions by artists Ánxel Huete, Grace Schwindt, Gintaras Didžiapetris, Patricia Esquivias, Pedro Barateiro, Carlos Bunga and Diego Santomé, among other proposals focused on the analysis of the cultural production in Galicia and the social and political implications around artistic practices. Ledo has a Master’s Degree in Museology and training residencies at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (Norman, OK), Le Consortium (Dijon), Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon and ICI-Independent Curators International (New York). Her professional career has lead her to work at CGAC (Santiago de Compostela, 1998-2004), Fundación Luis Seoane (A Coruña, 2005) and at  the first edition of BIACS (Seville, 2004-2005), in which she worked as exhibitions coordinator under the guidance of one of the most far-sighted curators and art historians on the 20th Century: Harald Szeemann. She regularly writes texts for specialised publications and is member of the Grial magazine editorial board. She collaborates as a teacher in some of the post-graduate courses at the University of Vigo (MD in Contemporary Art, Creation and Research, 2016-2017) and at the University of Santiago de Compostela (University Expert in Cultural Management, 2015-2017; MD in Art, Museology and Contemporary Critic, 2008-2012).

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.