Mercedes Azpilicueta
Mise en abyme I, 2019
On loan, together with 22 other works, to the exhibition When in Doubt, Go to a Museum at The Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Curated by: Tevž Logar

When in Doubt, Go to a Museum is an exhibition highlighting the important role played by art collectors. It is being put together by a team from the City Museum of Ljubljana, with Tevž Logar as guest curator. By showcasing works of art from five distinguished European collections of contemporary art, the exhibition will shine a light on the role of collectors and explore why they are so important, both for artists and the entire art system.

Art collecting is extremely underrated in Slovenia. This exhibition, together with its accompanying publication, conference, guided tours and other events, can therefore be seen as an attempt to highlight the role played by collectors in today’s art system.

Part of the exhibition are works by Helena Almeida, Carl André, Diane Arbus, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Oliver Beer, Anna Betbeze, Etienne Chambaud, Jean Cocteau, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Rodolphe Delaunay, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Laurent Grasso, Richard Hamilton, Pierre Huyghe, Jean-Louis Igout, Alexandre Lavet, Henri Matisse, Wilfredo Prieto, Anri Sala, unknown amateur photographers, Andy Warhol and Ian Whittlesea. All works originate from a single collection that participates in Tlön Projects.

Mise en abyme I by Mercedes Azpilicueta refers to the story of Lucía Miranda, the woman that Argentine literature transformed into the stereotype of the white captive by indigenous people, giving rise to a scriptural and discursive cycle whose scope goes much further then the canonical expressions of the nineteenth century, turning the Captive into the body of the homeland in Argentina.
Azpilicueta evokes with this work a Baroque viscerality that is no longer just European, but also Colonial, and even Postmodern; a movement that she understands as a transhistorical force, or an expressive drive that inflames language, meaning and aesthetic forms.

The postcard with drawing was sent by Henri Matisse to collector and patron Michael Stein on August 7, 1909 from Hyères, France. On the reverse he wrote the following words: Since we’ve been back: 3 baths a day of 1/2 hour at least. Good sleep. Stomach doing better and vitality is sufficient. Waiting for you Thursday. Greetings from all. H. Matisse

Everyone — Gertrude Stein by Ian Whittlesea shows a chronological list that attempts to name everyone that Gertrude Stein met in her lifetime. Each name fades slowly up from black and down again. The series of names are projected in white in the daylight of the gallery space. Each name fades up slowly over five seconds, pauses and fades down to a period of blank rest before beginning again. The list includes roughly five hundred names and is not intended to be definitive but rather an on-going project to which the artist adds every time he finds a fresh biographical snippet. Such extraordinary protagonists as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Ezra Pound and Virgil Thomson sit next to family members and little known colleagues.

Oliver Beer’s body of work interrogates the physical properties and sentimental values of material objects and cultural narratives. In doing so, he casts doubt on the objectivity of perception.
British Bulldog (second half) is part of a series of powerfully illusory wall installations, in which ‘dissected’ objects, halved long-ways, are embedded in plaster plaques that lie flush with the wall.

Studies into the Past by Laurent Grasso is part of a series of paintings that is produced in collaboration with professional art restorers. It incorporates select imagery such as tress, figures and portions of landscape. The paintings are meticulously reproduced from famous historical paintings - such as Italian 'primitive' and Flemish period. However, the artist also integrates depictions of miraculous phenomena. These phenomena represent surreal and ambiguous juxtapositions of time and space.