Look twice

The Es Baluard Museum (Palma) invites Isaki Lacuesta to curate the permanent collection: (mis) appropriationism, disavowal, simulacrum and museological revisionism, in an exercise of fiction as a device to look at the works and question the viewer.

Look twice, text by curator Isaki Lacuesta

Synopsis and legend

In 2028, the Emir Abu Karem acquired the Es Baluard art collections fund.

The purchase was controversial on the islands.

But the emir guaranteed that the collection would never leave the Balearic Islands. In addition, he affirmed that he would invest in public housing, pensions, infrastructures and in the creation of the Aka scholarship, intended for incipient creators.

Thus, the emir bought and rearranged the collection to his liking.

After a few months, the journalist and local art critic Joan Cervelló denounced that the emir had introduced into the museum some false works, attributed to famous names.

Taken to trial, the emir testified that he had not committed any fraud. Unlike. He had enriched the museum's collection with works created by himself. And immediately afterwards he confessed that his objective, at the time of mixing false works with the authentic ones, was none other than to arouse suspicions in the spectators and that they would be forced to look at the works again, to look at them for real, that is to say that they will look twice.

They all understood that the emir enjoyed good judgment, more than anyone else, and that, in fact, he had foreseen everything and encouraged it when, finally, he not only refused to recognize what works were due to his hand, but he challenged art fans to distinguish the real from the fake.

Archeology and play: a cabinet d'amateur

After the 2028 scandal, Es Baluard denied the figure of Emir Abu Karem. It is understandable. The rooms were not shown again according to his criteria, as closely related to the tradition of Aby Warburg as to that of Georges Perec, Sturtevant, Max Aub and Jusep Torres Campalans. Karem saw the museum as his cabinet d'amateur, with a Baroque affiliation, but also as the ideal space to physically capture his artistic theories, his thoughts on beauty, order and, especially, pleasure.

Now, when enough time has passed and we finally have the necessary perspective, this exhibition recovers the exhibition concept of Emir Karem and his arrangement, and also the false works that, with such care, he infiltrated the corpus of the collection.
Spectator Warning

This tour of the Es Baluard collection includes an indeterminate number of erroneously credited works, counterfeit pieces and trompe-l’oeil, in the most literal sense of the term.

Thus, we suggest that viewers play with us to look twice. For once in their life, and exceptionally in the history of museography, visitors will be able to know at the end of the journey if they have made the right predictions and will find a list with the real attributions of each creation.

Beyond the game, the exhibition proposes travel in time: a path of echoes, resonances, analogies and dissonances. Ultimately, what we would like is for visitors to be able to visit the museum's warehouses and look at the pictures on the right and inside out, that they could appreciate the art that is hidden behind the canvas, on the backstage.
Ricard Anckermann, Hermen Anglada-Camarasa, Karel Appel, Miquel Barceló, Per Barclay, Georg Baselitz, Erwin Bechtold, María Blanchard, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Brossa, Maria Carbonero, Francesc Català-Roca, Toni Catany, Tito Cittadini, Diana Coca, Salvador Dalí, Democracia (Iván López i Pablo España), Erró, Vicente Escudero, Joan Fontcuberta, Rafa Forteza, Tsuguharu Foujita, Joan Antoni Fuster i Valiente, Alberto García-Alix, Antoni Gelabert, Juan Genovés, Pep Girbent, Susy Gómez, Juan Gris, Josep Guinovart, José Gutiérrez Solana, Elmyr de Hory, Sebastià Junyer Vidal, Anselm Kiefer, Imi Knoebel, Isaki Lacuesta, Wifredo Lam, Fernand Léger, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jason Martin, Roberto Matta, Eliseu Meifrèn, Manolo Millares, Joaquim Mir, Antoni Miralda, Joan Miró, Amedeo Modigliani, Pilar Montaner de Sureda, Robert Motherwell, Marina Núñez, Joan O'Neille, Aitor Ortiz, Pablo Palazuelo, Perejaume, Pere Pruna, Juli Ramis, Antoni Ribas, Llorenç Rosselló, Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Santiago Rusiñol, Amparo Sard, Sean Scully, José María Sicilia, Nicolas de Staël, Pazzis Sureda, Antoni Tàpies, Juan Uslé, Alex Van Gelder, Josep Maria Verger Llinàs, Wolf Vostell, Yannick Vu, Wols (Alfred Otto W. Schulze)