The Macba vindicates the art of weaving in a retrospective of Teresa Lanceta

  • Coexistence with Berber women, experiences in the Raval and the battle of the Ebro during the Civil War, very present in the exhibition with more than 200 works by the Barcelona artist

The act of weaving is for Theresa Lancet (Barcelona, ​​1951) “a critical activation of the imagination that goes beyond material limits and allows knowledge to be transformed and transmitted”. The Catalan textile artist now exhibits her work in the exhibition ‘Knitting as open source’, housed in the Macba until September 11.

A retrospective, but not chronological, journey that reviews Lanceta’s career from the 1970s to the present, curated by Laura Vallés and Nuria Enguita, director of the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM), which co-organizes the exhibition.

The Macba houses more than 200 works, including tapestries, canvases, paintings, drawings, writings and videos. A creative work vindicates the value of traditional weaving techniquesdiscipline that Lanceta considers one of the first languages ​​that allowed communication between very different cultures.

The exhibition is organized in five rooms with different themes. In the first, ‘Fabrics’, a mural made up of dozens of pieces hanging from the ceiling is shown, showing the evolution of the artist’s work. Works such as ‘Jacob dreamed’ (1984), ‘Bigna Kouni’ (1984) and ‘Bonaire’ (1983) are in this section, that of weaving as a technique. “Pure and hard thread, the easiest way to create. Horizontal lines, diagonals, triangles… simple geometry. This stage did not last long for me,” says Lanceta.

Later, the weaver began to be inspired by the textile tradition of the Middle Atlas. In ‘Don’t buy the hours’, the second room, the original fabrics of Berber women and other indigenous populations take on great importance, and the value of the pieces is reconsidered regardless of their production time. In other words, it is not only the effort or time dedicated that matters, but also the beauty of the ornamental. Art is not a commercial discipline but one of affective bonding.

in the Raval

Lanceta points out the third room as his favourite: ‘Waiting for the future’, dedicated to the time he lived in the raval, where he shared experiences with the gypsy community. It shows a set of works that arise from the experiences and memories of the artist in her formative years, from 1969 to 1985, in the Barcelona neighborhood, the then Chinatown. That is why many of them are named after some of the streets in the city where she lived, such as ‘Obradors 5’ (2020) or ‘Gardunya 9’ (2020). “I have lived in many places, but none like this. El Raval is a neighborhood that gives more than it receives, it is full of vitality, it practically sustains Barcelona,” the artist affirms with affection.

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In the fourth room, ‘El Paso del Ebro’, the sweet family travel memorieswith the historical memory of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Memory of two radically opposite situations that find their union in a geographical coincidence. Writings, photographs, videos and five fabrics – among which the one that Lanceta’s grandmother used to store bread stands out – reveal two versions of a past with a common scenario.

Finally, a fifth room shows the project ‘The trades of the Raval’ (2019-2022), a collaboration with the students and teachers of the Miquel Tarradell Institute, in which a digital map is created based on the work stories of the participants and their families. It aims to highlight the multiple perspectives and trajectories that converge in the same place, the Raval.

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