/Artist research assistant / Calipsofacto Curators / Exhibition Catalogue

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ON AIR. Cristina Lucas

Solo exhibition at The Center of Arts Caja de Burgos (CAB), in Burgos (Spain).
25th January – 12th May 2013
Exhibition concept: Emilio Navarro and Cristina Lucas
Curated by: Iara Bouvnova
Artist’s Research Assistants: Calipsofacto & TRÁNS[ITO]
Cathalogue’s translations by: Ángela Suárez

From September to December 2012 Calipsofacto Curators assisted the Spanish artist Cristina Lucas in the research behind one of the three pieces articulating her last solo show “On Air“, exhibited at CAB Burgos, Spain.

Sin título, vuelan” is a huge installation composed of 400 images depicting fictional characters with the superhuman power of flying, from Helios to Superman; an anthropological look at mankind’s obsession with heights and conquering the heavens (a divine realm par excellence).

This installation is shown in one of the three rooms comprising this temporary exhibition, “On Air”, in the framework of the events scheduled to commemorate the one hundred years of air bombing in War History (1912 the first bomb was dropped from a plane in the so called Italian-Turkish war).
The exhibition aims at questioning the consequences of our achievements and progress, drawing a parallel reflection on the ways in which catastrophes are represented and recorded by humankind.


“Thank God man cannot fly, and lay waste to the sky as well as the earth”. 

Henry David Thoreau

The exhibition On Air is explained as a many sided piece aimed at presenting the process through which human kind has managed to reach the sky and from there has plummeted into hell. It talks about how humanity from the four corners of the globe, from its very beginning, has yearned to conquer heights, to be at the top, and from there, like Petrach at Mount Ventoux, contemplate everything. Height offers perspective, it allows you to control, attack, disappear, see without being seen, guard though the lattice formed by clouds. Going up always implies an intellectual effort, a disruptive search for reality.

Our investigation is focused on this first stage of flying, related to imagination, to fantasy, to the creation of fictions and narratives that explain the inexplicable and form beliefs, related to the creation of myths and stories that unburden humankind of its responsibilities. It has to do with the search for answers, with the belief in superior literary beings.

Who can fly? Why do they do it? What does it mean? Many things could be learned from the answers that may be found.

Calipsofacto Curators
(Sara Buraya, Jaime G. Cela, Elena Lavellés,
Jana Pacheco, Paz Ponce, Paula Quereda,
Cristina Robina and Pablo Serrano)

♦ Digital resource: On Air. Exhibition Catalogue 



 Cristina Lucas’ (Jaén, 1973) creative impulse stems from apparently innocent aesthetics, and images full of fantasy that cover a satirical narrative aimed at laying bare the instruments of political, social and cultural domination, as well as the hierarchical structures that have limited, and still limit today, individual free will.

By means of installation, photography, video and drawing Lucas has tackled issues such as patriarchy, feminism, religion, Western democracy and the human wish to dominate nature. Using plastic languages she digs deep into collective memory to overthrow socially accepted meanings and propose a corrosive and often iconoclastic narrative against the discourses that perpetuate inequality and violence.

With the proposition she brings to the Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, CAB, significantly entitled On Air, the artist confronts the ancestral human yearning to fly across the sky, the age-old drama of flying, with its hard materialization through the destructive processes generated by the mechanisms of power.

The installation Sin título.Vuelan includes a compilation of the characters from every epoch and culture on whom human imagination has bestowed the capacity to fly. Then, the video Lift shows a plane with a sign that displays the formulae measuring an aircrafts’ capacity to elevate, the scientific finding that turns the dream into reality, “like Prometheus showing a secret from the Gods to human beings.”

The deceptive innocence of this ideal is broken down in the next part of Cristina Lucas’ proposal: From the Sky Down, cartography presented in a three-channel video proposing an overview of the main bombings with civilian victims that have taken place since the appearance of aviation (among them Guernica, Hiroshima and Nagasaki), ¨a universal history of disgrace” that creates a strong contrast between the ingenuity of the means and the violence of the content, and that still exists today in the current supertechnological era, the era of  satellites and digital information: “Nonetheless, it seems that the fundamentals have not changed. Syria bears witness to this” the artist points out.

Caja de Burgos welcomes to the CAB an artist whose work is part of the collections from museums such as the Kiasma (Helsinki), the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris) and the MUSAC (León) and whose social commitment is a blend of critical humour, irony and thought-provoking imagination.

See interview with artist Cristina Lucas

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