press release

Fundación Botín presents the 22nd edition of Itinerarios, an annual survey of recent trends in contemporary art. Since 1995, this exhibition series has been showcasing the current state of contemporary visual arts.

From February 20 to May 15, Fundación Botín's exhibition space in Santander will feature Itinerarios XXII: Rendering the Real, an exhibition which purpose is to offer a look at recent trends in the field of contemporary visual arts through the work of seven artists from the Iberian Peninsula: Daniel Barroca (Lisbon, 1976), Karlos Gil (Toledo, 1984), Nuno Da Luz (Lisbon, 1984), Paloma Polo (Madrid, 1983), Sara Ramo (Madrid, 1975), Teresa Solar Abboud (Madrid, 1985) and Belén Zahera (Madrid, 1985).

Itinerarios XXII showcases the result of a working process that took place in the course of the past two years. In order to produce this new work, the artists traveled to big cities or remote parts of the world; they researched on-site or spent time in libraries and museums; they worked alone or collectively, at times collaborating with others to carry out a common project. Their travels have taken them to Brazil, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon, the United Kingdom or to France.

Rendering the Real portrays the way in which each of these young creators trace elements of our collective and increasingly global history and ponder the notion of visible and invisible according to media exposure, revealing minute yet meaningful details or shedding light on a piece of information that either came and went or never made it to our multiple screens: matter that may otherwise never have entered our field of perception.

Benjamin Weil, the exhibition curator, states: "each artist unfolds a narrative based on her/his researching specific aspects of our infinitely complex world." At a time when the flow of information is relentless and can feel overwhelming, when the steady stream of information can result in a state of general amnesia, Weil thinks that "artists play an essential part in soliciting our critical observation of the real and in providing us with other tools to better decipher it." The idea of resistance against the prevailing model also lies at the core of some of these proposals.

The artists participating in this latest iteration of Itinerarios have used a methodology that seems to borrow from that of a detective seeking clues to solve a mystery, of an archaeologist uncovering important vestiges of the immediate or distant past, or of a scientist carrying out an experiment. They create narratives that tend to blend fiction and facts, somehow asserting the notion of reality as a construct. Their research extends into their contribution to the catalogue that will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.