While traveling around Europe I started noticing different large scale sculptures in the cities I visited and also everywhere on the internet. I got so fascinated by them and each time I checked the titles, the same name would come up: Jaume Plensa. All of these works had one thing in common- their subject was always a human being. A human being from an admirers point of view. Now I had a chance to see a larger number of Jaume Plensa artworks as Macba in Barcelona inaugurated his first solo exhibition in 22 years. Ironically enough, Barcelona is where Jaume Plensa studied, works and lives since he was born there in 1955.
This new retrospective exhibition brings together his works starting with the eighties and up until now. The exhibition receives us with a sculpture of a huge question mark called “Firenze II” (1992). In Jaume Plensa words “sculpture is the best way to ask questions” and so he questions it all. Throughout the whole ground floor and outside the patio of Macba where the “Heart of Trees” installation completes this retrospective with self-portrait sculptures embracing trees.
Sculpture composition “Silence” (2016) is the only one in this exhibition representing his “signature” face shapes from the recent years. It is quite difficult to show this alteration in a photo but these faces look like they have been artificially elongated, due to a wrong frame aspect, as if that was a video.
The other installation I enjoyed and finished my visit with was “Matter-Spirit” (2005). It consists of two apparently identical gongs that are “activated” by a viewer this way flooding the whole exhibition space with its vibrations. From the “matter” or “spirit” gong I chose the “spirit”… and hit it a little bit too strong. The sound and thoughts about the exhibition stayed with me for the following few hours or maybe longer than this.