press release

Things Things Say

Adrià Julià, Annette Kelm, James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Sarah Ortmeyer, Eulàlia Rovira, Francesc Serra i Dimas, Stuart Whipps, Haegue Yang; meaningful things from the Friends of Fabra i Coats archive.

Do you trust things to write human history? To speak on behalf of natural history? When do trivial details become vital? Things Things Say springs from the past of Fabra i Coats—an industrial complex once dedicated to the manufacturing of cotton thread. Taking on the genre of the ‘it-narrative’ in 18th century English literature—as well as the approaches of object journalism and microhistory—the exhibition tacks back-and-forth between exceptionally normal things and the extraordinary global narratives of labour, obsolescence, and the industrialisation of nature, that they trigger.

The Kipper and the Corpse (2004–ongoing) by Stuart Whipps centres on a restored British Leyland Mini from 1979, and the demise of the Longbridge car factory in Birmingham, UK. Haegue Yang’s VIP’s Union (2001–2020) consists of a gathering of furniture on loan from very important people: prominent figures from local society, including a retired factory worker and a notable Catalan politician. James N. Kienitz Wilkins presents This Action Lies (2018), a film that focuses intensely on a single white foam coffee cup from Dunkin’ Donuts. Eulàlia Rovira is creating a new work during the exhibition. A Knot Which is Not (2020–2021) enlists art things and things in the world. She doubts their reticence, trusts that they mean what they say, but not that they say what they mean.

Curator: Latitudes (Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna)