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Alex Reynolds. Esta puerta, esta ventana ('This door, this window')

  • Art
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

This first solo exhibition for Alex Reynolds (Bilbao, 1978) in the Estrany-de la Mota gallery is made up of three elements where, stemming from different resources, the possibilities of sound art and diverse architectures are explored. When you enter you'll see that every third step of the access staircase to the exhibition room has been covered in pieces of black carpet, giving the steps the rhythm of a waltz and inviting you to go up and down trying to hit the rhythm. To the left is a screening of the film 'Esta puerta, esta ventana' ('This door, this room'), which lends its name to the title of the exhibition and which features choreographer and performer Alma Söderberg, and musician and performer Nilo Gallego. In this hypnotic film everything happens in a brightly lit room whose doors and windows are closed and where we see a drum set on carpet (the same carpet as the one covering the gallery floor), as well as a man and a woman. The man, Nilo, plays the drums and discovers the musicality of the space using the drumsticks. The woman, Alma, makes music with her body, hitting her hips, midsection and cheeks and emulating sounds of percussion. She also dances and sometimes hums and interrupts other voices of people we don't see, which, in a rhythmic and not-easily understandable way, mark the scene with images of a house we don't see.

The two characters, whether in or completely out of sync, investigate the power of sound  and the camera space without ever being onscreen together. The velvety noise of a rug that he drags all around the room, the tss-tss of the cymbals every time they're hit, the friction of the hand that brushes against the wooden floor, and the metallic rhythm of moving spoons, knives and forks around all create a feast for the ears that surprisingly wake up and alert the rest of the senses as well.

Before going back again to the waltz stairs, which take you to the exit, you come across 'Palais', a story about someone who gets lost among the doors and staircases of the Brussels Courthouse, and a drawing by the artist of the floor of the same building. It's a double piece that closes the triangle of 'Esta puerta, esta ventana'.

It's usually said that what makes an artistic project interesting is its resistance to interpretation, so you're not over it immediately. This is a place to come back to, full of doors and windows to look at and through time and time again.


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