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Alejandro Vidal at MOT


Alejandro Vidal

Aesthetics of Violence May 21st – June 25th
Curated by Chris Hammond.

Lazy Sunday afternoon, laying in the park and the sun is shining. Nearby a group of people are standing in a circle, some playing makeshift instruments, others chanting and singing while at the centre of the circle two of the group are swirling and cartwheeling around each other in some form of dance. On closer inspection the dance seems more like a martial art, as between the acrobatics the opponents are kicking and blocking, each trying to disrupt the balance of the other. A member of the audience explains that this is Capoeira, a martial art developed by slaves in Brazil, disguised as dance to avert any suspicion that their masters might have of preparation for uprising.

Aesthetics of Violence is a solo exhibition of the Spanish artist Alejandro Vidal and a short lecture series, the contents of which will remain a secret, only revealed to those that attend.

MOT will exhibit two works by Vidal, a photograph, Identifying tools that aid in detecting Illegal operations (2005), depicting a young woman walking away from us brandishing a tripod and the video, Un tiro a todos los diablos (2003), in which three young men engage in hand to hand combat within an urban setting to the accompaniment of Gorecki's third symphony. As with much of Vidal’s work these pieces are deconstructions of violence rather than representations. You will find no blood or gore in his images, for Vidal is more interested in the potential or the moment prior to the act. Even in Un tiro a todos los diablos, the fighting is more a rite of passage, a preparation for a more violent world. Young men of all cultures play-fight as an intuitive training for adulthood conflicts, whether or not these are redundant within our societies. Youth culture appropriates the codes and positioning of the rebel, gangster or freedom fighter while the businessman adopts the way of the warrior as a tactic to clinch deals and rise to the top. Martial arts has become a way to fight flab and our natural lust for violence is satiated through simulacra, within cinemas, on our TVs and PCs, yet xenophobic paranoia is at a high point, there are more weapons on the planet than ever before and world conflict is on the increase. Vidal’s analytical research into the codes and anatomies of violence has never been more relevant.

Alejandro Vidal (b. Palma de Mallorca, 1972) lives and works in Barcelona. He has been shown widely throughout Europe with recent solo exhibitions at Gallery Adler, Frankfurt and BuroEmpty, Amsterdam. He has been included in various international group shows such as 'A pas de Loup' Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; ‘Personne n'est Innocent’ Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers and RAM6 CAC Center For Contemporary Art, Vilnius, Lithuania. This will be his first solo exhibition in London. There will be three unconventional lectures on the aesthetics of violence held at MOT during the exhibition. For details please contact the gallery or consult the web site, entrance is free but limited to capacity.

Adorno tells us that subjectivity becomes the aesthetic quality of an artwork only through ‘objectivation’ and is as such, ‘concealed’. You may want to take up Capoeira or perhaps, if feeling a little less energetic, take a look at Michael Haneke’s film ‘Funny Games’.


Unit 54 Regents Studios

8 Andrews Rd

London E8 4QN

+44(0)20 7923 9561


open Fri, Sat, Sun 12-5pm or by appointment

Off Site Projects

16th May – 10th July Paradise Row Shezad Dawood


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