Primer Episodio

Radical Conceptual Art revisited: A social and political perspective from the East and the South


Name: Isidoro Valcárcel Medina

Place and data of birth: [1934] Murcia

Place of work during the 60’s and 70’s (professional biography):

Come and Go by Valcárcel Medina
The work of Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, which took shape at the time of the decline of Informalism, questioned the status of the work of art, its aesthetic value and its role as exhibition from the beginning. In the works done between 1968 and 1969 there is an evident use of space as a conditioning factor in the variables of a work.

Indeed, in these pieces we can already glimpse what was to be a constant in his later work: first, the conception of the work as a structure in which dimensions of reality are shown - consideration of the particular place and time -, and second, a concern for the social function - understood in a broad sense, not the exclusive one of "condemnation" or "commitment" -, in other words, a concern for the attainment of what he calls an "inhabitable art" or an "art to be lived".

From the seventies, Valcárcel Medina gradually abandoned artistic language and embarked on a series of practices which range from experimental poetry, music and mail art to cinema, performance, installations and recording tape, which evolved over the following years. His work has never been limited to formal aestheticism, but at the moment, true to his career, his participation is aimed at dismantling the contradictions inherent to the symbology of exhibition spaces and the institutionalisation of art.

In the eighties and nineties, Valcárcel Medina continued to work on his artistic project without reneging on his stances of the seventies. His work has evolved from objects that might become art merchandise to a dematerialisation encouraging the appearance of an attitude which transforms awareness of perception, not so much into an art work as into an art experience. That attitude is what has enabled him to interrelate life with art, and art with a provocative critical reflection on reality.

Although he has been producing since the early '60s, Isidoro Valcarcel Medina was, until recently, unknown, even in Spain, outside a small group of followers. He works in a variety of registers, and his oeuvre runs the gamut from sociologically oriented proposals for public spaces, which he calls "Arquitectura premature" (Premature architecture), 1984-92, to works with a more poetic tone; and he is one of the few figures from the heyday of Conceptual art still working and putting forth...

Productions to catalogue/document
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Associated Metadata:

To attain the point of view

Under the proposal of

With attitude/intentionality

With geopolitical and economic items