Keke Vilabelda

“For some years now, and thanks to the hyperconnectivity offered by digital media, the world has been immersed in a process of dematerialization and deterritorialization. It is very likely that these trends will accelerate because of the current crisis. The new forms of interaction to which we are becoming accustomed (videoconferences, teleworking, online video games, virtual reality...) mean that we can perceive a distant situation ever more closely. With this, we have gained the ability to enjoy exhibitions, conversations or landscapes thousands of miles away from home.

However, it is possible that at the same time we have been neglecting the value of what we have closest to us: our street, our neighbours, the small details of our closest environment... in short, what we have at hand.

Thanks to this crisis, perhaps we will learn to appreciate that materiality that we took for granted and that, with the measures of distancing, we have missed so much. Saturated with the flatness and coldness of our screens, we now take to the streets with a desire to touch and smell. To feel the vibration of physical reality, without filters.

Paradoxically, reducing short distances is going to be a long process, since it is very probable that the immediate and recommendable effect is the opposite: keeping us apart. In this sense I believe that painting and sculpture can play a crucial role, combining their double reality and reaffirming themselves as both material and thought objects. The artistic experience is not merely visual or conceptual, but has to do with the bodily and the haptic (relationship between touch, sight and hearing): it can be a bridge to bring distance closer, and also to rediscover what we have at hand.”

Keke Vilabelda

Untitled (Common Ground)

2020

acrylic and enamel on canvas and board

60 x 40 cms

About the series

‘Common Ground’ begins as a solo exhibition presented at the Grau Projekt contemporary art space in Melbourne, Australia in 2019, that is, before the pandemic. However, from the current prism there are certain elements that inevitably lead us to relate it to it.

The strangeness of what is close. These works present anomalous landscapes, out of the ordinary, which seem to be taken from science fiction, or perhaps from a remote place and time... There is an almost post-apocalyptic feeling of isolation... nevertheless, these are real environments, close and present. These views, captured from the technological eye of a satellite or a drone, are converted into abstract painting; foamy textures spread out on a canvas of pinkish water.

‘Common Ground’ also triggered multidisciplinary collaborations between different artists such as the musicians Etienne Haan and Jonathan Bell or the sculptor Leticia Martínez Pérez. These invitations were translated into video installations and performances, in which music and costumes were used to promote the idea of the explorer, of protection, of a dystopian future that we seem to be living in.

Keke Vilabelda

Keke Vilabelda (Valencia, 1986)

Born in 1986, in Valencia (Spain). Graduated in 2009 from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, in 2011 Vilabelda obtained an MA from Central Saint Martins University in London. He has exhibited his work individually in Spain, England, Belgium, Poland, Colombia and Mexico. 
The artist has participated in group exhibitions and art fairs in Germany, Switzerland, China, Italy, Portugal and the USA. Among his recognitions to date, the Prize of the Royal Academy of San Carlos, the INJUVE grants from the Spanish Government, the BMW Scholarship for pictorial research, the selection for SAATCHI New Sensations or the stay at the CASA WABI artistic residence stand out.

Keke Vilabelda's work revolves around the construction of landscape and architecture. His interest focuses on the processes of transformation of space, and how these changes modify our relationship with the landscape over time. Through the hybridization of multiple techniques and experimentation with a wide range of materials, as well as photographic and digital processes, his works refer to the heterogeneous nature of contemporary environments.