Press Release

Dan Gunn is pleased to announce the second solo exhibition by Adrià Julià at the gallery.

Adrià Julià’s rigorously researched practice engages with memory, displacement and erosion. His film and sculptural installations reconsider the limits of performance, setting history against the present and examining interpretations of histories and societies. This multilayered research evokes theatricality and truthfulness, considering mutation of forms and meanings and their visual possibilities.

The video and sound installation at Dan Gunn uses each of the three rooms of the gallery as different elements in the work, one for sound, one for viewing and one for image. Based on almost 300 images of vintage postcards of the Los Angeles freeway system from the 1940s to 1990s which he found for sale on Ebay, Julia uses iPhoto to create a randomly selected slideshow, continually looping, in which the order and combination of images is constantly changing. Playing separately is a soundtrack of the original messages written on the backs of the postcards, transcripted into a text document and dictated by an electronic voice from the computer. The soundtrack and slideshow are therefore never in exactly the same combination.

The title for Julià’s new video and sound installation is taken from Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, in which he dissects the phrase, “I love you”. Drawing upon literary examples, Barthes asks what it means when we state that we love someone. Julià also considered Hartmut Bitomsky’s film Reichsautobahn: Highways of the Third Reich, 1986 and considers the history of the highway system in both Germany and Los Angeles and the relationship between technology and change and human experience and narratives. The anonymity of the computerized voice contrasts with the personal messages written on the postcards to question notions of closeness and expression of sentiment.

There will be a talk between the artist and the curator Natasha Ginwala at the gallery on Saturday, 11th April at 7pm.