Juan Cruz. Catalogue: It Will Seem a Dream. February 18–June 4, 2017. MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon. Leon – Spain

Catalogue: It Will Seem A Dream is a retrospective exhibition of works by Juan Cruz, an artist born in Palencia who has lived in London since he was ten and who has produced interesting works over the past three decades that have seldom been seen in Spain, partly due to the scarcely objective nature of his production. The idea is to trace his evolution from the nineties to date, but in a somewhat peculiar fashion: Cruz chooses a series of original texts related to some of his works, and publishes a book and shapes an exhibition with them, thereby generating a series of new relations that explain the works and the texts, opening them up to new and updated interpretations. As a result of the connections between works and between texts, the exhibition appears as a single installation rather than as a sum of works that unfold in space.

The oeuvre of Juan Cruz (Palencia, 1970) is usually associated with the motif of translation and all that it implies, with the literal and metaphoric, the cultural and linguistic exploration of texts and even of objects through words and mediated experiences, and finally with the structure of a presence or an identity in cultural construction. However, in the project entitled Catalogue: It Will Seem a Dream conceived for the MUSAC the texts related to some of the works and writings produced during his career take centre stage through a book and an exhibition that is noticeably a single spatial installation.

The process of translation in Juan Cruz’s oeuvre acts as a metaphor of the visual representation that the artist extends to a wide range of media that are scarcely material or objective and include performance, drawing, audio, sculpture, photography and, more recently, streaming. Throughout his career he has also used writing in many different ways. One of them, on which this project focuses, has to do with those textual constructions that refer to, stem from, or accompany some of his most well known pieces.

This project resembles a retrospective, yet it does not present a chronological vision of Cruz’s oeuvre but suggests paths between multiple layers and interests that have remained constant throughout his trajectory. The ‘retrospective’ is a convergence where suggestions and images are elaborated through revisitations, juxtapositions, displacements, accumulations and even superimpositions of layers of meaning. This way of operating evokes archival practices, for it collects and arranges materials to reconstruct facts and fictions. However, unlike such practices, Cruz’s methodology is capable of resting more on the fictional than on the factual.

Curatorship: Manuel Olveira
Coordination: Helena López Camacho