Small oranges from China

This exhibition suggests the possible subversion of an iconography thoroughly integrated into our culture – that of Christianity. It is a "Magdalen route" in which a 13th crucified female apostle shows us a different view of women belonging neither to the passive-virginal (pure-mother) or to the active-diabolical (impure-prostitute). This iconological route is by no means new, but it is one that is denied by the church as iconoclastic and devalued in lay spheres as reformist.
However, for this very reason, Nora Ancarola creates a guiding thread linking footnotes to traditional Christian texts with the innumerable pagan, fetishistic and pseudoscientific incursions that surround the religious world. The nod to feminism does no more than emphasise the facts and demonstrate what is inevitable, provided we are in the area of iconological interpretation.
"In 1997, among the rubbish produced by renovation work on premises at num. 4 Dr. Dou Street, the current headquarters of La Xina-art, some difficult-to-date pieces of unknown provenance were found. After more than three years of laborious work, the cleaned-up items are still impossible to classify, but cleaning and restoration means it is now possible to present them to the public. Dating tests give very varied results, which show that they are works made by countless hands pursuing a single purpose which has yet to be made clear. The discovery of the confluence of the orchards of the Elisabets and Carmen convents on the very site of the find and the rather unclear and mysterious disappearance of the Elisabets convent in the 19th century mean that it is possible to create snippets of a possible history..." A text by Elsa Plaza (historian and artist) subtly stitches some of the pieces of this story together.

Exhibited at:

Altarpieces and holy shrouds found in the basement of La Xina-Art.

Paintings. Installation. March 2001. La Xina-art. Barcelona.

Expand text by Elsa Plaza 1
Expand text by Elsa Plaza 2
Expand text by Barbara Verzini
Expand text by Conxita Oliver