Blanca Gracia’s lost paradises

Text by Esther Cañadas

Tabú, Blanca Gracia

Blanca Gracia owns a personal universe, where she transfers beings that come from the present and, once there, he lets them interact with a fantastic environment that reveals their true identity. This is how the artist experiments with her characters the possibilities that human beings have of breaking with horror, contradictions and beliefs in ethereal utopias with a personal language full of expressiveness and vivacity.  

She depicts her concept and ideas in different formats: video art, watercolours and drawing will help her try and test –in a nearly alchemic process- until the elements create a dialogue that makes the message she wants to transmit be heard. 

Gracia has created a personal world with which to decipher and digest the reality that surrounds us. Through anthropology, philosophy and politics, she reflects on the passage of time, our society or our relationship with nature. Her universe always stems from the present, from actual, real images, that she decontextualizes to make them seem fictional. Her character are placed in exotic places, in the middle of a wild, idyllic nature, mixed with mythological or historical figures who, in the present, continually relive the same deeds of their past. It all helps to remind us that human beings still face the same miseries, utopias and contradictions. In other words: he still dreams with idyllic settings where he cans escape from the hell of his days and, stuck in a circular historic progress, he keeps on tainting his hopes with blood, hare-brained revolutions and stark brutality. Because history repeats itself thanks to ignorance and the incapacity of humans to break free from the inertia of their acts or to overcome their decadent condition. 

Gracia reflects about the human condition and, in a moment of uncertainty where solid truths are nowhere to be seen, she uses philosophy to give sense to an absurd reality that lays bare the struggle of humankind against challenges that is hasn’t manage to resolve since its origins. 

The idea of escapism, of exodus, of flight, the colonialism according to Plato, are all incarnated in contemporary individuals who flee from society towards uncivilized places where they will face new challenges: what is to be done with civic death? And in a world without a set of laws and regulations? Once the journey exploring his inner passages has finished, it is time to return to civilization, as if the journey had been cathartic and the human being had lost itself in order to find himself and be born anew. 

Sísifo, desfloramiento y Brexit, Blanca Gracia

Hay que imaginar a Sísifo feliz, Blanca Gracia

The landscapes in her works may seem candid and innocent, but they exude an irony and a symbolism full of messages with which Blanca Gracia tries to overcome the bewilderment of the world surrounding us. When her characters are expelled from the real world, when she creates and artificial context and she puts them in the company of the figures from the past, she manages to strip them down to their bare essence. So, once they have been stripped of everything that decorates them and hides what they are, they miseries and contradictions become more obvious and, by including figure from another historical context, she places them within humankind’s sad trajectory: incapable of improving, it drags itself along the same fatalities and insecurities. There are frequents allusions to do-goodery and utopias, to the natural world as a refuge to which you can flee and start anew, as a place where you can search for principles or solutions that will fail. Gracia analyses and reflects on the human condition in its most violent, absurd and primitive aspects, but leaving no traces of sadness in her work.