Last Friday, January 31st, Guillermo Ros and Alberto Feijóo presented in Valencia the first volume of Unchained in an art crate.
A link forged through hours of conversation by WhatsApp, common friendships and dozens of attendances at events related to contemporary art, leads us to a visual archive that rejects linearity as a rule and is opposed to being understood directly. Unchained Vol. I is delirious and fragmentary; it is an exercise in montage and sequence that threatens to blow the mind of anyone who dares to try to decode it. Although, thinking about it, why would we want to do such a thing?
This volume functions as a codex that treasures the foundations of an iconic language generated over the last few years by Guillermo Ros (Vinalesa, 1988) and Alberto Feijóo (Alicante, 1985), a language that is thousands of years old and, as such, requires no text or explanation. Humour, sarcasm and irony are present in all the pages. Sometimes we stop to look for the dialogue between the images as they are presented in the book... Will it have an explanation? Will it be a chronological order in time? But all of them lead us to ask ourselves at what moment they were sent and their context: what year will that photo be in which Alberto is riding, which of the two will have sent those photos of a Spanish bar on a soccer day, why the gesture of that animal would captivate them, what importance will that plate of beans have for having been selected in this book, the conversation that will have arisen behind the selfie of Carles Puigdemont and Ai Weiwei, or why Guillermo is wearing a swastika on his head.
This archive is the result of years of dialogue between the two artists, personal messages typical of any millennial friendship that makes use of shared moments (selfies of both, with friends, characters from the world...) and discoveries on social networks. This book is an invitation to share a friendship marked by sarcasm and irony, a gateway to understanding a private code that has been forged over the years and now presented publicly. Although it seems that we will never understand these images in their entirety, the truth is that we end up intuiting their sense of humor, their artistic references, their passions, their hatreds and their fears. In short, we are faced with an archive that, taken to book format, questions the role of the artist, of the archive, taking them to the limit of political correctness.
For its presentation in A10, the authors of the volume used a transport crate of works of art that have intervened with elements that appear in the book but also with new codes that have appeared among them since they released the publication in summer 2019 and that they showed for the first time in the Fran Reus Gallery in Mallorca in the form of a shared apartment.