Blueprint for the DisOrder of Things

April 12, 2022 - June 04, 2022

The colour of Indigo, the colour used for a ‘blueprint’ permeates this exhibition. The architectural refences associated with a blueprint - a means by which architects draw out ‘a plan for the future’ becomes paradoxical in the context of disorder. The impression of a universe out of alignment as a result of the vicissitudes of  the pandemic in the present has resonances to plagues of the past. The long association of indigo with trade-routes alludes to the economic routes by which The Bubonic plague and the current pandemic have been spread.

In The Order of Things, the English translation of Michel Foucault’s Les Mots et le choses (1966), the first chapter, Las Meninas, examines the painting Las Meninas by Velásquez, painted in 1656. This essay, etched into copper plates, became the substrate from which a series of prints, artist’s books, a video, and veils have been developed. The text is variously disrupted through absences, gaps, and overlays. The disrupted text is an attempt to find a visual metaphor for the way in which an ordered world, grammar, has been rendered disordered, unreadable.

Velásquez lived through the Great Plague of Seville,  1646–1652 occurring only a few years before his completion of the painting Las Meninas. This particular strain is believed to have arrived by ship from Algeria, it was spread north by coastal shipping, afflicting towns and their hinterlands along the Mediterranean coast as far north as Barcelona. This was the greatest, but not the only, plague of 17th century Spain. Blueprint for the Disorder of Things collapses time and space, moving between references to the Great Plague in 16th and 17th century Europe to references to the current Pandemic.

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