From 11 December in the Agbar Tower.
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sundays: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Closed December 25, January 1 and May 1.

Water is the closest and, at the same time, the most complex element. Numerous approaches are possible. Water, waters is an invitation to begin an individual crossing. An exhibition with which we wanted to confront the issue of water in a holistic manner, approaching it from its vital, artistic, and literary aspects. Through prose, poetry, painting and photography, different authors propose sharing their contemporary reflections on water.

Nicanor Parra, Andrés Sánchez Robayna, María Luisa Rojo de Castro, Félix de Azúa, Pepe Moll de Alba, Albert Espinosa, Pedro Madueño, Suso de Toro, Din Matamoro, Marcos Giralt Torrente, Patricio Court, and Quim Monzó, offer their individual vision in an exhibition organized in five spheres: «Water, origin of life», «Water contained», «Overflowing water», «Water and its reflections» and «Absence of water». In each of the sections a literary text converses with a pictorial or photographic work. The result is a content which invites dialogue between disciplines, exchange, diversity and an opening up.


0. Introduction

NICANOR PARRA see bio and work >

Born in San Fabián de Alico (Chile) in 1914. Poet, artist, physician and maths lecturer, he managed to combine his scientific facet with literary and plastic creation, with which he achieved worldwide recognition thanks to his postulates on Antipoetry – a style closely linked to the 20th century avant-garde — and his visual poems.

He held chairs at the universities of Columbia, Yale, Havana and Chile. As a writer he has received, among many other distinctions, the National Literature Prize of Chile, the Cervantes Prize and the Pablo Neruda Latin American Prize for Poetry. He has likewise been nominated on three occasions for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

His Hidropoemas arose when, being at home in Las Cruces, he received a guest with their four-year-old daughter. The girl had never seen the sea and, on looking at it from the artist’s house, showed all the interest that can be generated in a child by the first sight of the immensity (and quantity of water) which characterizes it.

Download work of art (in Spanish) HIDROPOEMAS >

ANDRÉS SÁNCHEZ ROBAYNA see bio and work >

Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1952. He studied Spanish at the University of Barcelona and is a professor of Spanish Literature at the University of La Laguna, where he also forms part of the Institute of Canary Islands Studies. He ran the Canary Islands centre of the Menéndez Pelayo International University and the Debating and Critical Thought Department of the Atlantic Centre of Modern Art (CAAM). He has given lectures and taught on courses in Austin (Texas), São Paulo, New York and other universities. He founded the magazine Syntaxis and is a regular contributor to the specialized press. He has also supervised several published collections.

He has worked with artists such as Tàpies, Broto and Sicilia. Although he is a specialist in Golden Age literature, he has edited the works of contemporary authors (Tomás Morales, Goytisolo, Valente…) and has translated, among others, Wallace Stevens, William Wordsworth and Salvador Espriu. He received the Critics’ Prize and the National Translation Prize. He is currently running the Literary Translation Workshop of the University of La Laguna.

His works of poetry include titles such as Día de aire, Clima, Tinta and La roca, which have been translated into different languages. His anthology of poems El espejo de tinta was published recently.


1. Water, origin of life

MARÍA LUISA ROJO DE CASTRO see bio and work >

Born in Madrid, where she soon began her artistic training in the ceramics workshop Tanagra, the Círculo de Bellas Artes and the School of Arts and Crafts. A Fine Arts graduate from the Complutense University of Madrid, she studied simultaneously in the Faculty of Geography and History, in addition to drawing and painting in Amadeo Roca’s studio and chalcographic engraving in Oscar Manesi’s workshop. In 1983 she received the Carmen Anzorena Engraving Prize.

With a scholarship from the Juan March Foundation, she took a master’s degree in painting and drawing at the Pratt Institute of New York where, after graduating and holding her first solo exhibition, she worked in the Bob Blackburns Printmaking Workshop and New York Limited Editions workshop.

She obtained the prize of the I Cultural Rioja Painting Biennial and held her first solo exhibitions in Madrid and Mallorca in which, in addition to painting, she presented artist’s books, an activity which is an important part of her work. She subsequently participated in numerous exhibitions in different countries and Spanish cities. At present, she combines artistic creation with teaching painting and drawing.

FÉLIX DE AZÚA see bio and work >

Born in Barcelona in 1944. PhD in Philosophy and professor of Aesthetics, he has lectured in the Faculty of Philosophy of San Sebastián and in the Barcelona School of Architecture. He has published books of poems (Cepo para nutria, El velo en el rostro de Agamenón , Edgar en Stéphane, Lengua de cal and Farra). His poetry, up to 2007, can be found in Última sangre. He is also the author of novels (Las lecciones de Jena, Historia de un idiota contada por él mismo, Diario de un hombre humillado…) and his essays include titles such as La paradoja del primitivo , El aprendizaje de la decepción, Venecia and Baudelaire y el artista de la vida moderna. His most recent books are Ovejas negras, Abierto a todas horas and Autobiografía sin vida. He is a regular contributor to the newspaper El País.

Download literary text (in Spanish) UN POCO DE TIERRA, ALGO DE AGUA >

2. Water contained

PEPE MOLL DE ALBA see bio and work >

Born in Barcelona in 1966, but he spent his childhood and youth in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, his family’s homeland. He studied painting at the Freie Kunstschule of Munich, under the supervision of the painter Hans Seeger, graphic design and illustration at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Kunst und Medien, Merz Akademie of Stuttgart and completed his artistic training in Rome. He currently lives and works between the Canaries, Barcelona and Tuscany. He has held exhibitions in Perugia, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Valencia and Barcelona, among other places.

In the words of the art historian Antonio M. González Rodríguez, «emotion, balance, vitality, harmony and plenitude are the “quintessence” of the current artistic language of Pepe Moll de Alba».

Water has been a constant in his work since, in 2005, he began a series on the elements. In his oil paintings he puts forward a contemporary point of view. Thus, in his painting Agua 2 the figure of a swimmer in a bluish swimming pool is vaguely insinuated. «We are under the water, therein lies the modernity», the art critic Juan Lagardera said about this work.

ALBERT ESPINOSA see bio and work >

Born in Barcelona in 1974. Educated in the chemical branch of Industrial Engineering, at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, he is now a scriptwriter, playwright, writer, actor and film director, activities that he combines with his weekly contribution as a columnist in El Periódico de Catalunya.

After completing his studies, his first paid script (1998) was for a video which won the European Information Technologies Prize. In 2004 he wrote the screenplay for the film Tempus fugit, directed by Enric Folch, which was selected for the Sitges, Fantasporto (Portugal), Amsterdam, Puchon (Korea) and Monte Carlo festivals.

His production also includes especially the screenplays of the films Planta 4.ª , Tu vida en 65’, Va a ser que nadie es perfecto, No me pidas que te bese porque te besaré and Héroes. He is likewise the author of plays such as El fascinante chico que sacaba la lengua cuando hacía trabajos manuales and Los pelones .

On television he has worked on over twenty productions in different spheres, the most significant being the series Pulseras rojas — based on his book El mundo amarillo and on his own life and his fight against cancer.

A very significant curiosity from his life is that he set himself the challenge of changing jobs every six months to avoid burn-out «in such a fervent world».

In his creative process, Albert needs the closeness of water.

Download literary text (in Spanish) EL AGUA DE LOS ÁNGELES >

3. Overflowing water

PEDRO MADUEÑO see bio and work >

Born in 1961 in La Carlota (Córdoba). He pursued the majority of his career as a photographer for the newspaper La Vanguardia, which he joined in 1983. He has obtained the FotoPres Prize on seven occasions, a Gold Laus of photography, the Godó Photography Prize and an Award of Excellence from the Society for News Design (SND). At present he chairs the jury of the Godó Photojournalism Prize.

He has explored all genres of photography, although in the last few years he has essentially been required to produce portraits of prominent personalities from politics and culture. One of his most well-known images is the one which appears on the front cover of La Vanguardia on the election campaign day of reflection, an initiative which goes back to 1984, when he suggested that the candidates to the presidency of the Generalitat should accept to be photographed together.

He was the author of the official image of prince Felipe de Borbón between the years 2002 and 2010, and in 2010 he also took the official portrait of the President of the Generalitat, Artur Mas. In the last three years of Salvador Dalí’s life he became the only photographer with access to the painter.

He was Adjunct Lecturer at the School of Photography of the Polytechnic of Catalonia Foundation and of the Pompeu Fabra University, and he currently gives postgraduate classes at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Some of his works can be found in the collections of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and in the Vila Casas Foundation.

SUSO DE TORO see bio and work >

Born in Santiago de Compostela. Graduated in Geography and History, major in Modern and Contemporary Art, he is the author of numerous books of narrative, essays, journalism and theatre, some of which have obtained critics’ prizes and the National Narrative Award.

«Santiago de Compostela — writes Suso — has the reputation of being the point of the Iberian Peninsula which receives the most rainfall. Being twenty kilometres from the coast as the crow flies, the Rias bring armies of clouds here from the Atlantic. Stone and water are very familiar to me, so when I started to think about water all this came to me and it was very easy to imagine an absurd cicerone at the foot of a fountain guiding us on this subject», he continues, finally concluding that «the character may be impertinent, I am sure that they will be forgiven. Thank you very much.»

Download literary text (in Spanish) CONVERSAR CON EL AGUA >

4. Water and its reflections

DIN MATAMORRO see bio and work >

Born in Vigo in 1958. A Fine Arts graduate from the Complutense University of Madrid majoring in Painting and Chalcographic Engraving, he worked in the eighties on large-format expressionist and matter paintings, at the same time as drawing.

During these years and in the nineties he exhibited in galleries such as Oliva Mara, Antonio Machón and Seiquer, and he participated in group exhibitions such as the «First Young Art Show», «Circulando», «Periferias», etc.

The recipient of a scholarship from the Joint Spanish-North American Committee (Fullbright scholarships), he travelled to New York, where he studied screen printing at the Manhattan Center and lithography at the School of Visual Arts. Influenced by the new materials and the iconography that he found there, he used collage and painting wrapped in coloured plastics, with synthetic and cottony leathers, incorporating images from American culture and using different formats.

In 1990 he obtained a scholarship from the Academy of Spain in Rome and created matter pictorial work, full of colour, between abstract and figurative, with numerous references to animals. He subsequently took the colour white and light as his starting point, creating the series Pantallas, in which he eliminated images and materials. He also incorporated photography and, in the following years, worked in this direction, until he gradually returned to colour, to painting and to matter.

With the title «Mental images», a selection of these works was exhibited in the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC) and in the Centro Arte Moderna e Contemporanea della Spezia (CA MeC). He has likewise participated in collective exhibitions such as «Pintura mutante» in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vigo (MARCO).

He works with the Galería Trinta in Santiago de Compostela.

MARCOS GIRALT TORRENTE see bio and work >

Born in Madrid in 1968. He began his literary career with the book of short stories Entiéndame. He is the author of the long story Nada sucede solo, which obtained the Modest Furest i Roca Prize, and of the novels París (Herralde Novel Prize 1999), Los seres felices and Tiempo de vida (National Narrative Award 2011). With his book of stories El final del amor he won the Ribera del Duero International Short Narrative Award.

He was the author-in-residence of the Spanish Academy in Rome, of the Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf, the University of Aberdeen and the Santa Maddalena Foundation. He also participated in the Berlin Artists-in-Residence Programme in 2002-2003.

He is a regular contributor to the newspaper El País.

Download literary text (in Spanish) EL LAMENTO DE ECO >

5. Absence of water

PATRICIO COURT see bio and work >

Born in Santiago de Chile. He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Santiago, where he later became professor of the course Shape and Colour. He currently teaches contemporary art at the School of Architecture of the University of Talca. He has work in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo and the Museo de Artes Visuales (MAVI), all of them in Santiago de Chile, the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus collection of Munich, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian of Lisbon and the Museo de Arte Moderno of Mendoza (Argentina), as well as different private collections in various countries.

After a long stay in Europe, he settled in the Chilean Maule region, in the countryside, where he currently lives and works.

The works that he presents here refer to water — or rather to its absence — and its possible plastic representation, and are related to non-irrigated land. Water is of extreme importance on living in the countryside. Thus, the dryness of matter, the absence of water, is present on these fabrics, and the compartmentalization of space allows him to achieve the «plastic event» necessary for any artistic creation.

Matter has been a constant concern in his journey as an artist; it is shown with its own particularities, such as texture and colour.

QUIM MONZÓ see bio and work >

Born in Barcelona in 1952. The storyteller and journalist writes: «One of the bar jokes that most irritates me is the one by those who boast about being big drinkers and, leaning on the bar, suddenly tell you: “I only use water to wash my feet!” Then they burst out laughing, as if what they just said was so witty that they cannot help themselves.

«For my benefit but to the detriment of my liver, I am a great consumer of alcoholic beverages, but I have great respect for water. I like it a lot. Sometimes I drink a single glass and I savour it. Other times, when I know that a single glass is not going to quench my thirst, I take the bottle and drink straight from it, finishing it all. One day the hazy idea of an existence without water, as occurs in many places of the world, thus began to float around in my head, and I began to write this story.»

Download literary text (in Spanish) TODO ESTO >

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