The work of Mabel Palacín (born 1965, Barcelona) is a constant investigation about images. The subject of her work is photography considered in all its mutations, including cinema, video and its digital variants. She considers images as theoretical agents capable of developing models from which to understand and expand the contemporary visual landscape. The notion of project is essential in her method of work, in which images generate instructions for use and engender narratives that arise only because of the images themselves. In her work the content of the images is always the spectator, and the spatial dimension as well as the multiple projection of some of these works strongly request the viewer, establishing links between image and architecture.
In 2011 she represented Catalonia and the Balearic Islands in the 54th Venice Biennale with the work 180 degrees. Her work has been seen in individual and collective exhibitions at the Ángels Barcelona Gallery, Frankfurter Kunstverein and LA Galerie (Frankfurt), Centre d’Art Santa Mònica(Barcelona), The Agency (London), Norwich Gallery (Norwich), Transmission Gallery (Glasgow), Kwangju Biennale (South Korea), Artothek (Cologne), Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Taiwan), Kunstbunker Tumulka (Münich), Bolsky Gallery (Los Angeles), Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), MUA (Alicante), Colecçao Berardo Museum (Lisbon), Salvador Dalí Museum St. Petersburg (Florida), Frac Languedoc-Roussillon (Montpellier), MACBA (Barcelona), OK Center (Linz.), Casino Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Artium (Vitoria), Reykjavik Art Museum (Reykjavik) among others. She currently resides and develops her work between Barcelona and Milan.
180º is the project of Mabel Palacin that represented Catalonia and the Balearic Islands in the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Through a picture that becomes multiple, 180º deals with issues such as the city and the image, the point of view and the position of the viewer. The creation of an image reproduced virally is proposed, multiplied and jumping from one format to another, transforming to exist.
180º takes its name from what in cinema is known as the 180 degree rule, whereby the camera, taking shots and counter shots, should not jump off the imaginary line of 180 degrees, as this would create confusion about the spatial position of the characters. The camera must choose one side of the “axis of action” so that the characters remain on the same side (left or right) of the screen and the viewer does not get spatially disoriented.
This is an installation in which an image is reproduced and translated into different mediums that carry different relations between the viewer and the image.
180º is a full shot, the picture of city street. According to the digital logic, the image is constructed from many takes that break the shot so that the image can allow enough definition even in the smallest details. The image then passes through different mutations: a series of videos, 110 smaller photos, which appear as a book edited for the occasion, portions of the initial image that explodes and is fragmented into some parts, which inevitably form new stories, as each fragment, isolated, creates new meanings, working as a microstories.
The 6 videos, arising from the same original photograph, fragment the shot by applying another grammar, the moving image, which temporalizes the image. Through tracking shots, zooms and framing what we have is a series of videos from a single image in which the camera moves across the surface of the photograph to tell other stories, one that could be considered more collective and another 5 that adopt “subjective” points of view attributable to the 5 characters in the picture.