Antoni Muntadas (born in Barcelona, 1942), is a conceptual art who has always been committed to the deconstruction and visible rendering of media landscapes; those landscapes that are constructed on the amplified language of the media, codified in the symbology of communication.
His works focus on the hidden mechanisms of the media sphere, the conflicts it produces between public and private and the paradox between the globalisation of standard codes and the shift in their interpretation from one culture to another.
His most recent research addresses themes inherent in protocol, with everything the word encompasses within a culture and everything it reveals by its comparison between cultures. Protocols are also architectural codes which tell us about a city and its life. The life of Venice is depicted by Muntadas in PROTOCOLLI E DERIVE VENEZIANI, first presented in 2013 to coincide with the 55th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, and subsequently as part of the 72nd International Film Festival; it is now about to open at the Real Academia de España in Rome. The particular configuration of this historic city makes it a fascinating subject of study and reflection, which the artist can exploit in the first person as an external observer, having spent three months living there every year since 2004.
The exhibition consists of the Venetian Protocols series of photographs, which depict architectural details of Venice, emphasising the singular circumstances of living away from the mainland. Thus pipelines, openings, manhole covers and blocked-in windows seem to possess a logic all their own, telling the city’s story through the remnants of ancient building work.
Presented and shown last summer as part of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, the film Dérive Veneziane tells of an unexplored side of Venice, unknown to most, mysterious and fascinating at one and the same time and characterised by an almost total lack of the people who immoderately crowd the narrow streets during the day.
The Asian Protocols series, on which Muntadas has worked since 2011 and which was presented for the first time in August 2014 at the Total Museum in Seoul, is now appearing at Tokyo’s 3331 Arts Chiyoda. This project is divided between Japan, China and South Korea, and aims to address similarities and conflicts between their relative cultures.
Real Academia de España en Roma, PROTOCOLLI E DERIVE VENEZIANI, Piazza San Pietro in Montorio, until May 15, 2016 (the event is organized as part of the BNL Media Art Festival, April 13-17, 2016).
Auditorium Parco della Musica, Sound Corner a cura di Anna Cestelli Guidi, Muntadas -Audio Para Tres Instalaciones, 1989-1992 , until April 30th, 2016
images (cover 1-2) Protocolli Veneziani, still from video, 2013 (3) Public/Private Space (2014), 331 Arts Chiyoda, 2016, Photographer: Keizo Kioku, ©Muntadas (4) Sound Corner, Auditorium, Roma