Manuel Franquelo: Things in a Room

7 Mar - 3 May 2017

Things in a Room: An Ethnography of the Insignificant

- 7 MAR - 12 APR, 2017

The Michael Hoppen Gallery is pleased to announce the Spanish artist Manuel Franquelo’s first solo show in the United Kingdom. 


The show will consist of six large-scale photographic pieces from his work in progress Things in a Room: An Ethnography of the Insignificant.


The pieces from this series, produced through techniques borrowed from scientific photography and endowed with an uncanny hyperreal presence, are an inquiry into the things that have accumulated, over the years, in the nooks and crannies of a space inhabited by the artist. 


In this project, Franquelo articulates his interest in time, memory, the subconscious, and what the French writer Georges Perec (1936-82) grouped under the category of the 'infra-ordinary', that is: everything that, because of its obviousness and insignificance, remains hidden beneath the normal threshold of perception.


Manuel Franquelo (Malaga 1953) studied engineering and fine arts at the Complutense University of Madrid. He began his career by painting, for a period of ten years, a set of ten exquisite and enigmatic hyperrealist still-lifes. In the 1990s he became interested in projects that utilize practices taken from engineering and scientific imagery. His work is process oriented, multidisciplinary in nature and diametrically opposed to an art based on specific media.


The interpretation of the world through the insignificant and the everyday has always been a recurring theme in my practice.


For three years, starting in October 2012, I created a photographic inventory of the things in the room where I habitually work: a bottle of 650 mg Ibuprofen that I had bought the winter before, the 3.75 metre-long curtain dividing the space in two, marbles, eyelashes, remains of insects, the grey door on which there are usually some papers held up with magnets, fragments of pills, and an endless assemblage of other things.


It is very important to me that in each of the photographs in this inventory every object in the image, from the most extraordinary to the most insignificant, be represented without hierarchy. It is vital that the entire image can be scanned with our eyes as we do when we look at something carefully, as if the reality were there before us, displayed inside museum vitrines.


My intention is that the photographs of this series be timeless rather than decisive moments in time. They are life-size digital images that embody legitimate pretentions to truth, highlighting the complexity and full scale of what is represented. Things in a Room is an account of the objects that my own existence accumulated over a period of about 30 years.” - Manuel Franquelo