Carmen Roca Igual

Carmen Roca Igual. Remedios Enojada, 2022.

Year granted: 2022 Website: Part of Prospects

Carmen Roca Igual (1998) captures everyday contemporary life in her work. At the academy she was told to take a stand and give her artworks a political dimension. But she prefers not to do this: “That is because I have personally learned more from experiences and anecdotes than from opinions.”

That said, the work Roca Igual is presenting at Prospects does provoke a reaction. The audience is confronted with a model of a building façade. A woman behind a French balcony on the first floor is making a phone call and appears to be distracted by the (imaginary) sounds made by the audience. In Spanish, she assertively orders them to keep the noise down. The calling woman in the video recording is the artist’s grandmother who, like her mother, often makes an appearance in her work. It sometimes appears as if her grandmother is able to predict the future. Roca Igual explains that in the Spanish village she grew up in, older women were always standing in their doorways or in front of their open windows to spy and comment on what was happening in the streets. As most of these events had already taken place many times before, they often already knew what was going to happen in advance.

Roca Igual compares the older women’s presumed predictive gifts to screens offering views of alternative worlds: “Online filters and masks may reveal something about who we are or could be — like getting a glimpse of a different version of yourself in a parallel world.”

Text: Jorne Vriens

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang