For the first ARCO e-xhibition, Bombon Projects presents a solo booth by Josep Maynou. Owing to the artists’s nomadic lifestyle, his work is often defined through objects found on his travels. Like a diary, these objects recount the story of a specific moment, offering historical references and giving direction to the performance aspect of Maynou’s practice.
Included in the presentation are two carpets made by hand in the Azilal region of the Atlas mountains, Morocco, where Maynou normally spends large periods of time annually. One of these, ‘Joker’, reproduces both in image and in scale a graffiti piece the artist encountered in the Atlas mountains. The other, ‘Nike’, relates to an ongoing narrative in Maynou’s work which discusses and plays with the falsification of brands.
Any ordinary object is susceptible to becoming a base for Maynou’s drawings; such as tables or chairs, a window frame, a pine panel or an empty chocolate bar wrappers that he began to repurpose during the lockdown period in Paris. Improvising in the wake of a lack of materials, these wrappers were transformed into notebooks capturing ideas for works not yet realised, overheard phrases that felt important not to forget, fragments of exercises from a French class … etc.
In their way, these works help Maynou not to lose the thread that links the present to the experience, they act like mementos, triggers, or clues to follow in expanding the story that will be told through his work and actions.
Also exhibited are two posters announcing invented movies; ‘The Ninja of Marrakesh’ and ‘Taghazout Zombie’. These works are inspired by a large collection of films that have never been realised, the plots of which Maynou tells to painters he encounters on his travels so that they can make a poster, interpreting the story in their own way, and adding nuances and content to the final version.
These co-produced works imply a knowledge of context and the formation of personal connections within a community over a large period of time. The relationships established whilst inhabiting different countries, together with the narration of tales through performances and objects that oscillate between reality and fiction, are essential to an understanding of Maynou’s practice.
Completing the presentation is a looped video work featuring a pair of trainers bought by the artist second-hand in Marrakesh, but that had most likely come via somewhere in Europe after being produced in Asia. Finally, through Maynou’s work, their trip completes in Berlin, where they are set on fire before finally resting in peace.
I agree to receive electronic communications about ARCOmadrid, and ARCOLisboa.