The Fundació Joan Miró presents the photography exhibition Illusions and Illusionism
Illusions and Illusionism is an exhibition of photographs taken in various spots around the city of Barcelona and in Sitges and El Masnou between the 1940s and early 1960s. The selection reveals Joaquim Gomis’s interest in popular entertainment, unusual objects and the world of children’s play and the family. Illusions and Illusionism opens with a photograph taken in Ciutadella Park in Barcelona in December 1946, when Franco’s policy of Spanish self-sufficiency and limited trade was at its peak. This period of economic deprivation and shortages, which lasted until the early sixties, spanned the twenty years covered by the exhibition. In one of the photos, a group of people dressed for cold weather are shown looking at fish in the large fountain in the park. The water, and the fish swimming about in it, is a distraction for them and reflects them with fluid and changing forms, creating simple illusions that make them forget the harshness of their everyday lives. This photograph is the first in a sequence of shots that evoke moments of magical strangeness: images of tasks or crafts which, because they are no longer done today, are intriguing to us and at the same time make us think of popular games or traditions; threatening objects, like the stuffed owl in the taxidermy shop on Plaça Reial, which fills us with misgivings that it could come back to life at any moment; or the radical transformation of a space brought about by an artist’s design, such as the dog kennel made by Moisès Villèlia for the home of a family in El Masnou.
The exhibition Illusions and Illusionism is filled with echoes of Imaginary Friends, the show the foundation will be presenting this spring in its temporary exhibition rooms and which aims to introduce families to the imaginative and creative possibilities of contemporary art.