To see this site properly, please update your browser. Thank you for your understanding.

facebook twitter

Iñaki Bonillas. Archivo J. R. Plaza

February 24 – May 6, 2012
La Virreina Centre de la Imatge., Barcelona

Archivo J. R. Plaza collects for the first time the work of the artist Iñaki Bonillas (Mexico City, 1981). His work, produced since 2003, presents different uses of the archive, mainly photographic, based on his grandfather’s inheritance, Jose Maria Rodriguez Plaza, an amateur photographer, who besides of taking care of bringing together the visual history of his family -a journey of more than a century of images carefully grouped in 30 folders and some boxes filled with slides- started the curious task of portraying himself, almost with no rest.

Bonillas has managed over the years this rich material, subjecting it to a wide range of operations -embedded in a logic of a constant generative duplicating process – which have allowed the artist to combine some elements that a priori seem incompatible: first, a personal biographical narrative, made of anecdotes and private notes; secondly, a desire of systematising -inspired by the early conceptual practices, frequently evoked by Bonillas – process with which he manages to give an appearance of methodical neutrality to his different approaches to this archive, whose vastness seems to have awakened in the artist the need to explore the possibility of exhausting all the possible combinations, apparently inexhaustible until now.

This idea of time meticulously accumulated led Bonillas to a sort of combinatorial art, from which this 20 works of art have emerged. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to peer into the full spectrum of Bonillas’s research regarding the Archives of J. R. Plaza: from the first attempts, in which the artist explored the ways in which the pages of the archive albums could be deployed, to the most recent exercises, in which the images have lost their family nature to become points of departure for a broader reflection on the nature of transmissibility -the main feature of a collection according to Walter Benjamin- in an archive of this nature. It is all about giving new meanings to this material instead of leaving it for an exclusive internal consumption. Not only one time, but many. Not in order but intermittently, always updating it and inserting it in multivocal works. The archive seen not as a mausoleum of the obsolete, but as a potential area for duplication.*

Practical Info
La Virreina Centre de la Imatge.
Palau de La Virreina. La Rambla, 99. Barcelona
From Tuesday to Sunday & holidays from 12pm to 8pm
Closed on Mondays except on holidays
Free access


*Translated by Ana María Guerrero for Artesur

This post is also available in: Spanish