A magnificent place to live, work, or commit suicide (a magnificent place to live, work or commit suicide) is a phrase taken from the book “The Letters of Malcolm Lowry and Gerald Noxon, 1940-1952”, which collects letters that the writer Malcom Lowry sent his editor Gerald Noxon. In the letter, Malcolm invites his friend to visit him in the cabin in the town where the author lived for years on the Canadian coast. The exhibition presents a look at the natural space as a place on the margin and combines two completely different and strangely related worlds in certain aspects.
On the one hand, he explores the figure of the theorist or writer isolated in a cabin lost in nature. He quotes to H. D. Thoreau, who wrote “Walden, Gold, Life in the Woods”; to Unabomber and his manifesto “Industrial Society and Its Future”; to Virginia Wolf, who spent time writing in a country house in the United Kingdom; and to the architect Le Corbusier, who, after building gigantic buildings around the world and several macro-utopian housing projects, dedicated himself to building a small and modest cottage for summer. On the other hand, the exhibition focuses on self-managed groups that organize illegal rave parties of techno music in natural areas. These festivals are articulated as “temporarily autonomous zones”. In them we find a tension between a creative drive that produces a whole subculture with its own aesthetic and a dangerously self-destructive behavior through the consumption of hard drugs.
The project links these two worlds where the natural space is presented as a negation or an alternative to civilization and in which the exercise of moving away from the cities is often articulated as an act of negativity. While the “ravers” deny society by throwing their repetitive and violent music, Thoreau and Unabomber write texts attacking the foundations of the societies in which they felt isolated.
Joan Pallé (Lleida, 1989) lives and works in Barcelona. He obtained a degree in Fine Arts (2017) from the University of Barcelona. His work links elements of critical thinking and popular culture, articulating them through references belonging to countercultural movements. To develop his work he uses multiple languages and disciplines.
In 2017 he became a resident artist at Fabra i Coats (Barcelona) through the residency program of Sant Andreu Contemporani (SAC_FIC). In recent years he has received the residence grant of La Panera (Lleida) in collaboration with the CDAN and Centre d’Art i Natura de Farrera; the artistic creation scholarship for the MAU festival of Rocaumbert Fàbrica de les Arts (Granollers); the artistic research grant of the Sala d’Art Jove of the Generalitat in collaboration with the Macba; the research grant of La Escocesa; the art production scholarship of Baumannlab (Terrassa); the production grant of Banc Sabadell Art <35 at Sala Parés (Barcelona); and he has been winner of the visual arts contest Biennal Larva, I.E.I., Lleida. He has participated in group exhibitions at art centers such as Fabra i Coats (Barcelona), Museu Can Framis (Barcelona), Le Beffroi Ville de Montrouge (Paris), Kunstbygningen and Vrå, Højskolevej (Denmark), among others.