Gloria Massana is a Catalan-bon artist who has been living in France since 1982. A graduate of university d’Arts Plastiques de Barcelone and Paris VII Saint-Denis, her work combines visual art and dance. Bordering on various artistic disciplines, she presents her art as an exhibition, installation, performance, photography or computer-graphic images, and invites viewers to become involved with the magic of human bodies. Gloria Massana’s work has been exhibited in Barcelona, Quebec, Israel, South Korea and Paris.

The exhibition Rubeas shows Gloria Massana’s preoccupation with the application of the most basic human rights.

The artist’s work is part of a visual discourse that supports the idea of socially constructed identity.  Through her art production, she invites us to plunge into tradition and thus, into the very heart of contradiction. The confrontation of codes, defiance of laws and clash of values are just some of the themes that inform this work.

The veiled woman is a recurring image in Gloria Massana’s work. From the beginning, the artist has worked with the body and more particularly, with “inhabited” sculptures. Enveloped in fabric, the actor or dance performs, moving around and bringing the form to life. After having been produced in black and then red fabric, the third generation sculptures are now made of feathers and wax.. Although giving a nod to Icarus and his flight to death, this body is motionless, as if fixed in its limitations. At the boundary between installation and spectacle, this sightless sculpture seems immobilized by external constraints. However, unlike the socio- political and cultural limitations placed on the bodies represented in the triptychs, here the restrictions are physical.

Mystical work, religious thought and political denunciation are just some of the possible interpretations of Gloria Massana’s work. One thing is certain; the exhibited works present a voice that defies conventions. And the artist shows this with firm conviction. Wanting to bring to light the dramatic situation of women’s rights in Afghanistan, the artist-several years ago- began a process of demystifying stereotypes about women. In this art of witnessing the times; Gloria Massana denounces the fact that in Afghanistan, The regulation the Taliban set out for women were in complete opposition to these texts. In addition, she shows tat the absence of law and order in Afghanistan put women in a dangerous situation; daily violence meant that these women were in a constant state of acute distress. In other words, being confined to an outdated way of life, women were the main victims of the Taliban regime.

The artist only asks questions and never gives any answers: she lets viewers make their own analyses and conclusion about the status of Afghan women and encompasses a reflection on universal issues such as absence, visibility and invisibility, dream and desire, nature and culture and above all, the meaning of live and death.

Rubeas was created during thee summer of 2001 at Atelier d’estampe Sagamie, Alma, Québec.

Sabine Kadyss

   Traduction par Janet Logan