Joan Morey

17 - 18 September, 2016


On the occasion of the closing of L21 on San Martí Street, we present to you LANGUAGE, a specific proposal by Joan Morey in special collaboration with Baal Dansa. This performance also serves as a prologue to the collective exhibit of the same name that the gallery will carry out in December in its recently inaugurated space located in the industrial park of Son Castelló.

LANGUAGE (Prologue) is a performance centered around the study of the body in sculpture and its ‘’translation’’ to the living means of the performance. Tracing conceptual bridges between classical antiquity, modernity and post-modernity, the project avoids the use of historiographical parameters and adopts a critical attitude towards the (re)presentation of the body across the history of art.


«My body remains the enduring reality». The mind is a muscle (1967). Yvonne Rainer

«What’s private is public and the body is the stage. (…) it’s a space of their own, a space of freedom, it’s also a political instrument, yet mundane, biopolitic».
CIELO (not published, 2013). David G. Torres

«If public life has reached a state in which thought is
being turned inescapably into a commodity and language into celebration of the commodity, the attempt to trace
the sources of this degradation must refuse obedience
to the current linguistic and intellectual demands before
it is rendered entirely futile by the consequence of those demands for world history».
Dialectic of Enlightenment Philosophical Fragments (1944). Theodor Adorno and Max Horkeimer


Joan Morey’s (Mallorca, 1972) trajectory gathers a number of works about the language, the space and the power that mainly use the performance as a means of artistic expression and the body (the performer) as an object of ventriloquism. LANGUAGE implies a linguistic turn apropos of previous works since it leaves aside some usual procedures in his way of working, like the use of voice or text to develop his projects.

The performance LANGUAGE adopts a series of methodological rules based on ‘’No Manifesto’’ (1956) by the American choreographer, dancer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer, whose objective was to revolutionize dance and reduce it to its essential elements. A restriction to basic components is applied now to
Joan Morey’s artistic practice who, in an exercise of ‘’emptying of content’’, presents a close-up view of one of the fundamental pillars of a performance’s language: the body.

LANGUAGE articulates itself through the performer’s body which it uses as matter or a communication channel, intensifying its presence by means of a direct link with the sculptural classicism (whose absolute primacy is the representation of the naked human body) and with post-modern dancing (which emphasizes the use of improvisation over technique, form and content). The ‘’body’’ shows itself inactive inside the space of the gallery, transformed here in some kind of diorama more suited to museums of natural history.


The performance LANGUAGE is orchestrated through very close collaboration with Baal Dansa, formed by Catalina Carrasco and Gaspar Morey, who not only are responsible for executing the piece but of presenting for the first time in Mallorca this new procedure of auto-imposed work. A methodology that moves the artist to the edge of the action and leads both performer and spectator to confront the space
of representation of the body with the idea of a ‘’body-machine which becomes an effective force when, at the same time, it is both productive body and subjected body.

LANGUAGE uses as a leitmotiv a unique aesthetic canon from the Greco-Roman sculptural classicism: the contrapposto or chiasmo. This form of representation designates the harmonic opposition of the different body parts in the human figure, which provides some movement and contributes to breaking the law of frontality. Contrapposto was used in sculpture to give it a sensation of movement, exactly the opposite of the base of this project, which counts with dance professionals to whom mobility is denied at the moment of executing the action. From the intersection of disciplines, from such contradictions and the collaborative experimentation starts a machinery that glimpses at the topologies of the body from the depths of occidental history.

Parallel to this, LANGUAGE takes as a starting point the radio conference ‘’The utopian body’’ (1966), in which Michel Foucault offers an analysis of the body that parts from the contrast between the implacable and familiar presence of our own body and the transformed body, the ‘’body without a body’’, that is the principal actor in all the utopias.

Like this, and broadly speaking, LANGUAGE (Prologue) reopens a debate about the conception of the contemporary body and its presence in the figurative arts, amongst them the performance, inviting the spectator to delve into the comprehension of the utopian experience of the body be it the simple presence thereof, its material place in space, its physical construction and morphology, its conscience of itself or of a provoked poetical (un)production.


JOAN MOREY (Mallorca, 1972)
His artistic work spans over diverse mediums and supports (from actions made live and their audiovisual registry to pieces of sound, video, installation or graphic artwork) although it mainly explores the language of the performance. To generate events (through actors or performers), stagings or mise en scènes (from common aspects of theatrical or cinematographic production) or specific interventions (parting from the place or context in which the work is exhibited at) aids him in building situations where one or more performers are subjected to a rigid system of instructions or rules (choreographic schemes, interpretation patterns, motor constraints and other disciplinary resources) accompanied by a number of psychological, historical and social conditions. These rules are also moved to the role the audience plays in the projects.


BAAL DANSA. CATALINA CARRASCO (Mallorca, 1976) and GASPAR MOREY (Essen, 1971)
With a fresh and peculiar look towards dance, the company Baal detaches itself from the conventionalities to articulate their own language and investigate how to establish new dialogues with the public and technology. They find themselves in a transit space they call Transdance, ‘’Trans = through, beyond’’. Without classification but with identity, their work is full of transverse lines that connect points in common to create a transboundary place, a translucent space.

By means of a language that disobeys the normativity and, eager of transforming conventionalism and conformism, expose bodies and expressive beings beyond the dancer or the actor, creating biologic and technologic places full of transgression.


Performance execution: BAAL DANSA
Female performer: Catalina Carrasco
Male performer: Gaspar Morey
Documentation: John Forest, Rafael Morey
Makeup and hairdressing: El Salón
Special thanks: Tina Codina, Juan Jiménez, Eva Mulet Production: L21 Gallery

Joan Morey © 2016