Deutsche Börse Residency Program: Francesc Ruiz

04.04.2006 — 20.05.2006

The Frankfurter Kunstverein is currently establishing a Residency Program, a living and working space for artists, curators and other cultural producers, in a room on the second floor of the house. The flat has not been built yet, but already now various artists will be invited to present their work and to stay for a while in Frankfurt to develop a new project.

Within this framework, the first ‚guest’ of the Residency Program is Francesc Ruiz (1971) from Barcelona who from April 4 will present his work on the second floor of the Kunstverein. He arrived a few days before the opening on April 4 and started to work on his project for the Kunstverein, returning to Frankfurt for shorter periods of time during the spring to develop it. In this way the visitors can follow the development of his work and discuss the output with the artist.

Francesc Ruiz often works site-specifically on projects based on his experiences and interpersonal interaction in the social and urban context he is in. He mostly works with black and white drawings, which are often collages made by digitally merging drawings with photographs that are then printed and photocopied. His work is inspired by the expressive and narrative possibilities of the cartoon, that he sees as a democratic medium which can be used as a tool by almost anyone to narrate and explicate their social experience and ideas.

Ruiz is working on developing different kinds of site-specific strategies, that are based more on a kind of psychogeographical mapping than on the physical, architecural space as such. For example, in Barcelona he made the series of cartoon magazines „Soy Sauce“, in which the story of one magazine would end in the specific place where the next issue would be sold, creating a kind of literary treasure hunt. Through the interaction of the narrative of the cartoons and the movement of its followers through the city an informal mapping of the city was created.

The project Ruiz is developing in the Frankfurter Kunstverein is based on Frankfurt, working with a psychogeographical mapping of the city. It is not relating to the actual layout of the city, but to a quotidian mapping made up from meetings, relations and movements. It is not a work as such, more a string of ideas and associations related to the city and his experiences in it. Ranging from a kind of narrative ‚cartoon book’ over collaged posters to ideas scribbled on pieces of paper with quickly made illustrations, the display is a kind of ‚expanded cartoon’ making a detournement of the city. Different modes of reading the city are suggested, for example through the displays in shop windows. The whole thing is narrated in a surreal German in texts that are made by the artist (who speaks no German) by using Google tools.

The stay of Francesc Ruiz in the Residency Program was kindly supported by:

Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior de España