Angel Orensanz at the closing of the 4th Florence International Biennale with a dramatic intervention, after receiving a medal gold "Lorenzo il Magnifico" of the City of Florence.
The image of fire was a permanent symbol in Luis Buñuel's movies, Nazarin, The Exterminating Angel, Belle de Jour just to name a few. And the fire is an intricate metaphor in the recent six month exhibition of Angel Orensanz in Venice, "Burning Universe". To conclude his Florence biennale contribution, Angel Orensanz incorporated fire and clouds of smoke to his sculpture piece during a performance yesterday at 1:00 PM in front of the pavilion of the Biennale, the Fortezza da Basso.
Orensanz continues his strong presence in Northern Italy with a reinterpretation of his Buñuel's by adding a powerful performance and conceptual piece to his 14 feet tall, steel piece. Buñuel: The exterminating Fire brings out the corrosive, ironic worldview of Luis Buñuel; and the art press in Venice just called Orensanz's work "ironic, irreverent". Both developed a good friendship in spite of their age gap. Brought from Calanda in Aragon (Northern Spain), the sculpture "Razor in the Eye, (Buñuel)" arrived first in Lido Venice for the 6th Open International Sculpture and Installation Exhibition during the 60th Venice Film Festival at the end of August. I has been visited by close to 45,000 people together with the Orensanz's show at Palazzo Malipiero, titled "Burning Univers". No other artist's oeuvre received in Venice as much art reviews and press recognition.
Orensanz's work in Florence was publicly recognized with a gold medal "Lorenzo il Magnifico" of the City of Florence. The jury that granted the awards was made of Barbara Ross, Veronica Birke, Pasquale Celona, David Rubin, Dore Ashton, Stefano Francolini. Teresa Ortega Coca Matty Roca and John Spike.
A video program, Buñuel; The Exterminating Fire, for Time Warner Cable TV in NY is being produced now by Michelle Spike, and a CD of the Florence/Buñuel presentation will be available in early February of 2004.
Ironic, irreverent and eclectic, Angel Orensanz surprises with "Burning Universe", which is the title of the show that was opened in June and has been extended through the entire Fall in response to its success with both critics and the public. More than 47,000 visitors have been counted to date.
As it winds through the narrow spaces of the ground floor of Palazzo Malipiero, "Burning Universe" gives us glimpses of the strange world of this artist, animated as always by a kind of mania to express in original ways both the perplexing rapport between nature and culture, and the dialectical tensions between space and time.
Orensanz takes on the cosmic order and its prodigies from the standpoint of a single person, constructing in Venice "an alternative space" that synthesizes his restlessly evolving perceptions that have led him to our universe in flames. He is an artist on the frontier: his installations, his designs and his sculptures are the product of his extremely personal vision of the world.
The iron steles, the plastic spheres with fading polychromy, disseminated in space, are the genuine signature of his lyrical fantasy. That is, the natural parts of everything that is born: strong connexion to life, powerful expansion into space, loving possession.
The symbols and the allegories are utilized like a secret leavening. The sculptures, for example the "Homage to Luis Buñuel" (a work selected for the 7th edition of the OPEN International Exhibition of Sculpture and Installations, on view until November 30th at the Blue Moon Lido in Venice) is never a merely exterior sign but rather a newly created presence.
What is Orensanz's contribution to the concept of art? In this unexpectedly re-invented space, we see how the currents are separated. Beneath the unification of intentions we find an intensely thematic content. We also find in this exhibition a participation in space that is rational, narrative, and altered. As well as profoundly meditated.
Orensanz's performance contains the rarest degree of the gift of emotion!
Paolo De Grandis , Director Arte Communications, Venice
A joint effort of the City of Venice, Arts Communications and The Angel Orensanz Foundation have brought a large, steel piece of Spanish, New York based artist Angel Orensanz to the Lido beachfront for two more months.
After the clamor of the Venice Film Festival and the 6th Open International Sculpture show, this homage piece of Orensanz. to the Spanish master of universal cinema responding to the request of residents and visitors from many countries. In its now location, the sculpture piece will be available to the public until the 10th of December. The sculpture is a 7 meter steel piece trespassed by arrows and winged spears in a reference to Buñuel's piercing razor in Un chien Andalou.
The Swiss art writer Marcel Gardner commented recently in Lido on the inner symmetries of the two artists, Buñuel and Orensanz: "The two not only come from the same part of Spain, Aragon, and have always lived in other lands, but use a visual vocabulary that looks understandable, but on a closer look, the sculpture of Orensanz and the movies of Buñuel displace and dislocate every assumption and every accepted concept. They both are corrosive, radically nightmarish and astonishing. No wonder that in spite of their age difference, they were good friends".
For the next two months Orensanz's homage to Buñuel will on view at Luongo Mare, close to the Venice Casino, in the Blue Moon architectural and scenic landmark. No other place in Venice could be more appropriate due to the relevance of the Venice Film Festival in the life and work of Luis Buñuel in landmark moments such as Vidriana and Belle de Jour.
The art press and the public have treated splendidly this sculpture. It traveled from Calanda, in Aragon, the birthplace of Buñuel, to Venice, for this exclusive purpose. A documentary of this cultural and artistic project, under the title "Razor on the Eye" is already in its last leg of postproduction in New York. This video work is being directed by Angel Orensanz himself; who held a strong involvement in the photography and staging of the sequences and now in the editing process. This interest of Orensanz in the art movie and video is not new; his videography already counts with six titles. The documentary of reference will be distributed in early December of this year.
Yesterday in Venice was the opening of two of the most relevant events of the European Summer cultural season. It was the 60th edition of the Venice Film Festival and the 6th edition of OPEN, International Exhibition of Sculpture and Installation. Both events take place in Lido/Venice and are tightly interconnected as art and cinema. They share spaces and names of participants such as Gina Lollobrigida, Julian Schnabel, Dennis Hopper and Angel Orensanz. Angel Orensanz, who works at ease both with sculpture and the diigital camera, illustrates perfectly both worlds. He has brought to Venice his work "Luis Buñuel", a piece that was recently unveiled in Calanda, Spain, the birthplace of the world renown cinematographer. Buñuel's name is forever linked to Venice with some of his titles like Vidriana and Belle de Jour. The sculpture is in steel and is 12 feet high.
The sculpture piece, placed at the entrance to Lido, welcomes the tens of thousands of visitors to the Venice Films Festival and the OPEN EXHIBITION.
Besides, Angel Orensanz has currently on view a retrospective of his work at Palazzo Malipiero, entitled "Burning Universe", within the circuit of the Venice Biennale. It opened June 16 and will last until November 30. It consists of six rooms with sculpture, painting and video work. There is a large transparent sphere outside the Palazzo on the waters of the Canal, below a large banner that announces the show, and welcomes the visitors to Venice.
On Wednesday, August 27 two major cultural events will take place in Venice. It will be the opening of the 60th Venice Film Fastival (August 27 through the September 6) and of the 6th OPEN International Exhibition of Sculpture and Installation in Lido-Venice (August 27 through October 5).
Angel Orensanz will contribute with his sculpture "Blade on the Eye. Homage to Luis Buñuel" to the OPEN. This is a sculpture piece done by Angel Orensanz for Calanda, the birthplace of Buñuel, the world cinema master. This is a 10 meters high steel piece that works as a visual comment to the mythical sequence of "Buñuel: Un Chien Andalou".
It was Pierre Restany, the late French art critic, who invited Orensanz to this year's OPEN. Pierre Restany followed Orensanz career from very early on. He wrote an essay (1982) that established the basis for later understanding of Orensanz's artwork. Mr. Restany was familiar with the fascinating video work of Orensanz.
The 6 OPEN, in which 20 countries take part, has a theme: the relationship between cinema and sculpture. For the last five years, Orensanz has developed a consistent body of digital video works that consists of 12 titles. Orensanz is personally involved in the staging, shooting, editing of his videos; five of which have been directed by Professor Karl Bardosh. This work is being shown now precisely at Palazzo Malipiero in the center of Venice over the Grand Canale, from June 12 to November 30, 2003 as a retrospective show, titled "Burning Universe", in the context of the current 50th Biennial of Venice.
Venice was always a main reference in the live and work of Luis Buñuel. It is worth remembering Vidriana (1961) and Belle de Jour (1968).
The Buñuel sculpture will enjoy a privileged installation point at the Santa Maria Elisabetta square right at the access to Lido and the promenade to the Pavillion of the Film Festival.
Arte Communications is the entity coordinating the 6th OPEN.
Sculptor Angel Orensanz carried out today one of the most ambitious art interventions ever in Paris. Orensanz moved around the streets of Paris in an open flat bed vehicle a transparent sphere nine feet diameter, followed by photographers and videographers in other vehicles. His itinerary included all the districts (arrondissements in French) of the center of Paris namely: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 14, 17 and 18. With this artistic development, Orensanz engages the sphere, one of the most universal elements (from Parmenides to Einstein) with some of the most iconically charged views in the world. Angel Orensanz had previously tested his interaction in Venice, Tokyo, Florence, New York, Berlin, Kasseld and Dusseldorf. The Paris intervention is the most ambitious since it encompasses a review and a reflection of world landmarks such as Le Louvre, Palais Royal, Bibliotheque Nationale, Le Maris, La Sorbonne, St. Germain des Pres, La Tour Eiffel, Les Champs Elysee, la place de la madeleine, la Bastille, Montparnasse and l'Arc de Triomphe.
This "all Paris" intervention takes place within the context of his exhibition Ultrarealities, presently on view at La Sornne Pantheon. That show is a retrospective of works of Orensanz from the last five years consisting of sculpture, painting, bronzes, stones, videos, prints and drawings. The city of Paris, through this exhibition bestows on Angel Orensanz a public recognition to an international artists, deeply involved in Paris artistic life, from his early years as an art student at L'Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts to the upcoming opening of his Foundation at the Le Marais district.