These books were alive; they spoke to me – Dora Garcia at The Tetley

The latest exhibiton to grace The Tetley features the work of Dora García. In The Middle takes a look at this daring literary work ..

Running from 3rd February to 23rd April, Barcelona-based artist Dora García presents her first institutional solo show in the UK. The exhibition explores her career-long production of printed matter and performance works at the charming art deco Tetley gallery. An interactive and engaging exhibition, each of the small rooms of the Tetley comes to life with a unique visual of text or performance.

The ‘Eco Scuro’ cover strikingly adorns the walls and tables of much of the gallery and also fronts the script of ‘Performance’, a script which examines what performance is and how it can be experimented with. This idea is interlaced throughout each of the rooms as performances of iconic texts such as James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake take place, inviting the audience to hear and see the narratives as well as read them. García attentively explains her thought processes behind the exhibition through a video interview in the main room. Performance texts take us back to the original way of reading as a shared experience out loud, she says.

Not only do the live performances create a fun environment for visitors, but García also expresses her personal preference for them as an artist. The live art provides her with immediate feedback, preferable to not knowing who sees her work. This connection between artist and audience was certainly reciprocal, as each room included a little eye-catching quirk to keep us engaged.

Steal this book sits patiently on the windowsill of Gallery 5 waiting for an audience member to follow its instructions. A large table is scattered brightly with annotated copies of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, welcoming visitors to participate in collective reading sessions. These were just a few of the fabulous insights into the interactive vision of text and performance portrayed by García.

Eve Newstead

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