The Eye

Barcelona, July 2017

Photo: Fund. Catalunya-La Pedrera

Art transforms life

In your haste to get out in the open air this summer, don’t forget there is plenty going on indoors. An example are the many exhibitions around the country. If there is one thing Catalonia does well, it is art, and there is always a bewildering number of exhibitions running, so many in fact it is hard to pick just one out. However, this month you could do worse than visit Frederic Amat’s new exhibition, Zoòtrop, that runs until July 16 in Barcelona’s La Pedrera.

Amat is one of the country’s leading contemporary artists, a specialist in so-called interventions for natural and urban public spaces. The Barcelona-born artist’s exhibition in the Gaudí building includes a selection of his interventions, with the aim of “offering a map or topographical vision of his work,” according to La Pedrera Foundation’s website (

Zoòtrop is split into three areas that between them aim to recover the memory of the Gaudí building, to provide insight into Amat’s personal universe, and feature some of his urban and rural architectural projects. The exhibition’s title is a reference to the pre-film animation device known as a zoetrope, since the exhibit aims to provide an insight into the different evolving facets of Amat’s work.

The exhibition entered its second and final phase with a joint performance on June 21. “Conferència esqueixada” saw the Baró d’Ével contemporary circus company and Amat give a dynamic performance that included images, sound and painting to coincide with the summer solstice. At one point, Amat even turned against one of his own creations, his crisàlides sculptures, which the artist justified with Catalan artist Joan Brossa’s idea of art as a constant transformation: “Art is transformation and transformation is life,” he said.

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