Soledad Liaño, curator of Ida Applebroog. Marginalias, leads a tour around the said exhibition, taking selected readings from the artist’s diary, to be recited publicly for the first time alongside her visual work by actress Nuria Mencía.
The work of Ida Applebroog (New York, 1929) examines violence and power, women’s sexuality, domestic space, and gender discourse. Across more than five decades, the artist has carried out an in-depth exploration of these major themes, using her practice to survey human relationships, their representations and the roles they impose. As a member of different US art collectives since 1980, for instance the Heresies Collective and Women’s Action Coalition (WAC), her work is inextricably linked to her feminist commitment. Applebroog works with poor images from the mass media, which bring to mind comics and popular iconography, despite them leading her towards a warped and disturbing zone. As the artist puts it:
When I think about the work, I think about living in this world; with overwhelming amounts of information: TV news and tabloids, radio, film, magazines; it’s so overloaded. Like a scavenger, I’m always collecting images: I take the world I live in, and put it outside of me. There are times when I just can’t take on one more bit of news. You turn on the eleven o’clock news and it’s another murder, a fire, Bosnia…You feel the need for a catharsis. Let me get all that crap out of me. Put it on the canvas and get rid of it, only to be faced with it again the very next day. But there is also good news; life goes on the following day.
("Ida Applebroog, Jill Baroff and Lauren Szold by Suzanne McClelland", BOMB 51, April 1995, New York).
Applebroog’s work stretches across a broad plastic and visual landscape: books, sculptures, videos, painting, drawings. Her experimentation with writing in its most existential and sarcastic form runs commonly through these mediums, with her diaries jutting out, constituting a project she began compulsively upon her return to New York at the beginning of the 1970s, when she spent long periods in isolation. These diaries are a key source to understanding her oeuvre and come together in a melting pot of reflections, ideas and concepts that form the backbone of her artistic output. The fragments selected and recited in this encounter link the intimate space of the artist with the theatrical and performative side of her work.
Nuria Mencía (1972, Madrid) is an actress. She graduated in Performance Studies at the Royal Higher College of Performing Arts in Madrid, and received the Spanish Actors Union Prize for her role in the work San Juan, directed by Juan Carlos Pérez de la Fuente (1999). Moreover, she has been nominated for the Max Awards for the Performing Arts on five occasions, receiving the Award for Alfredo Sanzol’s La respiración in 2017. She has worked on stage productions and in film and television.
Soledad Liaño is an exhibition curator and coordinator at the Museo Reina Sofía. She is curator of the show Ida Applebroog. Marginalias.