ANTONI MUNTADAS, "LA TABLE DE NÉGOTIATION" -
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On Translation : La mesa de negociacion II ; 1998-2005
Table in 10 modules + Books
350 x 97 cm
On Translation: La table de negociation II
This consists of a circular table, in the shape of a crown divided into ten equal parts—as if they were slices of a cake—whose surface is covered in a wide selection of illuminated, unfathomable maps.
The precision and elegance of this piece of furniture contrasts with the unevenness of the details supporting it: the mismatching table legs, of different lengths and shapes, which require piles of books to keep the table balanced.
This apparently shoddy workmanship is in fact one of the most deliberate elements of the piece; the choice of the books used, the detail of the titles and the authors piled up to keep the table steady must all be added to whatever interpretations and information we are able to extract from the enigmatic maps on the surface of the table.
In its original conception and form, for the exhibition Muntadas: Proyectos, at the Fundación Telefónica (then called Fundación Arte y Tecnología, Madrid 1998), the installation referred to power struggles, at both a global and national level, for control of the booming telecommunications market; these involved reckless transactions and highly irregular agreements, all with the aim of carving up the digital satellite television industry.
However, for the 2005 Venice Biennale Muntadas has conceived a new version, with a characteristic sense of intervention in or according to a specific context. Whereas previously the maps appeared to show a more miscellaneous organisation and distribution of the world, they are now concerned with more specific aspects of production, consumption and the cultural economy, and with other measures and statistics related to its industries and markets.
Previously, the books used to level out and balance the furniture elements were related to communication theories, businesses and strategies; here, they focus on issues related to the globalisation and exploitation for profit of the arts and cultural events.
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