Eight people out of work covering the widest possible social spectrum were photographed by Francesc Torres as he lived alongside them for one to two weeks. During this period, the artist documented their daily lives: some recycle scrap, others send out résumés, others are apparently not doing anything, as if this were now a given state for their lives, others seek a change in their professional life, others are helping those even less fortunate than them. All of them are surviving, alone or with their families. In addition to the visual documentation of their day-to-day experience, each of them has had a formal portrait taken. The artist never juggles two stories in parallel: he only began to document a participant once work with the one before had been completed.
After this first visual presentation of their lives and economic situation, filmmaker Mercedes Álvarez filmed each of them giving their opinions on the art they liked and whether it played a part, important or not, in their lives. They were asked to provide an object from home (a painting, a figure, a reproduction) with emotional significance for them. Finally, they each visited the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) alone and there chose a work from the permanent collection from among those fit to be transported and explained why it interested them. This foray into the museum was filmed by the director and went on to form part of the installation with the above images and personal belongings. The pieces selected from the MACBA collection for this process have also been borrowed to complete the project presentation at the 55 Venice Biennale (2013). As active subjects of the final work, the eight unemployed men and women received remuneration for their participation and dedication. 
Jordi Balló is a curator, professor, researcher and essayist. He was exhibition director of the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) from 1998 to 2011, and he directed the process of conceiving and producing over 80 exhibitions at the CCCB as well as other institutions. 
Francesc Torres Over his extensive artistic career he has worked as a visual artist, curator and essayist. Most of his artistic career has taken place outside of Spain. Numerous centers and institutions of recognized standing (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Institut Valencià d'Art Modern; Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Massachusetts Institute of Technology and MACBA, among others) have dedicated solo exhibitions to him. Torres was present in the Spanish Pavilion at the 37th Venice Biennale (1976).
Mercedes Álvarez is filmmaker. In 2004 she directed her first film, the full-length documentary El cielo gira, which could be seen in many cinemas across the world and was a winner at numerous festivals of renown. She settled in Catalonia and in 2007 began work on the feature film Mercado de futuros, which premiered in 2011 and was selected by the world’s most important film festivals.


Catalonia at Venice
Jordi Balló
castellano/català. A project for the Venice Biennale curated by Jordi Balló. With Francesc Torres and Mercedes Álvarez
144pp./ 188il./ 23.5 x 16.5 cm./ Paperback

9788434313347  Castellano
9788434313200  Català