Habitaciones Prohibidas

ALICIA FRAMIS (Barcelona, 1967)
From September 14 to October 31, 2013

The exhibition begins with a background rumour, the works of “Departures /Salidas” (2010-2013). They are pencil drawings of airport panels where the flights’ destinations are utopic cities and imagined places from literature, philosophy, science fiction films or architecture history. We see direct flights to Radiant City (from Le Corbusier), Planet X, Metropolis or Utopia. In between these flights, ideas of escapism, memory and represion are leaked. These drawings are about the obsesion of breaking the routine and inventing new ways to live, socialize and love.

The miniatures “Planta y Volumen de Habitaciones Prohibidas” (2013) are the plant and volume of an imaginary bulding where there are forbidden rooms for different cultures of the world.

“The Room to Forget/ Habitación del Olvido” (2013) is one of the Forbidden rooms, presented for the first time by Framis. It is a transparent cubic room filled with Metyrapone in powder. Metyrapone is a medicine that has the effect of making people forget, as it works blocking significant memories, while not impairing memories with neutral content..

The virtues of this drug make it useful for aiding conflict victims, such as soldiers after wars, but it can also be used on anyone who has experienced intense trauma, as bad memories are effectively blocked from being remembered. This room works as a trigger, forcing us to ask ourselves if we want to forget what once damaged us or if it is already a part of us. It also raises the questions: Would we be able to live without bad memories? What is the role of our painful memories? This search of hapiness and freedom is also a part of utopic literature.

On the other hand, the room works as an anti-monument, as it is not a place in which to remember, but instead a place to forget.

The artist proposes a moral place in which the viewers can decide if they want to face their memories or if they’d rather artificially and definitively erase part of their experiences from their life.

Just in case we decide not to take Metyrapone, and remember, Framis invites us into another room: “Screaming Room La habitación del grito” ( 2012-2013).

This room is a giant wooden crate that resembles those used to transport artworks. People can get inside this room and scream, and the box is then filled with a scream that is the art piece…and when they get out of the room, this scream is made in form of a tea cup. Each cup is different, as all screams are.

Since energy can´t be destroyed, but it can change form, thanks to a 3D printer the scream is transformed in a tea cup, in a process which takes aproximately 20 minutes to be completed. Each visitor can take the cup produced by their own scream.

This piece was created for an office of an important bank in Holland. The workers of this bank could go into this room to let off some steam.