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Carmen Roca Igual



01/06/2020 –
– 28/08

Unlocked/Reconnected is an initiative that brings together a wide range of ‘houses of art’: museums, exhibition spaces, galleries, artist run initiatives and corporate collections — with around 200 participants in total. The project is driven by solidarity and aims to celebrate the reopening of art spaces across the board. The idea of Unlocked/Reconnected is to collectively reflect on notions of ‘home’. After months of homebound self-isolation at the behest of worldwide lockdown measurements, the project intends to collectively welcome visitors back in our ‘homes’.

Our contribution to Unlocked/Reconnected is Carmen Roca Igual’s video Novel, which was also on view during the 1646 Street View Cinema. The work offers a poignant reflection on ‘home life’ in times of the virus. With Novel, 1646 participated in Unlocked/Reconnected, celebrating the reopening.

Novel is a 20-minute dramatic musing on the external and internal masks we choose to put on. The video takes place at the beginning of the lock down in Spain. The characters (Lola, Rosa, Carmen and her Mother) are stuck at home and boredom starts to overcome them. Before long they question their own self image out loud as they begin to talk to and even gossip with selfies and inanimate objects. The girls go through an introspective journey, in a quarantine, accompanied by their phones and tablets. Their devices invent new gestures that affect our natural behaviors — like the flickering of a Face Filter with a slight tilt of the head to put our masks back on.


About Carmen Roca Igual: Carmen de la Roca (b. 1998, Paris) is a lens-based artist researching human behaviour and the social makeup we apply in relation to new media. Her work combines identity, technology, empowerment and the role of new media, but also the essential pursuit of communication, spirituality, and connection that most humans are in search of. She researches and explores experiences through fictional characters as a proxy to hers and society’s dilemmas. The characters live through contemporary narratives as they discover how to utilise the content they create in this attention economy.

Roca Igual graduated from the Royal Academy of Art The Hague in 2020. Her work was officially selected for the #AmLatino Film Festival and was nominated for the Young Talent Award during Dutch Design Week. She has assisted artists and filmmakers Amalia Ulman and Pauline Curnier Jardin, and her work was shown before in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rijeka, and The Hague.


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