The most spiritual Scarpia

The twenty-first edition of Scarpia is the most spiritual of the last two decades of this veteran festival of contemporary art in the province. In this edition, Scarpia has set herself the goal of contemplating and reflecting on how current or not the spiritual continues in contemporary art. From a broad and diverse vision, Scarpia celebrates a new edition at the end of the year, far away from the hot summer of the Cordoba countryside, with three exhibitions that reflect on that spirituality that already starts with the festival poster itself.

This year, the poster is the work of Manuel León. The poster itself is part of the festival itself, a presentation, an “advertising element” of something that is projected as “an artistic intervention” in which religiousness is played precisely, with a man in a jacket and tie who rises to the sky with a Nazarene hood in the middle of a pine forest.

The three Scarpia XXI exhibitions take place in a magical place, the setting that unites the historical museum, the old El Carpio wheat silo with the important Garci Méndez Tower that dominates the entire countryside and the Guadalquivir Valley.

damn phoenix, by Josema López Vidal (Huelva, 1992), is perhaps the most religious and intimate exhibition of all. This plastic artist plays with a very particular religiosity, in which many of his sculptures are reminiscent of Holy Week steps or Andalusian imagery, from a metaphorical perspective and above all very inspired by the Garden of Earthly Delights of El Bosco. The show of the younger artist that he exhibits at Scarpia is reminiscent of private devotions, of small terracotta figures like those found in Roman sites, religious myths.

“The faces of the characters are a catalog of expressions of simple people, of the purest nature; the sorrowful astonishment of the physical work, the fatigue, the pleasure, the sleep or the strength that a natural environment requires where the sky and the water are one”, Scarpia describes in the exhibition catalogue.

At the Casa del Alcaide, Julia Santa Olalla (Granada, 1985), one of the most sought-after contemporary artists today, exhibits work in three different parts of Spain at the same time. In El Carpio she shows a waste garden, a mysterious visual game full of abstraction. Inside the Casa del Alcaide, a huge portrait gazes at the viewer, intimidating as well as attracting. And its mystery and mysticism overflows the exhibition, with pools, shapes and varied geometry.

The oldest artist is Íñigo Navarro, who exhibits his Grass cathedrals, empty pools, maneuvers in the dark, inside the imposing Tower of Garci Méndez. A surprising sculpture that looks like cardboard but is actually made of bronze presides over the main room (the one where Felipe IV spent a night on his way to Córdoba). His painting shows scenes where horses slip through, peace and destruction, children with masks, adults in strange shapes. Many of his paintings have a curious light, that of a car’s headlights, which give him a singular spirituality and mystery. According to the art critic Óscar Alonso Molina, Íñigo Navarro Dávila “sees the things that he paints”, the “real presences” that paralyze the artist.

Scarpia 2022

The XXI edition of Scarpia once again has the plastic arts as its backbone, paying special attention to the spiritual nature of visual language. During the conference, artists who work in different ways on the issue of the spiritual will be cited, from a broad, diverse and diffuse vision, closer to poetic evocation than to closed narrative. Configuring the edition as a space to contemplate and reflect on the validity of the spiritual in contemporary art.

Visiting hours are Friday from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The most spiritual Scarpia