This past weekend Spanish, New York based artist Angel has plowed into the land of Castile, near Madrid, a two square kilometers depiction of Don Quijote and his fabled horse into the old land of Castile, where Cervantes envisioned him five hundred years ago.
The production has involved a low flying airplane from which Orensanz commanded the operation, a farmer plowing a tractor over a kilometer of land and the support of the locals, both officials and public, who will relieve the world famous legend, subject of countless literary international celebrations in all five continents.
On his way to New York, in the airport of Madrid/Barajas, Angel Orensanz commented: "After a full year of international abuzz about Cervantes' Don Quijote; after thousands of shows and lectures, political posturing and cultural ruminations, I thought that it was time to release Don Quijote itself into the very land where his creator placed him."
The artist sees this as a land art piece, of which he has developed several over the last twenty years in several pats of the world. Orensanz has gone on his own, far from and beyond all the established committees. What he is doing is to relate a myth to a land and a people for which the book and its characters were created. Locals got involved in its development sowing seeds of crops and plants that will grow throughout the Winter and the Spring and making the entire piece still more visible and mesmerizing, by making it visible from the air or from the long distance. This is the beginning of a year of Don Quijote in in the very land for which is was created by Cervantes.
The artwork is located between the towns of Dos Barrios and Ocana, immediately close to the highway of Madrid to Bailen and Toledo; 50 kms. South of Madrid.
Circles in vibrant colors, geometrical and organic forms, shapes from outer space are cropping up everywhere. They can be seen at the Giardini della Biennale embracing a large sculpture that welcomes the crowds; on tree-tops at the Santa Margharita and San Samuele Piazzas. Orensanz's imprint is also present around the Gran Canal in a semiotic gesture that links to New York's Central Park: at the Ca' Rezzonico Gallery - the main source of this burst of energy, together with the installation at the Giardini; on the Ponte Treponti at Piazzale Roma, the Ponte San Pantalon and in a garden overlooking the Canal at the Ponte della Academia. On top of this, eighty vaporetti and buses will carry large posters announcing Orensanz's presence in this labyrinth of art and canals.
The Ca' Rezzonico Gallery presents a unique art component to this year's Biennale: the Orensanz Portfolio includes a rigorous selection of the artist's video work; edited by Donna Cameron, it has been loaned to the show, courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. They document Orensanz's circle constructions around the world: Japan, Brussels, the French Pyrenees, Paris, Venice, etc.
The citywide crop of bright-colored circles whirls and twirls around the retrospective show that gathers drawings, paintings and sculpture of the past ten years at the Ca' Rezzonico Galllery. Angel Orensanz's work brings an unparalleled energy and creative strength to the contemporary art scene with the spontaneous reproductions of his vision of the dynamics of the earth as a physical and metaphysical entity.
Parallel to his citywide presence in Venice, Orensanz is presenting a major exhibition in Russia: the exhibition "Earth: Death-Birth", was recently at the Alexander Pushkin Museum in Moscow and is now being hosted by the Russian Museum of St. Petersburg.
Angel Orensanz and Maurizio Cesana have been working on Sounds of Venice for the past two years: it is a filmed interpretation of a Venice art report, through Angel's eyes. The end product of this creative relationship is a movie that will premier during the Venice Film Festival, at the end of August and for two weeks in September. The relationship between the artist and the magic of the city has been a long-term one, going back to 2001, when Burning Universe was produced with John Spike and Scaravelli.
The wide array of exhibitions and installations around town is concurrent with the 2005 Venice Biennale. The show at the Ca'Rezzonico Gallery will remain open until October 1st.