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Juan Cruz: I don't know what I'm doing but I'm trying very hard. 8–16 September 2018 | Portrait of a Sculptor 2 July–2 September 2001 | James: Grey Doors, Woodyard, The Golden Heart (BACKSPACE) 25–29 November 1998 | Sancti Petri 14 January–1 March 1998 | Publications

Juan Cruz | Sancti Petri, 1998

Juan Cruz, Sancti Petri, 1998 (installation view)

Juan Cruz, Sancti Petri, 1998

Juan Cruz, Sancti Petri, 1998 (installation view)

Press Information
Juan Cruz’s recent work has taken other art, be it literary or visual, famous or neglected, and subjected it to a process of translation. This process often dwells on the relationship between narrative and physical space and how spatial experience can be powerfully suggested or created through even the slightest of means.

In Translating Don Quijote, 1996, Cruz made an oral translation of Cervantes’ novel sitting at a table for two weeks. The artist made no acknowledgement of the audience which was present over the duration of the performance, but engaged solely with the continuing process of the translation. No record of the translation was kept, the product of the artist’s efforts only existing for the different viewers who were present at the exact moment of the translation. Although this may suggest that what was important within the work was the act rather than the results of the translation, perhaps as important for the artist was that during the work he became an entity defined by its activity, almost like a functioning object rather than a performer.

The artist’s recent series of drawings of stage directions from Chekhov plays continued his attempt to explore the parallels between narrative and physical space. Drawn onto walls in faint grey pencil these works imply a spatial narrative through the slightest of presences, creating the impression of a space in the mind of the viewer within the apparently empty container of the gallery.

In his exhibition for Matt’s Gallery the artist will make a distinct shift away from a cultural source ­ instead taking the village of Sancti Petri in the province of Cadiz on the south coast of Spain as his starting point. The now derelict village of Sancti Petri was constructed in the 1940’s to serve as a base for the newly industrialised fishing activities of that part of the coast. The village contained harbour facilities, a fish processing plant, dwellings for the fishermen and workers and all the amenities that the people would have needed to live there - such as a school, a church, a bar and town hall.

Cruz collated information, selected images, translated and edited texts in the gallery space in which the work is exhibited. Situated in the centre of the gallery are a small group of functional objects - a screen, a projector and stand, a tape-deck and speakers - which form the essential structure in the space. Through projected slides and a recorded voice a description of Sancti Petri unfolds. Presented in full daylight rather than in the expected darkness, the materiality of the presentation is compromised, highlighting its physical nature as much as its narrative. It is as if the distant village were struggling to make its presence felt in its new location, the work being the summation of an attempt to remember, describe and ultimately attribute value to one place from the perspective of another.

Juan Cruz was born in Palencia, Spain in 1970. This is his first solo exhibition in a public gallery.

The exhibition has been supported by the cultural office of the Spanish Embassy.
For further information and visual material please contact the gallery.

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Born Palencia, Spain 1970. Lives and works in London Studied 1990-93 Chelsea College of Art, London (BA (Hons) Fine Art, Painting); 1992 Hochschule der Kunste, Berlin (Erasmus Exchange) Solo Exhibitions 2005 Juan Cruz is translating don Quijote (again), Peer, London 2004 Three Shows, Tabernacle Theatre, London 2002 National Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow; Galeria Elba Benitez, Madrid 2001 Application for Planning Permit: Proposal to Build a Metaphor, Melbourne Festival [catalogue]; Portrait of a Sculptor, Matt’s Gallery, London [publication] 2000 We are going to tell lies, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Driving Back, Camden Arts Centre, London [CD]; Santa Maria 5 O’Clock, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge 1999 Juan Cruz, Galeria Elba Benitez, Madrid; Juan Cruz, Kettle’s Yard; Girton College Artist Fellow, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge [catalogue] 1998 Sancti Petri, Matt’s Gallery, London; James (BACKSPACE), Matt’s Gallery, London [publication] 1997 Juan Cruz, Genesta, London 1996 Translating Don Quijote, Instituto Cervantes, London; A room painted yellow, Genesta, London Group Exhibitions 2005 Spool, Consortium, Amsterdam, curated by Carl von Weiler (forthcoming); Other Plans, Forma, Newcastle, curated by Simon Morrissey (forthcoming); Drawing 200, the Drawing Room, London; Juan Cruz and Sam Fisher, Room, Bristol [publication] 2004 HERE, Camberwell College Library and Resonance FM, curated by Claudia Wegener 2003 Situations, lecture series selected by Claire Doherty, Arnolfini/UWE Bristol; Independence, South London Gallery; Isonerv, The Arts Building, London 2002 TECHNIKEN DES VORUEBERZIEHENS/techniques of passing~alluding, Fotoforum, Innsbruck, curated by Verena Gfader; Geometers, Nylon, London, curated by Simon Morrissey; Landing, Royal Holloway College, University of London [catalogue] 2001 Squatters, Serralves Foundation, Porto [catalogue]; Squatters, Witte de With, Rotterdam [catalogue]; Gymnasium, Bregenzer Kunstverein, Bregenz, Austria [catalogue] 2000 Point of View, Richard Salmon Gallery, London; Installation at British Embassy in Moscow [catalogue] 1999 Word enough to save a life, Word enough to take a life, Clare College Mission Church, London, curated by Simon Morrissey; Juan Cruz/Lucy Gunning, Künstlerwerkstatt Lothringerstrasse, Munich, curated by Susanne Gaensheimer, [catalogue]; A Slip of the Mind, CRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, Sete, curated by Florence Derieux, [catalogue]; Other Arrangements, Duende, Rotterdam, curated by Catsou Roberts [catalogue]; From Where - To Here, Konsthalle Gothenborg [catalogue] 1998 Soon, Het Consortium, Amsterdam, curated by Dermot O’Brien, [catalogue]; A to Z, The Approach, London, curated by Matthew Higgs; Artists of the World, Passage de Retz, Paris; LlathYard, Public sites in Cardiff, curated by Melanie Jackson, [postcards]; Neither/Nor, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, curated by Marina Fokidis; BACKSPACE, Matt’s Gallery, London [publication] 1997 Summer Collection, South London Gallery, London [publication]; Within These Walls, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge [catalogue] 1996 An Eternity With Boundaries: Giovanni Anselmo, Stanley Brouwn, Daniel Buren, Juan Cruz, Genesta, London 1995 Eight, The Tannery, London 1994 The Curator’s Egg, Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London
Fellowships, Residencies, Awards 1999 Kettle’s Yard / Girton College Artist Fellowship, Cambridge; Kettle’s Yard / Girton College Artist Fellowship, Cambridge; Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award Collections Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London; Government Art Collection; South London Gallery Collection; British Land and Private Collections, London. Membership of professional bodies 1999 ­ 2002 Member of London Arts Visual Arts Advisory Group; 2000 ­ 2002 Member of Arts Council NTP selection Panel Teaching 2000-present 0.6 Lecturer in BA Fine Art (Studio Practice), Visual Arts Department, Goldsmiths College, University of London; 2002/4 Regular Visiting Tutor, Central St. Martins; 1997- present Guest Lecturer & Visiting Tutor at: University of East London, Wimbledon College of Art, KIAD (Canterbury), Bristol University, Middlesex University, Guildhall University, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Glasgow School of Art, Chelsea College of Art, Konstakademi Oslo. Royal College of Art, Bath University, Central St Martins, Camberwell College of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University; 2000 External Examiner for PhD, Royal College of Art, London; 1997 Middlesex University ­ Regular Visiting Lecturer

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2004 Ian Hunt, Juan Cruz & Rut Blees-Luxemburg, Art Monthly, December 2002 Javier Hontoria, El Cultural del Mundo 19/12/2002, p.48 El Pintor en la vida Postmoderna Fernando Castro Flórez; ABC, Blanco y Negro Cultural 28/12/2002 p.26 Geometers, Contemporary Visual Arts 2001 Gabriella Coslovich When Art Provokes The Age, Melbourne, Friday 28 September; Andrew Hunt, Juan Cruz, Untitled No 26 Autumn/Winter, p 40; James Hall, Juan Cruz: Portrait of a Sculptor, Artforum, November; Wil Bolton, [a-n], Juan Cruz: Portrait of a Sculptor, Magazine for Artists, September; David Bussell, I-D, Issue 212, August; Richard Dorment, Juan Cruz: Portrait of a Sculptor,, July ­ September; Simon Morley, Juan Cruz: Portrait of a Sculptor, The Independent on Sunday, 5 August; Jeremy Millar, Juan Cruz, Artforum (online), July - September; Morgan Falconer, Juan Cruz, What’s On, 27 June - 4 July; Jessica Lack, Juan Cruz, Guardian Guide, 30 June - 6 July 2000 Richard Dorment, Britain Shines in the Art of Diplomacy, The Daily Telegraph, 31 December; Mark Currah, Juan Cruz - Camden Arts Centre, Time Out No.1552; Laura Cummings, Juan Cruz - Camden Arts Centre, The Observer, 30 April; Martin Herbert, Juan Cruz - Camden Arts Centre, Tema Celeste, July - September; Jessica Lack, Spanish folk songs, The Guide, The Guardian, 26 February - 3 March 1999 Here Comes the 21st Century, The Daily Telegraph, 31 December; The Defining Faces of 1999, Scene Magazine, Christmas edition; Adrian Searle, Gifted, The Guardian, October; Martin Pesch, Lucy Gunning - Juan Cruz, Kunstforum Bd. 147, September-November; Simon Morley Word Enough to Save a life/Word Enough to Take a Life, Contemporary Visual Arts, August; David Burrows, Word Enough to Save a life/Word Enough to Take a Life, Art Monthly No. 228, July/August; Abel H. Pozuelo, Juan Cruz, El Cultural de la Razon, 30 May; C.A. Juan Cruz. Escenas y Acotaciones, El Punto de las Artes, 30 April -6 May 1998 Maite Lores, Other Voices, Other Places, Contemporary Visual Arts; Patricia Bickers, Vision d’une Decennie: L’art Contemporain en Grande-Bretagne 1988-1998, Beaux Arts, No. 168, May; Sophie Berrebi, Alternative Spaces, Art Press, No. 235, May; Zacht drumstel uit jonge Britske kunst, De Volkskrant, 4 March; Maite Lores, Juan Cruz, Matt’s Gallery, Contemporary Visual Arts, Issue 18; David Musgrave, Juan Cruz, Matt’s Gallery, Art Monthly No. 214, March; Mark Currah, Juan Cruz, Matt’s Gallery, Time Out, No. 1434, February; Ruiko Harada, Juan Cruz, Matt’s Gallery, Eikoku News Digest, No. 624, January; Maite Lores, Other Voices, Other Places, Contemporary Visual Art, Issue 17 1997 John Tozer, Within These Walls, Kettle’s Yard, Art Monthly No. 209, September; Jeremy Melvin, Within These Walls, Kettle’s Yard, Architect’s Journal, 14-21 August; Laura Cummings, Within These Walls, The Observer, 10 August 1996 Martin Herbert, Juan Cruz, Genesta, Time Out, No. 1375, December; Sacha Craddock, Juan Cruz, Genesta, The Times, 10 December; Michael Archer, An Eternity with Boundaries, Art Monthly, No. 200, October; Andrew Cross, Juan Cruz, Translating Don Quijote, Art Monthly, No. 197, June Selected Catalogues and Publications 2005 Juan Cruz: A translation of Niebla (fog) by Miguel de Unamuno, Book commissioned by Forma, Newcastle; Victim edited by Claire Hooper, Published by ZAZIE ISBN 0-9551227-0-8; Artists Stories, Edited by Jeremy Ackerman and Eileen Daly, published by Serpent’s Tail; Tacita Dean and Jeremy Miller, Place, Thames and Hudson, London, ISBN 0-500-93007-4; Michael Phillipson, Lament ­ Juan Cruz and Sam Fisher at Room, Room Books, Bristol, ISBN 0-9549915-1-6 2002 Various Authors Landing: eight collaborative projects between artists and geographers, Royal Holloway, University of London ISBN 0 902194 58 5; Bartomeu Mari, Juan Cruz, Tanja Elgeest, Angela Ferreira, Filipa Oliveira, Squatters, Witte de With Rotterdam ISBN 90 73362 53 9; Juan Cruz Application for Planning Permit: Proposal to Build a Metaphor Melborne Festival ISBN 0 9580392 0 8 2001 Alexia Defert, Juan Cruz: Application for Planning Permit, Melbourne Festival; Dave Beech, Wolfgang Fetz, Jane Lee, Peter Lewis Gymnasion Bregenzer Kunstverein, Bregenz ISBN 390085193X; Portrait of a Sculptor, Matt’s Gallery, London [monograph] ISBN: 0 907623 38 7; Bartmeu Mari, João Fernandes, Vicente Todoli, Miguel Von Haffe Perez, Squatters, Serralves Foundation, Porto ISBN 972 739 0935; Game and Theory of the Duende, [Artist’s Pages] Afterall, London, Issue 3 2000 Melanie Jackson and various authors, Lost Horizons, Camberwell Press, London ISBN 0 9536395 5X; Driving Back, Camden Arts Centre, London [CD] ISBN 1 900470 144; The British Embassy, Moscow, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London ISBN 0 9503359 804 1999 Juan Cruz, Ian Hunt and Simon Wallis, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge [monograph] ISBN 0 907 074 76 6; Andrew Cross & Susanne Gaensheimer, Juan Cruz/Lucy Gunning, Künstlerwerkstatt Lothringerstrasse, Munich Other Arrangements - Juan Cruz, Emma Kay, Janice Kerbel. Catsou Roberts, Duende, Rotterdam From Where - To Here, Henry Meyric-Hughes and Svenrobert Lundquist, Konsthallen Goteborg 1998 James, Matt’s Gallery, London Fever, Manifesta 2 Catalogue, Andrew Cross, Rotterdam 1997 Within These Walls, Simon Wallis, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge Published writing 1999 Here and Now, (catalogue essay) Henry Moore Institute, Leeds ISBN 1 900081172; Joao Penalva, Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon, 1999 ISBN 972 8176 44 9; Disrupting the Scene, Cambridge Darkroom, Contemporary Visual Arts, Issue. 21, 1998 Carl von Weiler, Museum of Installation, Art Monthly, No. 221, November; Carl Andre & Melissa Kretshmer, Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Art Monthly, No. 220, October; Roger Ackling, Annely Juda Gallery, Art Monthly No. 218, July - August; Pierre Bismuth, The Showroom, Art Monthly No. 215, April; Hearing Voices: Art Beyond the Visual, Art Monthly No. 214, March; Lolita, Adrian Lyne, New Art Examiner, Chicago, June; Roy Voss, Richard Salmon Gallery, Contemporary Visual Art, Issue 20, October; Dermot O’Brien, Peninsula, Eindhoven 1997 Gavin Bryers & Juan Munoz, Artangel, Art Monthly No. 211, November; Vito Aconcci, Film & Video Umbrella, Art Monthly No. 210, October; Kate Belton, Jason & Rhodes Gallery, Art Monthly No. 209, September; Guillermo Kuitca, Timothy Taylor Gallery, Art Monthly No. 208, July-August; Fiona Banner & Bridget Smith, Frith Street Gallery, Art Monthly No. 207, June; Antechamber, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Art Monthly No. 206, May; Richard Tuttle, Camden Arts Centre, Art Monthly No. 203, February; Descriptions of Works in the Collection of the South London Gallery, London 1997 ISBN 1 902036 00 X; Katrine Herian, Back of Beyond, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham ISBN 0 900943 96 3- 1996 Made New, City Racing, Art Monthly No. 202, December; The Daubers, Ian Hunt, Art Monthly No. 200, October; Helen Robertson, Duncan of Jordanstone Gallery, Untitled, Summer; Some Drawings: From London, Art Monthly No. 198, July - August; Graham Gussin, Lotta Hammer Gallery, Art Monthly No. 196, May; Ian Whittlesea, Cairn Gallery, Art Monthly No. 195, April; Peter Doig, Victoria Miro Gallery, Art Monthly No. 194, March; Siobahan Hapaska, ICA, Art Monthly No. 193, February; Frederico Garcia Lorca, The Last Poems, Translated by Juan Cruz, Genesta London; Merlin James; critical paintings, Kingston University Press; New Contemporaries 1996, New Contemporaries, ISBN 0 951555 65 0 1995 Elemental, Newlyn Art Gallery, Art Monthly No. 192, December; Simon Tegala, Laure Genillard Gallery, Art Monthly No. 191, November; Helen Robertson, Barbican Foyer Gallery, Art Monthly No. 190, October; Matthew Tickle, Matt’s Gallery, Art Monthly No. 189, September

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