Act of Grace: Nicolas Daubanes


ADN Galeria presents for the first time the work of the artist Nicolas Daubanes from the exhibition Act of Grace, which will open on September 15 within the frame of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend 2022. The exhibition brings together drawings, sculptures and installations that approach different examples of prison architecture to reflect on their oppressive potential and on the possible ways of emancipation of their coerced inhabitants.

Nicolas Daubanes began working in the field of incarceration in 2008 after being artist-in-residence in a prison for minors. Faced with the strict and hyper-regulated way of life he discovered through this experience, the artist devised strategies involving the use of cheap and harmless materials, which could pass through the police controls at the entrance to the prison. Thus, he chose iron powder, clay and cardboard: materials to which the artist attaches as much importance as to the artistic gesture and the final piece.

An example of this is the series of drawings with iron filings inspired by Goya's Disasters of War and Piranesi's Imaginary Prisons, but also by the theories on surveillance societies described by Michel Foucault and the panoptic model of the brothers Jeremy and Samuel Bentham. On this occasion, a large mural drawing in rusty colours and iron dust is displayed, representing the shape of La Modelo prison, which was in use in Barcelona until a few years ago. Between the hardness of the metal and the lightness of the dust, one can both understand the possibility of escape –the iron filings as a remnant of the bars sawn by the jail escapee– and the inexorable passage of time and its destructive effects on matter and memory.

Installation Views