Eugènia Balcells, visual artist and guest filmmaker
Eugènia Balcells (Barcelona, 1943) graduated in technical architecture in Barcelona. The daughter and granddaughter of architects and inventors, the daily friction with all kinds of ingenious installations related to vision and mathematics started her in a fragile apprenticeship of the balance between the intangible and the material, between the illusory and the concrete. In 1968 she moved to New York and she continued her artistic training at the University of Iowa, where she obtained a Master of Art in 1971. Until 1979 she lived between Barcelona and New York, the year in which she established residence in the U.S. Since 1988 she resides alternately in the two cities.
Her artistic activity began in the mid-seventies in the context of conceptual art and became one of the pioneers of experimental cinema and audiovisual art in the country. She participated in the exhibition "First generation. Art and moving image", at the Reina Sofía National Museum of Art. This exhibition was structured around different ideas and works of the first artists who worked with video around the world.
In his artistic career, the human being has had a leading role, either from the expression of his daily life as well as from the transcendence of his place in the world and the meaning of his existence. In recent times, Eugènia Balcells' interest in the universe and the matter and energy that make up the world and everyone it inhabits led her to discover in Dmitri Mendeleev's periodic table of elements a way of expressing the visual DNA of the universe . Eugènia Balcells translated the light expression of each element, which arises from a series of light frequencies that is translated into a series of different colors for each element, thus uniting physics and chemistry in a single icon. This is where Homage to the Elements and Frequencies are born, the two works that will be exhibited at the Palau de la Música Catalana. In 2010, on the occasion of the exhibition "Frequencies", the National Council for Culture and the Arts awarded him the National Prize for Visual Arts from the Generalitat of Catalonia. The same year she was awarded by the King of Spain the Medal of Merit in Fine Arts, gold category.
In a conversation with Roald Hoffmann, 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and also a writer and poet, Eugènia Balcells felt the intuition that light is the voice of matter. An idea that becomes a poetic expression of enormous importance and that brings us closer to the mystery of what we are. Because both humanity and the universe, everything is made up of matter and energy, in infinite combinations and variations. And at the same time, finally, we are all a pinch of stars.