The award-winning Catalan artist, poet and filmmaker Irene Solà presents a range of her short films alongside a special reading to mark the launch of Beast, her first poetry collection in English. Solà’s work, in both film and writing, investigates ideas of representation, communication, intimacy and storytelling. The artist will also present her most recent and ongoing project Notes on a novel (that I am not going to write), or the swimming pool, or the hair, the herb and the bread or the tomato plant, 2017.
Following the screenings and readings Whitechapel Gallery Adjunct Film Curator Gareth Evans will join the artist in conversation, followed by audience Q&A.
Louis Garrel, 2015, 7’02’’
Michelle in Canada, 2014, 9’21’’
Jerks Game, 2013, 2’24’’
Selfoss, 2013, 43’45’’
Blue Car, 2013, 4’52’’
I will cut you open, 2012, 0’31’’
Navel, 2011, 1’12’’
Irene Solà is a writer and artist. She was born in Malla, near Barcelona in 1990. Solà studied a BA in Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona and at Listaháskóli Ísland, Reykjavik, and a Masters in Literature, Film and Visual Culture, at the University of Sussex. Her poetry has been published by Galerada Editorial (Catalunya) and Shearsman Books (UK and USA), and has appeared among others in Poetari Magazine, VOLS RUSSOS Magazine and The Lighthouse Literary Journal. She has read and performed at the Whitechapel Gallery (London), Jerwood Arts Centre (London), Poesia i + (Barcelona), Festa de la Poesia (Sitges) and at the Festival de Poesia Cèntric (Barcelona), among others and her work has been shown at CCCB (Barcelona), Can Felipa (Barcelona), Bòlit Centre d’Art Contemporani (Girona), ACVIC (Vic), Le Beffroi (France), The Art Building in Vrå (Denmark).Her website is irenesola.hotglue.me
Beast enters incisively, like claws. It arrives with gleaming fur and stinking. It’s a creature that spills its guts and impels the same from others – peoples, animals, limbs, foodstuffs, logical thinking, familial and sexual relations. In Irene Solà’s scenes, there’s nothing that isn’t jammed together and insecure but what’s constant is temperament. Beast comes swiftly, with a brazen laugh and cocked ears. Watch out when the lines pause for weird and possibly lethal detours. As Solà jolts, pulses and pushes off, she might leave the paths littered with bouquets or corpses – Heather Phillipson
After drinking orange blossom water until she vomited everything that she had inside her, the writer and artist Leonora Carrington wrote that her stomach was ‘the mirror of the earth’. Solà’s Beast has a duckling in the belly; the words it makes her sick up are evil, brittle, full of feeling. I’m excited to see this translation from the Catalan unleashed on UK poetry – Sophie Collins
Sensuous, precise, and profoundly generous in their glimpses of strikingly private narratives, Solà’s poems feel perfectly placed for the strange heat of our times… – Ben Rivers