“And only if he turns away from himself will his own shadow jump.” Friedrich Nietzsche The Shadow is an artistic project, designed and created by Abel Azcona in the city of Pamplona. Adoptive city of the artist, in northern Spain. An artistic piece as a bridge and complaint about child abuse later developed and performatized by Azcona himself in different cities of Spain such as Soria, Valladolid, Bilbao, Madrid, Tarragona or Barcelona during the years 2015 and 2016. In 2002, the World Health Organization estimated that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under the age of 18 experienced forced sex or other forms of sexual violence with physical contact. In 2012, various Spanish media reported that one in five minors has suffered or suffers sexual abuse, although only 2% of the cases are known and reported. According to different studies, more than 30% of the abuses are directly related to the Catholic Church. The artist urges in this new piece to reflect on what is already known as the shadow of paedophilia; a metaphor that both the Catholic Church and different governments use when talking about this serious international problem. The Shadow, in addition to being an artistic piece, becomes a project of investigation and denunciation, claiming visibility, as is usual in Azcona’s work. According to the French psychologist and philosopher Boris Cyrulnik “There is no resilience if the pain is not metamorphosed and given meaning.” At the beginning of the project, Abel Azcona, taking a tour of different parks in Pamplona, accompanied twenty-nine adults linked to stories of child abuse. The initial thirty stories, including that of Abel Azcona himself, build a biographical and critical piece, using photography, installation and performance as a collective cathartic tool. In the exposition, in addition to the thirty photographs, one associated with each personal experience, we could find a real installation, reproduction of one of the playgrounds within the gallery space. In the reproduction of the swing, Azcona remains seated permanently inviting the spectator to occupy the other seat. Azcona tells in first person each one of the stories of the thirty protagonists of the project, as well as his own, the same way that they told their difficult experiences to the artist, in front of the royal playground in his hometown Pamplona.
240 photographs and text with accounts of abuse. Framed. 18 x 35 cm. each
10 photographs of the performance process. Framed. 18 x 35 cm. each
The complete installation includes aluminium and wood swing 4 x 2 m.