When in Madrid

By ArtReview

Nina Canell, Brief Syllable (Oceanic), 2016. Courtesy the artist

Adverbios Temporales at CentroCentro, through 6 May

Translating as ‘adverbs of time’, this group show explores the way our perception and experience of time has been dramatically modified by our use of technology. Oscillating between shifting modes of narration and time-travelling through fiction, Adverbios Temporales gather works by 15 artists, including Hanne Lippard, Cécile B. Evans, Nina Canell and Laure Prouvost, as well as Spanish artists Regina de Miguel and Marian Garrido.

Doris Salcedo, Palimpsesto
Doris Salcedo, Palimpsesto, 2013–17. Photo: Juan Fernando Castro

Doris Salcedo: Palimpsest at Palacio de Cristal, through 1 April

The Colombian artist, expert in sublimating pain and trauma into powerful and moving largescale installation, strikes again. Palimpsest, the artist’s new intervention at the Palacio de Cristal, is a poetic tribute to refugees who died crossing the Atlantic or in the Mediterranean while fleeing their country. On the cold stone slabs of the palacio, one can read the names of some of these castaways, written, quite simply, in… drops of water.

John Akomfrah, Purple
John Akomfrah, Purple, 2017 (installation view). Courtesy Barbican, London

John Akomfrah: Purple at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, through 25 March

Travelling from London’s Barbican, this immersive six-channel installation by the acclaimed British filmmaker reads like an emotive, poignant history of the Anthropocene. Composed of a mix of archival footage and new material shot in the vast landscapes of French Polynesia, this cinematic installation ponders the acceleration of climate change to a hypnotic soundtrack.

Esther Ferrer, Canon para siete sillas
Esther Ferrer, Canon para siete sillas, 1990, performance. Courtesy the artist

Esther Ferrer: All Variations Are Valid, Including This One at Palacio de Velazquez, through 25 February

Pioneer of performance art in Spain and member of the ZAJ group in the 1960s, Ferrer’s multifaceted practice – including installations, photographs, canvases and constructions – reflects the artist’s interest in the relationship between body and space, as a means to rethink the role of the individual within society. Palacio de Velazquez, in the middle of Retiro park, zooms in on the artist’s ‘rigorous absurdity’ (the artist's words), whose peculiar experimentation with repetition and chance nods to a long tradition, from Mallarmé to Perec to Fluxus.

William Kentridge. Enough and more than enough
William Kentridge, Enough and more than enough, 2017 (installation view). Courtesy Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid

William Kentridge: Enough and more than enough at Museo Reina Sofia, through 19 March

Last but not least is a survey show of the South African artist at Reina Sofia, which gives central stage to his work in theatre, opera and performance. From stage design to costumes and props, these complex and layered works are fundamental to understanding Kentridge’s oeuvre. 

21 February 2018