The Music of Ramón Raquello and his Orchestra is the first large scale solo exhibition by Eric Baudelaire in a public institution in Spain. Presenting work in media ranging from film to collage and print, and including a performative installation, the exhibition reflects the artist’s deeply rooted interest in the convergence between reality and fiction, and in the frictions – both perilous and fertile – which arise from the interaction between words and images. In both his films and the objects he makes, Eric Baudelaire’s practice is traversed by a recurring question: What happens when the image is dissociated from the word?
The title of the exhibition makes reference to Orson Welles’ legendary radio play War of the Worlds (1938), in which the music of the fictional conductor Ramón Raquello was repeatedly interrupted by newsflashes announcing an alien invasion. This very early instance of ‘fake news’ offers a point of departure and a returning thread in the exhibition. If fake news has recently been given a bad name by Trump and Putin, in Welles’ play it was used to conjure up possible futures and bring pressing political concerns to the attention of listeners on the eve of World Word II.
Designed in collaboration with architect Xavier Wrona, the exhibition is specifically articulated around two of the artist's most recent films: Also Known as Jihadi, 2017, which traces the journey of a young French jihadist to Syria and back, through both geographic and judicial landscapes; and The Secession Sessions, 2014, which tells the story of the contested state of Abkhazia in the Caucasus from the viewpoint of a former minister of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia, a state with few diplomatic relations.