Gorka De Duo


“If art is a mirror of the world, that mirror is magic, and can change it . The desire to change the world is a romantic aspiration. And Utopia is the active substance.”

Gorka de Duo has developed his artistic activity in a plural way. From the underground sphere and fashion photography, to innovative press reporting, his work has expanded over the years to encompass installation art, spatial interventions, and video creation. In 1972, he produced the first images of Francis Montesinos’ designs in the context of a transgressive and pioneer Valencian scene, being in touch with international cultural trends. He identified with the progressive anti-francoist movement, and photographed the Catalonian theatre group Els Joglars. His personal circle of friends includes the filmmaker Antonio Maenza, the poets Leopoldo María Panero and José Miguel Arnal, and plastic artist Xavier Mariscal. In 1974, he made frequent trips to London and Morocco, dedicating his time to photographic experimentation. Following freelance collaborations in the 1970s and ’80s with various journalistic publications such as Sábado Gráfico, La Luna, Diagonal, and Vogue, and newspapers such as El Caso, and El País, he photographed Andy Warhol, accompanying him during his trip to Madrid in 1983. In 1984, he collaborated with the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid (The Madrid Fine Arts Circle) in the exhibition Fotografía actual en España. 259 imágenes (Contemporary Spanish Photography: 259 Images). A year later, during Primavera Fotográfica (Madrid's Photographic Spring), he exhibited his work together with Gordillo, Mappelthorpe, and Zush, at the Fernando Vijande Gallery. He then took part in the exhibition Andy Warhol and Spain, held in Madrid in 1987. The work he had carried out up until that time was exhibited in 1995 as part of the exhibition Madrid: años 80. Imágenes de la Movida (Madrid in the ’80s: Images of the Movida) at Le Mois de la Photo à Paris (Paris Photographic Month), and encompassed various cities (Munich, Bremen, Nice, Bourdeaux, Toulouse, and Lisbon), and marked the end of a period: the years of so-called democratic transition, whose relationship with the postmodern universe is quite clear.

In 1991, Gorka de Duo moved to Barcelona, where he collaborated with La Fura dels Baus and the magazine Ajoblanco. Highlights from this period include his installation at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham (Memory, 1992-93), and art intervention at the dilapidated factory Paperlera Levantina in Valencia (Impermanencia, 1994), in which he explores the world of multimedia installations. Photography, taken out of its traditional two-dimensional format, is now converted into a physical journey and experiential space, aiming to evoke a symbolic web of meaning through its renewed constitutive elements, a web where romantic pregnancy, naked unreality, dreams and the unexpected, remain united in one discipline.
During 1995, he carried out the performance in collaboration with the artist Ana G., Un Camino de fuego y una grieta sobre el agua (A Road of Fire and a Crack in the Water), which was performed at the Wolf Vostell Museum in Malpartida, Cáceres. It was Vostell himself who, surprised by the work, recognized its merit. In the same year, Gorka De Duo was selected by the IVAM (Valencia Museum of Modern Art) to contribute to the exhibition 25grafos in Kyoto, Japan. Between 1997 and 1998, he carried out an interesting “journalistic experiment” as Art Director for Ajoblanco, a magazine about new cultural trends. In this role he promoted, el Sonar, the Barcelona's International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art , rave culture, and the revival of the work of Leopoldo María Panero...

Since 1998 he has lived and worked in Berlin, where he has started a cycle of work characterized by the use of digital technology, video, and performance art, although he continues to use analogue photography. From his work in this new stage, characterised by artistic experimentation, we can highlight the video performance "Pixel Error" presented by the Walden Galerie (2003-2004), in which he integrates a real document into a personal discourse, a conceptual collage in which engagé art is superimposed on science fiction, shamanistic ritual and Lettrism. And his participation in ’PATAPANOPTIKUM, Requiem for Alfred Jarry (2007), in collaboration with Klaus Ferentschick (Regent of the Collège de ’Pataphysique) , A. Zettelmann, Rainer Wieczorec... In this event ACUDtheaters mutated into a laboratorium of ’pataphysiks: theatre of machines, plays of lights and shades, alchemy and pyrotechnics, kinetic objects and installation, mural painting and minimalist interventions, all interwoven in a gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) constantly changing. Within this context, Gorka de Duo presented a photographic installation from his series fATA MORgANA, as well as the video performance Elemente der 'Pataphysik ohne Title, a scenic collage and work-in-progress inspired by Alfred Jarry.

Gorka de Duo is not an easy artist to classify, his nonlinear trajectory has branched off in many different directions. In this era of intellectual rationalization, Gorka de Duo emerges, with polyphony and fantasy, as an artist to be considered. He creates mischievous spells, cracks in reality, making the fleeting into the permanent by means of images and instants suspended in time. Gorka de Duo conceives art as visual poetry, subtle humour, and intellectual freedom.




Gorka De Duo Berlin Zirkus
© Duo Kabinett/VEGAP. Frankfurt 2005
Warhol & De Duo
© GORKA DE DUO/VEGAP 2008. Berlin Zirkus
Gorka De Duo fATA MORgANA N°1
Andy Warhol & Gorka de Duo / Madrid, 1983
Gorka De Duo Portrait by Laura Menchaca