Curated by Marta Pita
“Ralf & Jeannette” (2010) is a video projection by artists David Bestué and Marc Vives. It's the story of a romantic relationship, originally presented as a one-time-only combination of three simultaneous elements: a live action performance, a billboard projection, and a television broadcast. The performance, which lasted only nine minutes and twenty seconds, took place on a crowded sidewalk in Times Square, New York. During the seemingly everyday interaction between the two characters, their lines were projected in real time on a massive overhead digital billboard. A video feed of the event—shot with multiple cameras from a distance and in close-up—was presented nationwide on MTV, accompanied by subtitles in English.
This presentation of “Ralf & Jeanette” at WPA Annex, located in a brand-new storefront in the Shaw neighborhood of DC, prompts viewers to reflect on their chance encounters with strangers on the street outside and changing social dynamics in the area. The experience of seeing the work more than 200 miles from where it was originally performed replicates the duality present in the work itself, creating a paradox of the type that Bestué-Vives are so fond.
Bestué and Vives worked collaboratively from 2002 to 2012. They create works that possess a subtle irony intended to engage even the most distracted viewer.
About the artists
David Bestué (Barcelona, b. 1980) and Marc Vives (Barcelona, b. 1978) collaborated as Bestué – Vives from 2002 and 2012. Their first work was a series of 48 actions performed in the city of Mataró (Catalonia), which appeared to be deliberately inconsequential. They became well-known later with the subsequent video Acciones en casa in 2005, for which they filmed over one hundred everyday micro-actions, replete with a sense of irony and references to Dadaism and its subsequent derivations. They participated in the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Their work was also exhibited at La Casa Encendida, Madrid; MUSAC, León, Spain; Fundación Federico García Lorca, Granada; MACBA, Barcelona; OK Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria; and other venues.
about the curator
Marta Pita is an artist and arts manager based in Washington DC. She holds and MA in Arts Criticism and Management from City University in London. Her undergraduate degree is in Fine Arts, from the Complutense University of Madrid. In the past she has worked at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, and PEER in London. She currently works at the Embassy of Spain in Washington DC managing SPAIN arts & culture's visual arts program in the US.
About Wpa annex (WPAA)
WPA has been generously provided an additional space by JBG Smith for programming. Located two blocks from WPA’s office/gallery, the Annex is located at 1921 8th St NW, just south of Florida Avenue.
This project is supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and JBG Smith.
December 12, 2018 - January 13, 2019
WPA Annex, 1921 8th St NW, Ground Floor