KOHLEFADEN (hilo de carbón)


KOHLEFADEN (hilo de carbón)
Pilar Millán

June 6 - 29, 2024

Opening⎢Thurs. June 6, 18 - 21 hr
Artist Talk ⎢ Sat. June 15, 14 hr
with María Morata and Pilar Millán

Thurs. + Fri. 11 - 18 hr / Sat. 11 - 15 hr

einBuch.haus / Florastr. 61, 13187 Berlin 

Curator: Emilio Navarro

Taking a material used in contemporary industry, carbon fibre, the artist Pilar Millán reflects on the origins of scientific language from the historical moment of the scientific expeditions, a moment when the planet was first conceived as traversable, exploitable, namable and, therefore, dominable.

These reflections are based on a previous project exhibited at the Real Jardín Botánico (RJB - CSIC) in Madrid in 2021, of which the independent curator and researcher María Morata writes: "Even the most seemingly dispensable details are as much a part of the works as the works themselves, which is manifested in the beautiful and conceptual materialities selected for the exhibition you have just guided me through".

In Kohlefaden (hilo de carbón) - Carbon Thread -, Pilar Millán goes one step further, setting the project in the concept of the composition of the filament of the first light bulbs: it was made of carbon thread embedded in plant fibres. In this way, mineralogy and botany, subjects that the artist has researched for her project exhibited at the Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid, become the protagonists of this exhibition.

The exhibition at einBuch.haus focuses on the critical analysis of not only where these raw materials have been transported to, but also how scientific knowledge has been generated and written into history to the exclusion of indigenous knowledge, and aims to encourage the public to take a critical look at the narrative of history and its reflection in the 'now'.

These ideas are further explored in a fold-out artist's book that accompanies the exhibition, which presents this whole body of thought in the form of a conversation. The conversation, which began two years ago and has been developed to the point of publication, is being expanded into a text from which the actual exhibition concept has emerged. In other words, the book is an extension of the exhibition space, and vice versa. The text is a dialogue that binds together the four notebooks that make up the book, while the images of the works in the exhibition articulate the conversation in a symmetrical dialogue between the word and the image. In this way, the conversation between the curator and independent researcher María Morata and Pilar Millán is a continuous one that flows through the four notebooks that can be manipulated freely. While creating new compositions between images, the reader can form their own ideas and perspectives. Furthermore, the soft cover and organic form works as a translation of the manipulation of botany and nature, central components of historical scientific expeditions.

Formally, in the exhibition space, the thread of real coal acts as a narrative conductor between the publication of the artist's book and the works exhibited in the space. In the form of painting, video, photography, audio and installation, they respond to the two main themes of the exhibition discourse: botany and mineralogy. As well as with the public actions that will take place during the exhibition.

A place with open windows symbolizes the presence of artists willing to voice independent, intelligent questions. They challenge the prevailing norms and question the accepted rules that power often cloaks with a veneer of humanity.

Excerpted from the curatorial text by Emilio Navarro for the exhibition by Pilar Millán at einBuch.haus, Berlin, June 2024.

Pilar Millán

Pilar Millán is a visual artist based in Berlin who graduated in Fine Arts and Master of Arts in Painting, both at the University of Seville in 2003. Her multidisciplinary projects investigate social, cultural and political boundaries and their consequences, through historical memory and myths in relation to contemporary reality.
Her projects are presented as installations that combine different techniques to create spaces that lead deep into different layers of historical narratives.



einBuch #34

Kohlefaden (hilo de carbón)
Pilar Millán, 2024

Artists’ Box Edition
Box: 167 x 234 x 36 mm, Carton and black paper, Manuscript signed
Edition of 45

1) Artists' book KOHLEFADEN. die Unterhaltung - la conversación - the conversation by Pilar Millán 
207 x 160mm. 80 pp; English & Spanish
Cover: Neobond 130 g/m2 / Booklets: Freelife Vellum 120 g/m2, Fedrigoni / Transparent drawing paper 90 g/m2/
Binding: Waxed thread
Printing: UV Inks. Greenguard Gold Certificated Inks
Signed & numbered edition: 6 - 50 / 50

Special Artist’s Box Edition

Handmade box with fine art-print’s lift tab.
205mm x 190mm, Sirio Ultra Black Fedrigoni 680 g/m2. Kohlefaden 10 mm.
Two printed texts: 1) Artists' book 2) Art Print information 
Printing: UV Inks. Greenguard Gold Certificated Inks
Limited edition of 5

1) Artists' book (see above)

2) Art Print 
Pilar Millán, Leyenda Negra I-VIII (Black Legend I-VIII) serie, 2022
268 mm x 186 mm, Fine Art Prints, Framed
Digital print on Hahnemüller Museum Etching 350 gr
Printing: Max-Color, Digitale Medienproduktion, Berlin
Numbered edition of 1 /5

"Based on the images of the botanical drawings made at the school that Mutis founded, Pilar presents a striking set of black inks on paper and an installation composed of hydraulic cement tiles that refer to the possible existence of the different readings of history that the artist suggests to us.
 It is the official version, the one sponsored by the powers that be, which hides, covers or stains with an opaque black that takes shape in different materialities, the other version that struggles to see the light "

*Fragment of Emilio Navarro’s curatorial text of the Exhibition The Symmetry of Encounters, Sept. - Oct. 2021. Villanueva Pavilion, Real Jardín Botánico (RJB-CSIC), Madrid


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Florastraße 61, 13187 Berlin

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