Mise-en-scène, in theatre and film, is the design that surrounds the action, what contextualises and makes plausible the narrative. In the context of art the current most used mise-en-scene has been a white space, representing an infinite space suspended in time, a design construct so dominant that seems to have become the frame of reference against which the work of art is produced. In order to denote the design behind the idea of the white cube, we have introduced a figurative element that would appear to be a conscious design decision which, in turn, would question the design qualities of the white space itself, providing a visual narrative which is completed by all the other works of art in display.
This narrative continuity, which includes the corridors and staircases, is aimed at sustaining a frame of mind on the visitor while stepping in and out of the different artists worlds. The half-toned images have different visual ranges so that when looking closely at the artworks it disappears into an abstract tonal pattern in the background, but from the distance these begin to materialise into images of smoke and fire from the 'burning house'.
Mise-en-Scène was El Ultimo Grito’s contribution to 'Burning Down the House’, the 10th Gwangju Biennale. A pixelated flame-and-smoke-motif wallpaper that run throughout the galleries. The intensity and intelligibility of the pattern corresponds to the different areas of the show and to the particular display requirement of the works, while accompanying viewers on their path through the Biennale Halls. The wallpaper provides a sense of coherence to an otherwise neutral architectural envelope and aims at creating a playful and visually engaging atmosphere while defying the concept of the white cube, an ubiquitous feature of modern and contemporary galleries. The highly processed digital imagery, printed on a vinyl-based wallpaper, makes use of an everyday decorating technique to evoke and expand upon the title of the exhibition.
Catalogue entry 'Burning Down the House' 2014