Accions. Treball sobre els quatre elements 1 (Actions. Work on the Four Elements 1)

Francesc Abad

Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain, 1944
  • Series: 
    Trabajos sobre los cuatro elementos (Works on the Four Elements)
  • Date: 
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  • Media description: 
    Super 8 film transferred to video (Digital Betacam and DVD)
  • Duration: 
    7 min. 51 sec.
  • Colour: 
  • Sound: 
    No sound
  • Category: 
    Video, Action
  • Entry date: 
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Accions. Treball sobre els quatre elements 1 (Actions. Work on the Four Elements 1, 1972) is from a particularly important moment in Francesc Abad’s career: the beginning of his conceptual practice. After giving up painting in 1971, Abad did a series of projects approaching Body Art and Land Art, arising from a desire to achieve an empirical approach to nature.
The film forms part of his work on the four elements, air, water, fire and earth, a joint project with Alberto Corazón, Jordi Benito, Antoni Muntadas, Nacho Criado and Francesc Torres.
In this series of works, Abad sets out a number of ways of interacting with the landscape and elements of nature, such as land enclosure and taking measurements based on geometric shapes, or the observation of the behaviour of the elements in the wake of certain acts involving the body (burning, blowing, stepping and so on.) The project gained recognition through the Documentos (Documents) series and an exhibition entitled Tierra, Aire, Agua, Fuego (Earth, Air, Water, Fire), shown at Valencia’s College of Architects and the Juana de Aizpuru gallery in Seville in 1973.
This work illustrates the hybrid situation of conceptual practices in Spain, which, far from any form of specificity, actually bring together hugely diverse standpoints, from Arte Povera to work with the land and the body.

Cristina Cámara Bello