The exhibition entitled Fear Nothing, She Says. When Art Reveals Mystic Truths, the last of the acts organised by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport to celebrate the fifth centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa of Jesus, has been produced by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), the Museo Nacional de Escultura, and the General Directorate of Cultural Policy and Cultural Industries and Books. The museum opens its three monumental venues for the very first time to welcome the show.Curated by Rosa Martínez, artistic director of the international biennials of Venice and Istanbul, the exhibition explores the meaning of spiritual searches at the onset of the third millennium, establishing the need to find their common anthropological thread and endorsing their connection with creative languages.
These 21 contemporary artists have been chosen for their thematic, conceptual, existential or political affinities with the figure and legacy of Teresa of Avila: Marina Abramovic, Anila Quayyum Agha, José Ramón Ais, Pilar Albarracín, Francis Alÿs, Miquel Barceló, Louise Bourgeois, Dora García, Anish Kapoor, Waqas Khan, Kimsooja, Cristina Lucas, Bruce Nauman, Nikos Navridis, Rivane Neuenschwander, Cai Guo-Qiang, Eglė Rakauskaitė, Soledad Sevilla, Josefa Tolrà, Eulalia Valldosera and Bill Viola. Works designed specifically for the show complement others that coexist with unique pieces from the museum’s historical collections.
The exhibition title revises the verse by Teresa of Jesus, transforming “Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you” into the simpler “fear nothing,” which it then relates to the novel Détruire, dit-elle (Destroy, She Said) by Marguerite Duras, another great authoress and sufferer for love. The exhibition title’s afterthought, “She Says,” reaffirms the fact that the invitation to overcome obstacles and fears is conveyed in the words of a woman, and therefore opens up to the new developments of global ethical and aesthetic awareness that demands, as Saint Teresa herself often did, the inclusion of women as subjects of knowledge and power.