Mansilla and Tuñon borrowed colours from stained-glass images in the cathedral Santa Maria de León to anoint the façade of MUSAC. Graphic, rather than hagiographic like the figurative images delineated so clearly in the windows of the cathedral, a digitalized scheme of abstract rectangles exiles panegyrized figures and their moral lessons. RGB (red,green,blue) is an additive colour model that applies to computer screens and to stained-glass.
The interior space, I usually try to go inside buildings, seems to expand and contract and there is a noticeable tactility in the surface of the walls. I think it is concrete but I experience the interior in a state of distraction, perhaps it is stone. Inside there are lessons, not moral guidance, but art that asks questions – flickering images by an East European video artist that tell three stories, mothers who assume different roles and attitudes. At times a group of relatives form a choir and sing about the mother, voicing their demands, needs and expectations. What is a mother these images ask the viewer. All of a sudden I don’t know. Yet I am one.
Sunlight shining through La Madona in the Cathedral’s rose window oscillates across faces and pools colour on stone. Holding her bolt upright child, she is a model of beauty and motherly good, and she wears blue as an insignia of divinity. I am not like her.
In MUSAC a secular red light falls through the cafetería windows and stains my fleshly face as I stuff it with cake. Back outside, Mansilla and Tuñon’s colour model seems, like the interior, to fuse polarities. At once vibrant yet contemplative, something spiritual seems to linger in an image that is non-prescriptive.