Room For Love

Series realized in hotels of Japan and the United States of America that deepens on the stereotypes of the amorous models. By choosing on this occasion empty settings and without any trace of the anecdotal presence of the private lives that develop there, love is approached in all its complexity and variety of nuances: it tends to the frontal framing, without any suggestion of ambience beyond that which the decorative elements and furniture themselves offer, reconstructing a distant look, in the manner of commercial presentations, leaving the interior “landscape” of the rooms to show crudely the nature of the fascination that the models exert on the collective imaginary. Although the project is carried out in two complex societies and in many antagonistic aspects, the model tends to unify. Certainly the current social dynamics tend to establish models of transcultural sophistication and glamour determined by a global advertising and condensed images in film and television. The setting for love is the bedroom, in which desire and sexuality coexist, with an idea of the couple and the family, the delirium of perversion or play, and at the same time feelings and desires are confronted as time passes, that is to say, its evolution, from youth to old age. The rented bedrooms are versatile or specialized scenographies, and are shown in an extraordinary variety of nuances that tend to fuse love (with all its derivations) with luxury, eccentricity, Chinese or heraldic fantasy that allows a Role-play for couples, and even with the illusion of intimate everyday life, the habit that gives desire a category of firmness and stability away from the unstable ways of passion, to integrate it in a framework of possession and control close to marriage: In this respect, let us think of the image presented by those two flowered armchairs that surround a small table and placidly frames a landscape painting, we can imagine that in front of them a television can be turned on. The domesticated desire or the novelised fiction of love in time. The images in the series show a kitsch and overflowing universe of tinsel, excesses of pacotilla that make up a stereotyped luxury and of papier-mâché, very similar to the one that television repeatedly offers when it deals with the atmosphere of the famous society. As a counterpoint to this work by Valentín Vallhonrat, we could mention the series of bedrooms by Rochelle Costi, in which diversity reflects daily life from its realities and limitations. In them the dream tries to become a reality according to each of the possibilities through its multiple formulations of the private. In “Room for Love”, on the contrary, the public formulation of the intimate is approached; it is the dream (for everyone) that takes shape in a model. It is about two different and divergent ways of approaching life, from its limitations or from its desires.
The models are varied, so they seem unapprehensible, but there lies their complexity and effectiveness. The model is configured from its nuances, and it is never exact because it also responds to the ways in which the different interpretations present it. It is precisely in this loophole where simulations appear, and Valentín Vallhonrat’s gaze uses documentation as a narrative from which it is also possible to think about photography.
That which allows the presence of ideas and models to emerge with clarity.
Santiago Olmo in Valentin Vallhonrat

Santiago Olmo in Valentin Vallhonrat