In 1968, after spending a period in a psychiatric hospital of Barcelona, due to the possession of weed, the young artist Albert Porta decided to become Zush and to start a creative self-healing strategy. At the same time, he created the Evrugo Mental State, establishing an imaginary territory and personalizing universal symbols associated with the idea of the state. In this way, he created an alphabet (the Asura), a currency (Los Tucares), as well as a hymn, a flag, and a passport. In the following 33 years, he employed the name Zush. However, after his retrospective exhibition at MACBA in 2001, he dismantles this alter ego. The disappearance of Zush gives way to the birth of Evru, a figured often defined as a ArtCienMist – a neologism that encompasses the artist concepts, scientist and mystic, and that embraces the technological and digital language and tools of the new era.
He has participated in historical exhibitions such as Sao Paulo Biennale (1967 and 1979), the Documenta VII in Kassel (1977) and Les Magiciens de la Terre organized by Jean Hubert-Martin at Centre Pompidou (1989). In 1975 he is awarded a scholarship by the Juan March Foundation, while in the ‘80s he receives a scholarship by DAAD. Since then, he begins to employ digital technology, coining the term PsicoManualDigital, receiving the prize Laus in 1999. More recently, in 2019 he participated in the 16ª Biennal of Istambul, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud. His work is part of important privates and public collections as the Centre Georges Pompidou (París), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the MoMA (New York), the Fondation Cartier (París), the MNCARS (Madrid), the MACBA (Barcelona) or the IVAM (Valencia).
About the artwork
We find ourselves in front of a long series of small pencil drawings, on which he worked exclusively and intensely in these last years. In these works, the artist features hybrid beings with a human face and a snake body. These figures reveal metamorphic organisms through a dreamlike style that mixes reality and fantasy. The figures are structured through a network of nerves, veins or lymphatic channels in which their drives and moods -such as vitality, survival instinct, bodily pleasures or sexuality – flow, filtered through a primitive, intuitive spontaneity. These works have served as a way for art therapy or as cathartic relief for his feelings, and hence as a way of expressing emotions throughout time.
During the creative process of To Be Again, Evru/Zush realized that the drawings he was working on corresponded to the iconographic structure of the Nagas representations, Hindu deities with human face and torso, generally female figure with a snake-like body. In this way, the constant desire to be Evru again materializes in this exhibition with the representation of reptile-beings that, as the artist himself, shed their skin in a natural process of renovation and growth. This will of transformation is a constant in his career through moments of inflexion that allow him to reflect on concepts such as identity, alterity or the pass of time. Thus, this survival instinct and the will to rebirth is the declaration of intentions of a transgressive and unclassifiable artist that refuses and reaffirms himself more and more resounding and immortal.