Efrén Álvarez

(Barcelona, 1980)

Quantity of Revolution, 2014

Multiple drawings installed in polyptychs
Varying dimensions

This project was first exhibited at Paréidolie, the first international drawing fair, in Marseille.


Quantity of Revolution is a project in which the artist reflects on the power structures that hold the present political, economic and social systems.

These series drawings of different formats are being displayed as polyptychs inside a presentation folder in order for the viewer to go through them and slowly discover its critical and caustic contents. As Álvarez’ relational multi-format constant work-in-progress deploys in front of us we can only wonder until which point the imagery and relational cartography used by the artist can very well illustrate a variety of current complex economic and social situations.

Typology and statistics again become the central language through which we are to deal to acknowledge the movement Alvarez tries to illustrate which is the development and expansion of capitalism during the twentieth century and the defeat of its alternatives. The first arbitrarity we find is the distinction of “energies” or the cultural fields in which social groups or agents develop their power and influence. Architecture, literature and oral life are the three areas in which the “Table of political energy” proposes that an influential accumulation of power can take place. The first stance, “Gross communication (in calories)” compares the human energy spent on two kinds of communication through twentieth century, giving an account of the relative increase of power of the Mass Media and the partial recuperation of influence of the “social talk” in the Internet era. The ”Cognitive Castle” offers a commentary in to the cybernetic conception of culture that underlays  I the “creative” typologies and categories that operate here.

As the artist points out: “With Quantity of Revolution I see drawing as an an act of sharing. There is a very personal form of critique in this project, which I would like the public to consider it as a form of symbolic political action and a building brick of the culture of the future”.