Antonio Ortega’s 2004 exhibition Fe y Entusiasmo (Faith and Enthusiasm) at the Fundación Miró of Barcelona presented a reconstruction of a temporary office. The objective of this was to raise funds for a wax model of the yellow media character Yola Berrocal. In this piece we can watch the artist himself interviewing and reflecting on the project with Berrocal, who talks about her life, her rise to fame, and her fall from grace, as if they were in a talk-show.
The video is a perfect exercise of anti-television, as it lacks any of the usual glamour of television sets. The production is crude, and Ortega, acting as the interviewer, looks shy and hardly dares to trouble the grotesque character in front of him. At no point does anyone try to embarrass Berrocal, asking her to sing or to show her breasts, as is common in her television appearances. In Populismo y Popularidad we are only offered questions and answers, we watch a character forced to speak about herself, to reflect on her own life, to talk about contemporary art, about the world of television and about her inconsistent career from one television set to another and in the yellow press.
We can thus appreciate how Ortega refuses to present the character himself, to let her present herself. However, with all the television paraphernalia missing, as well as all the verbal and visual abuse of yellow press type programmes, as spectators we are confronted with a crude and solemn exercise of self-confession. For the non-initiated the subject is boring, because behind the character Yola, there is only the person Yola Berrocal.