Foto: Manuel Blanco
Antonio Ortega, has been exploring, through his artistic proposals, as well as his activities as a curator or director of public programs, the subject from very different angles. In 2016, he curated the exhibition “Self-organization” and recently he was guest editor at A*DESK where he developed the notion of “Amateurism” in relation to the role of artists.
|Ro Caminal |
Els ocells cantaven malgrat feia fred (The birds sang thought it was cold), 2019
Videoinstallation screen format 16:9 | Colour
|Variable dimensions | 24’37”|
Els ocells canten malgrat feia fred [The birds sang though it was cold] (2019), 24 minutes and 37 seconds of oblique glances that show their erratic seams, dérives between slopes that fade away before the day awakes and the shadows vanish. An audio-visual piece woven of pain, dew and tenderness, which tries to recover the anonymous voices of a village in Catalonia, La Joncosa del Montmell, where something as slippery as oil was and is the structure of the domestic economy.
Voices cracked by the cleaving of life and time whisper softly yet clearly memories that dream of years whose breath can still be felt on the back of the neck; voices of the sole survivors of the Spanish Civil War, small stories that are not part of any great history, not even of the history of the vanquished. In the chinks and margins, here and there collecting leftovers, remnants, in the belief that what defines the conditions of history is never the time and the situation as described by the dominant discourse. Ro Caminal installs, almost unbearably, nocturnal images of an olive grove which never cease to contain the promise of a landscape that opens, the utopia of things to come, of what is borne for the sake of what is hoped for. The story of those who did not emigrate, of those whose eyes have been blackened by so much looking at the sun. Of those who knew no other delirium than that of dust, that of the intensity of their bodies bent on a journey to the heart of fear, amid outbursts that announced again and again the twilight of their birth and who, even so, were not devoured by the silence.
Moving deeper into a territory we think we know well where the constantly skirring monsters we start can be driven away by weaving myths that make it possible to endure, day upon day. A landscape so familiar it turns strange; for, as Adorno says, ‘Even the tree that blossoms lies the moment one perceives its bloom without the shadow of terror’. Eyes never seen because the invitation is to enter them. She shakes the conviction of the peasant idyll of a peaceful life. The light of old moons playing in the black and silver foliage of the olive trees, slippages through the geography of their knots, knots that are like scars, where fragility has turned to hardness.
As Caminal recovers the oral tradition, she cradles, not without a trembling in her hands, the breath of lives in extinction. Displaced from their angle, she unties the certainties of the place in search of a village of the future, in a failed archaeology whose visit to her own people can only restore to her her condition as an outsider. Made and unmade beneath the rhythm of her steps, between the movements of her hands, these images that refuse either to be tamed or to reveal their secret do not show the folds of what will be the new beliefs. Something is unwilling, as Wordsworth would say, to pass ‘into a region of futurity’. So it is no surprise that Carminal should bestow on the roots of the olive trees the aridity of the stones, that slightest excess that can produce a meeting of the utopias that are woven in the closure.
Andrea Soto Calderón
Ro Caminal’s investigations in the visual arts have been marked from the outset by what happens at the borders, in the textures of experience, in that liminal zone in which the modes of representation and perception of the Other come into play. Her artistic practice has constantly sought to trace undisciplined relationships between art and anthropology, research and experimentation, exploring various ruins of the singular which are what articulate our present.
As a general rule the processes of historical construction of images place themselves in the service of certain significations to mark out territories, to conquer, build up, destroy, instrumentalize and legitimize certain actions, unifying intensities and pacifying differences. In contrast, from her explorations of the audio-visual, although also at times with mixed-media installations, Caminal, transposing diverse methodologies, from a collaborative and participatory approach to production, opens up spaces where those who are excluded from the right to occupy the image itself can share the power of enunciation, have a voice. Forms of fragile interruption, moments of tension not exempt from the contradictions this gesture implies, yet without renouncing the power of those bodies that resist and insist.
Her work has been shown in numerous collective and individual exhibitions in institutions in this country and abroad, of note among which are the International Biennial of Video Art and Animation (Puebla, Mexico), the 2016 TIVA/Taiwan International Video Art (Taipei City, Taiwan), Kino Palais (Buenos Aires), Artellewa Art Space (Cairo, Egypt) and Galerie Éthiopiques (Saint-Louis, Senegal).
Andrea Soto Calderón
|Patricia DauderSense títol (Untitled), 2013|
|21 x 29,7 cm.|
In Sense títol (Untitled), Patricia Dauder retrieved an image she had first worked on in 2001. That image was the remains of a sculpture she had made with plaster and pigment. When this mass was wrapped in paper, it left marks on the paper, which the artist then cut out and photographed, and it was this kept and recurring image that she recovered years later on the occasion of the oil ceremony. Starting from the organic and even vegetal aspect of the image, Patricia reworked it, this time with archival images, which she transferred to paper and intervened in.
“Working with an element which is edible but needs to be processed, and from which you extract a substance, makes me think of a number of very embryonic works, begun in 2001 or 2002, which were the first more or less compact attempts at cultural stuff I had done. I made a paste of pigments and plaster and the piece began to take on a life of its own. As the weeks and months passed, you could see that a chemical reaction had been taking place, and in one of these phases I covered these pieces with paper. The substance of the paper itself produced forms, even cutting the shapes like a wrapper. Some of these wrappers were like strange skins, like a mark or an impression of that tuber. I kept a couple of these wrappers, and I started to photograph one of them. The piece originally had a yellowish green hue and I converted it to black and white. From that photograph and the paper I made an edition that was actually a false edition because the pieces were not serial; each one was unique. Then I took the photographs and transferred them to another medium, another sheet of paper, but each transfer was different. (…) The sources I tend to focus on are things that have to do with the world of landscape, with nature, phenomenology and the passage of time”.
Cerimònia de l’oli novel (Ceremony of the new oil), 2013
21 x 29,7 cm. (x 18)
|In Cerimònia de l’oli novell (Ceremony of the new oil), Ignasi Aballí proposed a collective engagement with the different definitions of ‘oil’ printed on paper stained with a drop of oil.|
“After turning it over in my mind, because this was a very specific commission, I decided to hand out one of the elements of the work to each of the guests at the ceremony, so that although the work is a single entity, each of the people that were there had a part, a fragment of this total work. What I did was get some sheets of DIN A4 and pour oil over them, making a stain that spread out as the paper absorbed it, and over which I did not have total control, because it depended on the paper, the amount of oil and so on. I then wrote on this stain one of the definitions of oil found in the dictionary and also all the senses of this word that appeared in the dictionary. On the day of the ceremony, each of us had one of these A4 sheets and we read out the part of the definition on our piece of paper. In this instance I combined two elements which are relatively common in my work to establish a complementary relationship between an image and a text. The image here would be the oil stain, which in each case assumed a different form, and the complement or textual support would be the definitions from the dictionary as a counterpart to the image. (…) This is a normal practice in my work, in which the text often takes on the quality of the image, and the image that of the text. One of the things that interested me was the idea that everyone should take part, the idea that the work was not unique and indivisible. Once I knew how many people would be coming to the ceremony, I did the same number of pieces of paper, so that each of the participants could take away a part as a souvenir or a residue of this action.”