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Patricia Dauder

41º08’56.66″ N/ 08º36’43.60″ W, 2013

Artist’s book
49 x 34.1 cm 100 pages

For the publication 41°08’ 56.66” N / 08° 36’ 43.60” W (2013), which appeared as number 35 of the Cru collection of artist’s books, Patricia Dauder transported to the editorial support a large-format drawing made the same year. In this drawing, which she presented at the Fundação Serralves in Porto, a series of white fragments run at different heights across a black background. Dauder had created the original drawing, consisting of twelve parts, during a residency in Porto, taking as her inspiration her walks along the banks of the Douro. The notably slow process of making the drawing consisted in covering with graphite each of the twelve sections of paper and then erasing certain parts in order to bring out light areas on the dark surface.

She gave the drawing and the book the title of the coordinates of a specific real location, evoking the representations of classical cartography, in contrast to the abstract nature of the image. The promise of the visual representation of a landscape, a route or an unidentifiable journey inherent in the title generates an unexpected tension when, in turning through the pages, the observer finds these to be entirely covered by black surfaces, in which the interaction between light and dark areas is slight and subtle. In this project the actual topography seems simply to have been replaced by an ’emotional landscape’ in which we can barely discern certain traces in the dark or, perhaps, the areas of contact between land and water in the physical place that served as inspiration for the image. The content of the publication thus bears witness to two simultaneous motivations that appear to be paradoxically contradictory: the artist’s interest in working with spatial sensations, atmospheres and topographic maps, combined with her conscious effort to give visibility to the concept of absence, among other forms, opting not to represent a scene.

Dauder’s experimentation with elements of cinema as a genre, such as the experience of light and the impact of the montage, has been a constant in her work since 2005. In 41°08’ 56.66” N / 08° 36’ 43.60” W the montage and the sequential nature of film are transformed on the paper by the artist’s deployment of the image over the sequence of pages, so that is the rhythm of the ‘reading’ that marks the times of its reception. Temporality is suspended through the elimination of any referential anchor outside of the image. In this way the book has its own internal time, disconnected from any external sense of duration beyond its pages. This corresponds to the notion of “suspended time”, which the artist… herself identifies as a characteristic feature of her artistic practice. So it is that, although book and drawing present the same image, the publication demands of the observer an attitude of reading and interpretation radically different from that which the mural drawing would require.

Mela Dávila