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Ignasi Aballí

Desapariciones (Disappearances), 2002

Installation | Prolaser digital print on photographic paper and light box
169 x 119 cm (x24)


Desapariciones (Disappearances ) is a series of film posters. The common factor is that they “illustrate” or advertise films based on scripts by the French writer Georges Perec. Screenplays Perec wrote through his life, but which in many cases were never filmed. So these are mostly posters for non-existent films. Lastly, many of the images that appear on the posters and which in theory would lead to a film have been retrieved from earlier works or works in process by Ignasi Aballí.

Perec is one of Aballí’s references and shares quite a few concerns with him. The recourse to absence, which is evident in the novel La Disparition, written without the letter “e”, the most frequent one in French, ever occurring is also persistent in Aballí’s work: pictures corrected with Tipp-Ex, traces of supposed visitors on the walls… In Perec the questioning of narrative, the fact of recounting something, would correspond to a certain impossibility of representing something in Aballí’s case, or the crisis of representation taken to extremes in pictures in which there is nothing to see. And, linked to that, a tendency to self-impose mechanical elements for the production of the work: ordering lists and classifications or writing without one letter, in one case; and lists and more classifications or preparing a painting without ever doing it (leaving pots of dried paint) in the other.

Consistent with that absence, Aballí’s film posters in Desapariciones do not refer to any film, they refer to an absence, to a disappearance. And in that disappearance, following Marcel Duchamp in Le processus créatif to the letter, it is the spectator who finishes the work, the one who, in this case, makes a non-existent film.

But, one peculiarity, the images, in theory open to interpretation, speak: of more disappearances (a blank book, a poster that has fallen down); of the unmade film itself (an empty screen or rolls of film); of mistakes, empty spaces, corrections or classifications of what the title states (La mujer destrozada, The Destroyed Woman) enumerates the parts of the body). For non-existent films, Aballí has prepared posters that speak of that same disappearance.

Lastly, the preparation of the posters also implies the self-imposition of a mechanical task, an element found in Aballí’s and Perec’s work. It is mechanical insofar as he concentrates on illustrating Perec’s scripts, just as he collects newspaper clippings (Listados, Lists). In both cases the mechanical wards off expressive or subjective elements in the work and here exhibits re-representation as a possibility of representation. A strategy in tune with writers like Enrique Vila-Matas for whom writing consists of rewriting and making consists of remaking.

David G. Torres


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