Oswaldo Maciá. Geopolitics of Nature

Text made in occasion of solo show Geopolitics of Nature, by Oswaldo Maciá, at espaivisor. Until May 24th,  2019

Such is the evolution and degree of sophistication of relational representation, that contemporary visual art questions its own linguistic capacities to the extent that it can even exist without conjuring up images. What, in essence, reflects on the idea of vision —in terms of the perception, generation and ultimate reception of images— also pushes back the boundaries for other senses, which it co-opts as synesthetic qualities. The sense of smell delves deep down in the personal archive of our memory bank, transporting us back to a primeval origin; sound and the sense of hearing are able to create a parallel reality around us that reflects on duration and time. But these are only the means; in the work of Oswaldo Maciá (Cartagena de Indias, 1960), the messages are conveyed through a diversity of research material that embraces everything from a microscopic gaze on migration or the pollination of insects to the macro-political decisions that affect our lives and the habitats in which they are played out.

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Esther Ferrer. Female body conceives and crosses through space in non-stipulated time

Text made in occasion of solo show Entre intimidad y exhortación, by Esther Ferrer, at espaivisor. Until January 18th,  2019

With performance the natural amalgamation of body and space was inducted into art’s repertoire of expressions, which, up until then, had largely relied on two and three dimensions in its forms of depicting externality or of constructing narratives grounded in the real, including the most radical iconoclasm. Introducing the body and its movement through space, or its mere occupation of it, adds a time-based element to artistic representation, which is then no longer justdepicted reality and instead constructs a real moment. On the other hand, actions break away from the univocality of authorship and the ego, while at once questioning artistic fetishism, given that, in the best of cases, the resulting work is a recording of the action; but the time of this observation is of a different order, and thepresent vanishes and gives way to apresent. If we accept that determinacy includes an usduring the time when it takes place, then indeterminacy turns it into a result, a commodity. In this regard, when time and space converge, they construct something else that does not depend exclusively on one or the other, but on the indivisible presence of the two, taking on the character of prime numbers which can only be divided by one and by themselves.

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Politics of Gestures and of Life

Text publlished on occasion of the exhibition Politics of Gestures and of Life, with the works by Fernando Bryce, CADA, Lotty Rosenfeld, espaivisor Gallery.

Art helps us to more precisely understand our surrounding environs and its context even in cases when it has no social or political pretensions. On the other hand, when its understructure and goals are clearly political, this understanding of our surroundings becomes a kind of unveiling of what powers-that-be try to conceal. The function of artists who act politically is not to represent an artistic activity but to construct a reality that competes with the officialdom of its adversary, generally defended by governments that limit freedom, or are unfettered by the constraints of memory or self-critique. When they suffer from a lack of memory, there is usually an authoritarian government near at hand, or at least the lingering effects of one, the product of a still enduring legacy; when what they are lacking is self-critique, one can gather that their democratic processes are still unseasoned.

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A Possible Route

Curatorial text in occasion of  5X5Castelló2013 Project at Espai d’art contemporani de Castelló and El Convent-Espai d’art, Vila-real. From October 25, 2013 to January 12, 2014.

5x5Castelló2013 EACC Álvaro de los Ángeles El Convent-Espai d'Art

At present, visual art is open to and absorbs contents from various social and cultural fields and re-inscribes them in spaces conceived for their consumption with a twofold goal: to use hybrid techniques and subject matters, coexisting naturally and endowing contemporary art with a clear cultural and social vocation; and the acceptance that any innovation is possible and with the potential to transcend the specific field it emerges from.

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The Land Reclaimed by Photography

Published by EST. Publicacions on ocassion of the exhibition The Art Circle. Directors, by Mariela Apollonio at Kir Royal Gallery, Valencia, Spain.

A conscious scrutiny of reality transforms our perception of the real. That is where photography, and any contemporary derivative of the image, holds sway, for it constitutes and informs something based on the referent, whereas it used to represent it before. Jean-François Chevrier puts it this way: “The 20th century is, as Fernand Léger would have it, the century of ‘constructors’ […] So much had never been said about functional creation as in this century, in which all the functions of art have been challenged.[1]” It has proved to be a transforming power, and continues to be so at the beginning of the 21st century. But in its essence, photography – or at least certain active foundational practices attributed to photography – still maintains a link, however slight, with the document, with the testimonial evidence. Several concepts come into play in this operation: “reality”, “document”, “image”, “practice”, and, to mark the limits of the territory where Mariela Apollonio has settled and in which she has constructed a voice for herself, some others should be added, such as “institutional critique”, “staged pictures”, “the ‘thingness’ of the subject”, “photographic art” and “architectonic space”.

Full text available on: EST. Publications

 


[1] Jean-François Chevrier, La fotografía entre las bellas artes y los medios de comunicación, Barcelona, Ed. Gustavo Gili, 2007, p. 75.

Authorship and authority. On Joxerra Melguizo’s work

Extracted from Joxerra Melguizo’s text in ocassion of the book published by Euzkadi Goverment.

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One of the principles of art, and one that has developed like a hypertrophied muscle, has been to place authority before the authorship of a work. Works are valued by the square centimetre or metre, by the weight of their volumes, by the size of the support or by the production of the video or film they present. Even in those cases of actions or performances mounted in order to be consumed by time, in the belief that they would thereby avoid the physicality that was liable to have a value placed on it, the records that bear witness to their existence have been reproduced, creating copies, and hence mass-produced works, that have entered the art market via the back door, which has quickly been equated with the main entrance in terms of prestige and monetary value. Nothing in art can escape being valued. Nothing, therefore, can avoid valuation and, by pure logic, everything has been sold or is up for sale. However, an inherent element of these modes of valuation and value is authorship by such and such an artist. Once a particular artist or respect for his work has been has been widely accepted, expert opinion on his works is produced regardless of their individual quality and is based principally on size, volume and/or the final production costs. The debate on the output capacity of each artist in relation to the quality of his work is a recent dilemma and has been affected by the market itself and its derivations.

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Tools of Art. Rereadings

Publication for the exhibition Tools of Art. Rereadings, at Sala Parpalló, Valencia, June-September 2008. Translated from Spanish by Lambe & Nieto

Redefinitions
The definition of the Spanish word herramienta, or tool in English, relates the concept to the etymological Latin root ferramenta in its description of “instrument, commonly made of iron or steel, used by artisans”. The importance of the fact that the tool in question is made of iron or steel is mirrored in the word, grounding the definition in its material specificity. Later on we will return to the other explicit association with the work of an artisan.

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