“Collapse is something common to all things. The collapse of a body, the collapse of your adversary, all of them, depending on the moment, are collapses based on the discordance of rhythm.”
On February 2017’s European winter, I attended an artist residency in Alajärvi, a village in the interior of Finland. I lived on the outskirts, in a large 19th century wooden house that had belonged to Eero Nelimarka, the Finnish painter. There was no one else in the house so the residence became a sort of retreat. I only left the place to cross the frozen lake and get to town for supplies. The daylight hours were few and white and dim and, when the sun disappeared, the snow seemed to keep a remaining glow. And a specific effect on the accumulated snow also created a sort of dampening of the senses. This series of abstract landscapes, successive lines that slowly build an atmosphere —line by line, without assistants— were born there. It is not as much about a geographical place, as it is about a state of mind. About the possibility of art as a therapeutic occupation. To start from a dark background and to observe how gradually, with titanium white —cubritive— and zinc white —translucent—, the plane is covered with a veil that has a movement of its own.
Two years later, on February 2019, I joined a kenjutsu institute, to learn the art of samurai sword. Then, the line found an analogy with the lunge. Patience as exercise and search of precision. Tiredness, exhaustion, are precision’s enemies. Therefore, it is necessary to learn how to keep on going when weariness seems to have set in.
Perhaps the accumulation of small gestures over time is the only possibility of achieving atmosphere, just as termites build those fantastic anthills based on the accumulation of tiny portions of saliva and soil. Temperament becomes style and strategy while negotiating with the force of gravity: the melancholic lines fall, fainting; the sanguine ones rise, extroverted. The choleric temperament produces concentric and variegated lines, filled with pus; the phlegmatic, verticality and hierarchy.
“The adversary” is an exhibition about adverse landscapes. I hope they are beautiful as well.