The tamer of horizons
Ricard Mas

All the cities have a skyline, a profile over the horizon limit; this skyline establishes sometimes the most important image of the city. Cadaqués has several skylines, the one that Meifrén pointed out in 1900, turning his back to the mountain; the liquid-paranoid one of Lidia Savana, caused by a crazy love with Eugeni d’Ors, never corresponded by him; the analytical-cubism one that Picasso found out from its boats and narrow streets; the baroque and rocky one, ideal for smugglers and rotten bishops, invented by Dali and Buñuel for “L’âge d’or”, the golden vanishing point moulded by Duchamp to cover his bath drain, and even the Richard’s three-cornered ashtray where the pop cigarettes of Hamilton, inevitably, were going to die.

And I let the last one for the most important horizon maker, Narcís Monturiol, who discovered the verticality of this effect, meditating at the “Cabo de Creus”, while the lungs of the coral fishers were bursting. Monturiol invented the submarine and learnt to navigate between sweet, bitter and salty appearances. Some years later, Dali identified the submarine with the irony, a wonderful vehicle that let him cross the threshold of appearances just to reach new and exciting realities, and all without even being noticed.

Jesús Galdón, white hope of the Spanish contemporary art, takes up again this underground subject, but turning it upside down. “How to draw the line of horizon” is not an usual exhibition, there are no framed works on the wall, quite the contrary, an enormous frame with canvas turns its back to lead us, through three consecutive doors, towards an inner cage where hangs a small retrospective upon de subject matter of horizons or limits -in every single sense- of appearance and artistic language. A huge cloud, made with the same material of these frames, floats like a submarine from beyond the sea. An exemplary vehicle, and an alternative one too, instead of different tries, like the Cyrano de Bergerac’s one, who tried to reach the moon by binding himself with a lot of bottles filled with dew; at dawn, the bottles should come back home, flying far away; It is not to forget as well the pre-pubescent Alice, a desire-dealer between one and the other side of the mirror.

If Duchamp discovered the false bottom of the cupboard, where his “Mariée” was hidden, Galdón brings conceptualism onto the Baroque of Alciati, Piranesi, and of the Counter-Reformation. He plays with the geographical, genre and physical borders. Galdón is a skilful card player; he knows always the moment he should stop the play. If we think thoroughly, the horizon line is just about it.

Ricard Mas i Peinado
Historian, art critic and curator.
La Razón, 16 de julio de 2004