How Art stops being lame.
Carles Hac Mor

Jesús Galdón stated how to deconstruct a landscape in order to read it. Therefore, in Sant Felip Neri Oratory-Church, in Barcelona, he shows the measure of his enormous art.

At the catalogue of this installation inspired by Gaudi and by the poet Verdaguer too, Galdón says: “When we face the immensurable the irresistible spell makes its appearance. When this spell is ready to be cast, we find that we face a process of translation into a language which will make it understandable. When the immensurable is represented, it has limits, and limits walk with crutches (a frame, a stretcher, a painter’s brush and its print).” We will continue with this: when someone wants to apprehend the inapprehensible, the mistake lies on the Wish, on wanting to. Anyhow this Wish has created great masterpieces.

“One of Charm’s daughters is Art” says Galdón. And –we could add- Art is not necessarily a representation. This mimetic is the daughter of the Wish, and that is why she is short-sighted as her mother. To Jesús Galdón, Art is slightly lame, and we dare to contradict him. To prove it, we have his artwork that wants to represent nothing, because it represents just itself, his work arises from the disenchantment of the impossibility to apprehend and the evidence that a representation is always a limitation. But a frame, a stretcher, a canvas and a painter’s brush -that means paint(ing)-, force no representation. With those tools and being aware of his own limitations, something could be presented instead of represented. And here, to present means to make, to construct after deconstructing the wish of representation.

To say everything and nothing

The unattainable wants the artist to say everything, and that means to say nothing, it wants him to be silent just to hear what the artist does, the artwork. If Galdón would have imposed his authority over his work, if he would have spoken louder than his artwork, he could have crushed it; he could have done a shoddy work or a mediocrity, and not this impressive wonder he happened to create. Indeed, he happened to make it because Galdón let it grow, let it be done. And Galdón must have been the first one surprised by the intensity of what he has created.

Then: indeed, the artwork speaks aside its own creator, but what the artwork tells -like Derrida, one of the fathers of deconstructivism, said-, needs necessarily neither interpretation nor a conclusion. We could state that the artwork tells things which meaning is ignored, and even though we try to translate them –even from different points of view- we could never apprehend them completely.

This opacity of Art, as per Derrida, comes out because of a capacity to work without concepts, that means without closed intentions, with freedom in front of the artwork, without the will of saying this or that, without this ridiculous thing that we call message. And in this not volunteered way, which does not mean the use of any recipe, procedure or formula, the artwork could -and we emphasize could- arise, if not it would be surely a shoddy work.

Deconstructed landscape

And we add, meaningful, that Galdón’s sculpture-installation in the Church of Sant Felip Neri -a little bit more Galdón’s way than Gaudi’s way- takes as a subject matter for this work, the quarries, the deconstructed landscape -and that does not mean destructed- just to construct another architectonical one, an artistic one.

You will enjoy the scale model of “How to deconstruct a landscape in order to read it” -this is the title of Galdon’s installation- at the “Centre d’Art de Santa Mònica” into the exhibition “Impacte Gaudi”.

Carles Hac Mor
Poet and Art critic.
AVUI, Thursday 18 de July 2002