What is a landscape?
Jesús Galdón

What is a landscape?
Which is the landscape?
Who is the landscape?


TABULA SMARAGDINA

When we always face the immensurable the uncontainable wish of apprehension appears. When this wish wants to be accomplished, we face the translation process into a language that will make it understandable. When we want to represent the immensurable there are limits, and limits walk with crutches (a frame, a stretcher, a paint-brush and its trace-print). So, only two possibilities remain; the perpetual spell or the lame traveller.

The immensurable will always be immensurable.


Throughout time and history it seems like this spell travels constantly through the air, going here and there with the wind, fitting into each place, no matter how small could this spot be. The immensurable established an insurmountable border between man and the world. As long as the world simply is, man is forced to understand itself and the world that contains him, just to be able to be. It is a duality that walks with different paces.

The wish blows again through the way, sometimes brought by the Boreas and other times by Hermes himself. Art is one of the Wish daughters. As all its children, Art was born with one leg longer than the other one; that is why she was slightly lame. Even so, Art could not avoid walking always on the sides, across every boundary.

Art walks always taking a step into Nature and another one into the Imaginary. So, step by step, Art has woven a chess route, a footbridge made with the perseverance of its way through Nature and the Imaginary. It saves all those of us that blind and pushed by the wind of Wish; want to walk on the waters of the river of time, without falling into the oblivion eddy, into not being.

We (hybrids, imitators, plagiarists and their consequences) appropriate the limp; a mixing of genetic inheritance and the fact to tread in stony areas. We move forward searching the balance that we need just to be in this world, following the binary beat of the steps that the laws of nature wrote in the sky. All those who are born, die, disappear; everything that is constructed could de deconstructed.

Et sic in infinitum



QUARRIES

The stone, eternal faced to the flesh; has been the raw material used to represent the immensurable. With the hair blown by the Wish, man has created, with the Horizontal of Nature and the Vertical of the Imaginary, constructions that want to seek, beyond time and memory, what someone wants and the other one will never be. However, to create we must destroy to the same extent. So, this law that the nymph Echo repeats is written on the quarries, as a warning to the opposite landscape.

Throughout the history of Art, the mountains have been paradigms and symbols, marked during their journey as centres of the world. The individual wants to transfer immediately this reference to his particular cartography through the imaginary and his need of being. Blind eyes, touching into the emptiness of the dark, and looking for the balance; this disparity between what is created and its reference is strange: Everything build by human hands will always be destroyed just to turn into something different that explains the original one.

What they call Beauty



HANDS

Between the deconstructed landscape of the quarry and the reconstructed landscape of the Imaginary, there are some hands that adjust, paint, write or think the emptiness. The other ones can see in the dark. Among the infinite numbers of hands, some of them are daughters of Art. Those hands, like the ones of Gaudi (a master of the emptiness, tireless passer-by), which besides adapting the emptiness of the stone, knew how to sculpt the intangibility of the flesh.

Here is the tribute; it is indeed to any courageous traveller.



HOW TO DECONSTRUCT THE LANDSCAPE IN ORDER TO READ IT

The process is based on a technique used in archaeology (epigraphy), consisting in taking moulds from different abandoned quarries. Quarries that are still showing to the wind their mystery, kept long before under the landscape. Some of them real quarries situated in Montjuïc or Garraf and related with the raw material used in Gaudi’s buildings: and another one symbolic, the mountain of Montserrat.


THE PAPER

The stone as a counter to the paper, that becomes the raw material of this process of transformation and recreation of Nature through the Imaginary. The paper is the first and main support for the ideas, its straightaway means of transport. It is the real skin of the landscape which gets Art dressed. Its fragility is logical with the intangible first process of abstraction that wish creates when faced with the immensurable.

This process, as it is well known, will finally solidify into the stone. Not to show the quarry’s landscape on a paper through any artistic resources but turning the paper surface into a true small part of the landscape; printing its orography, a piece of the world, a minutia of the immensurable.


THE SCULPTURE-INSTALLATION

This sculpture-installation consists of a reversed double polifunicular structure based on the parabola (both, a reference and a tribute to Gaudi) that spreads into a corridor with the shape of a nave, with twelve rows holding the paper moulds (thirteen each row). The sculpture is built with levelling line, used as a construction material, lead weights and an iron and wood structure hanging from the ceiling, measuring 9,99 x 9 x 3,60 meters. The paper moulds have a more or less rectangular shape of 78 x 62 cm. and are, altogether, 134 pieces. Those paper moulds are the construction materials of this “ephemeral architecture” that tries to reconstruct the emptiness deconstructed in the quarry. As well as a landscape that folds up into itself and allows us to gain access to an inner trip, in the shape of a cavern that brings us back to its original form, the archetypal balance.

For a moment to keep still.



THE PERFORMANCE

During the deconstruction and construction process of this installation there is another parallelism on account of its location. To reconstruct this landscape required a space of the landscape deconstruction. And which one could be a better place than the one that keeps the tradition and symbol of the holy mountain. Within this first installation, the church-chapel of Sant Felip Neri in Barcelona was an exceptional space; this church was too, years ago, shared by the words of the thinker of the emptiness. Over the last years of his life, Gaudi went every day to this church. The coincidence of all these aspects, even if it is just for a moment, turns this installation into a privileged sight of the circle.

Again, out of the circle, we become travellers once more.



To all the courageous travellers.