Contemporary archaeology
Roberta Bosco

Everything started three years ago, when Jesús Galdón (Barcelona 1967) received a Government grant to realise a project called “Arachne’s anus” that brought him through an archaeological and conceptual journey, taking pictures in Rom, Istanbul, Delphos and Tarragona. A journey made to discover the footprints of genetic and cultural continuity within the Mediterranean Sea, far away from the limits of memory. “Continuity is an innate need for humankind. The archaeological fact appears because of this need of reinventing our reality from the cultural representation of other individuals and times. We need to perpetuate ourselves, as well as we need to represent ourselves, and this exhibition wants to assemble the physical representation and the idea of continuity” says Jesús Galdón, who was known because of his exhibition in ”l’Espai 13” at the “Fundació Miró” (Barcelona) organised by Ferran Barenblit.

During this long journey, the artist took pictures of anonymous persons and of archaeological sites that he, now, uses in his artwork, not to explain the History but to suggest the observer some new possible interpretations. The Memory of Gods presents six photo-installations at the temporary exhibition room and four works all over the museum which establish a dialogue with the archaeological pieces. “Watching the mosaics room, I could not avoid thinking about the collage of cultures and different people that builds the Mediterranean inheritance.”

The effect is a contemporary mosaic mixed up with ancient pieces, only recognisable when we approach them. Walking through the hall of busts, the visitor finds a portrait of an anonymous inhabitant of Istanbul printed on a half-transparent tissue that fleets over our head. “Another work takes as a reference point the fallen column of Olympeion, one of the highest in the ancient Athens, planned to be an axis between earth and sky, as an umbilical cord that once fallen can not offer any connexion anymore.” explains the artist who took the pictures of this column “a succession of pieces that were tumbled down like in a nice domino effect” and then printed them over some stones, using an ancient photographic procedure.

Roberta Bosco
Art critic
El Periódico del arte, nº 33, May 2000