PAST
View Isabel Hurley´s page in facebook View Isabel Hurley´s tweets View Isabel Hurley LinkedIn page

FAJR february 02 - april 13, 2018
  • Montaña en sombra

    Montaña en sombra, 2012

    Full HD video. B/W and colour. 16:9. 14´. Ed. 5 + AP

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2017

    Full HD video. B/W an colour. 16:9. 12´. Installation and  single channel versions. Ed. 5 + AP

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2017

    Full HD video. B/W an colour. 16:9. 12´.  Installation and  single channel versions. Ed. 5 + AP

  • Extractos de la imagen

    Extractos de la imagen, 2015

    Full HD video. Colour. 16:9.  7´. Ed. 5 + AP

  • Noite sem distancia

    Noite sem distancia, 2015

    Full HD video. Colour.16:9. 23´. Ed. 5 + AP

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2017

    Full HD video. B/W an colour. 16:9. 12´.  Installation and  single channel versions. Ed. 5 + AP

  • Montaña en sombra

    Montaña en sombra, 2012

    Full HD video. B/W and colour. 16:9. 14´. Ed. 5 + AP

  • Noite sem distancia

    Noite sem distancia, 2015

    Full HD video. Colour. 16:9. 23´. Ed. 5 + AP

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2018

    Exhibition view

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2018

    Exhibition view

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2018

    Exhibition view

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2018

    Exhibition view

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2018

    Exhibition view

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2018

    Exhibition view

  • Fajr

    Fajr, 2018

    Exhibition view

PRESS RELEASE

The exhibition Fajr explores the relation between person and landscape from its temporary experience.

Barque stablishes a correspondence between the society’s attitude towards nature and the history of landscape concept and the role played, at the same time, by nature concept in the human imagination. This matter has been extensively addressed by Robert MacFarlane.


In Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition: Friedrich to Rothko, Rosenblum holds the hypothesis that there is a link between the painting of the Nordic Romantics and the painting of the abstract artists of the 20th century. Lois Patiño does an exercise of landscape stylization, not abstraction. In his videos he subjectivizes and mystifies —in the sense that comes directly from mysticism, which arises from the Latin mysta and the Greek mystes: mystery. Thus, it suggests an affiliation with mysticism, given its strong contemplative and interiorising component, between the solipsism of those hermits who felt in communion with nature, and a kind of oceanic feeling, dissolution and continuity in it —according to the significance that Bataille gives it.

For centuries, Christian orthodoxy authorised only the mind’s eye because, according to its approach, it is in the interior of each one that God dwelt. Looking at the landscape meant looking outwards and this fact meant that genre, as such, did not begin to exist for Europeans until the Renaissance (Barque), although it was not practised in a generalised way until the 19th century. The canvases of Villa Medicis by Velázquez were some of the exceptional precedents, which also were the ones that helped to perceive the landscape in a different way at different times. Doubtless, they erred in their interpretation, since they did not foresee to what extent it would be a unique tool to stimulate introspection and reveal the metaphysical, spiritual component of nature. For example, the poetic descriptions of some 9th and 10th century hermit monks who retired to secluded islands in Wales. They were early precursors of the landscape idea as conceived by the members of the Hudson River School (Macfarlane, The Wild Places).

In the phenomenological consciousness the self and the world are co-constituted. Merleau-Ponty writes in his Phenomenology of perception that phenomenology is the study of essences and, according to it, all problems are solved in the definition of essences. Husserl saw it as a descriptive psychology and that perception is the essence of consciousness. Both agreed that reality would be neither to construct nor to constitute but to describe. He continues: “the true meaning of phenomenological reduction is the return to a transcendental consciousness before which the world will unfold in absolute transparency.”

Bergson, who described language as unsuitable for expressing the nature of the spirit, assures that: “Whether in painting, sculpture, poetry or music, the aim of art is none other than to set aside the practically useful symbols, the conventional and socially accepted generalities, in short, everything that has masked reality, to put us in front of reality itself. It is art what confronts us with reality. It is art what divests itself of conventional symbols and presents things in themselves —Laughter.”

In this exhibition we observe immobile figures in different landscapes of Western Sahara, Morocco, Iceland, Portugal and the Pyrenees. In most cases, in the artist's words: “they are static and ecstatic figures: paralyzed bodies absorbed in the meditation to which the landscape invites us. Bodies where time is condensed to open up deeper. Immobility radiates, Gaston Bachelard said. These figures radiate light and colour, occasionally entering a state close to ignition.

Therefore, there are two aspects that deserve some analysis: space and time. Is inevitable to make a reference to Bachelard and his book The Poetics of Space when speaking about the first one. In the chapter dedicated to the corner he raises this spatial typology to the category of refuge, since he considers it a retreat of the soul, where, in addition, according to some reference writers, the past is found once again. The corner, he says, “assures us the first value of being: immobility... Immobility radiates…The space of immobility must already be designated by turning it into the space of being.” Continuing with the literary quotations, he resorts to a verse by Noel Arnaud: “I am the space where I am.” And Rilke, who defines the corner as the locker of being. He also develops a phenomenology of images, which, although more in allusion to literature, is perfectly applicable to the field of plastic arts. He refers to the singular image as a concentration of the artist's psyche, whose effect on the psyche of others, its transubjectivity, would only be explicable through phenomenology.

In these images several periods of time overlap, the artist explains: “A horizontal time in the movement of the landscape and a more mythical time awakened from contemplation.” Henri Bergson already differentiated his different rhythms, where the inner time of the consciousness was accelerated or expanded according to the intensity of the lived experience. Bergson also stated that: “We cannot measure time, we cannot even talk about it without spatializing it.” Thus, he attributed heterogeneity, continuity and succession to time and homogeneity, divisibility and simultaneity to space.

Fajr, the centrepiece of the exhibition, is the one that radiates meditative tempo into the room. Recorded in the dunes of the Sahara at dawn, its sand is stained with a more transcendent tone when the song of call to the prayer rings. This look, which seeks to go beyond space and physical time of the landscape, is also felt in other pieces: Strata of the image, Mountain in shadow or Noite Sem Distância. The artist proposes a static trip to an interior space. We wonder, even if it is more of a rhetorical question, if this inner space of which he speaks is not the very consciousness of his being, in a physical and, above all, in a spiritual way. Merleau-Ponty quotes in his masterpiece this phrase of St. Augustine, in order to refute it: “in interiore homine habitat veritas. Each of you draw your own conclusions.”

Of the two memories identified by Bergson, it would be the one that preserves experiences that leave an indelible mark; the durée that links contemplation with intimate experience, which seems to maintain a cause-and-effect relationship with Lois Patiño's videos. It is that which marks the time of consciousness, and which is measured by the intensity of the lived experience. He also calls it Concrete Time and alludes to a qualitative, not quantitative, time, and is the foundation of the philosopher's aesthetic ideas —Lessons in aesthetics and metaphysics— which are decisive for some of the most important artistic movements: impressionism and surrealism.

The romantic landscape, as Argullol points out in The Attraction of the Abyss: “is the representation of a certain understanding and apprehension of nature,” through which, the human being is situated in a setting in which he has lost his centrality. Because of this, he feels dominated by it, stunned by its greatness and power, which reaches the point of transmitting fear. It is the feeling of the sublime that Friedrich brings to his work in its purest form. In Strata of the image we see a human figure, with his back turned small, overwhelmed, in front of the grandiosity of a mountain of water in free fall; an image transfigured after its processing from a very intense psychological perspective and a state of mind. It is that moment of interior overflow that must have overwhelmed Durero when, several centuries ahead of the prevailing aesthetic, he painted his watercolour on a nightmare in a state of feverish anxiety, in which he saw an immense waterfall fall from the sky. The landscape is presented in its most elementary and essential forms, keeping evident links with Japanese landscape architecture —Hokusai, The Great Wave—, which would influence both the French impressionist movement and Bergson's philosophy.

It should be added that in German romanticism there is a very strong identity component, in reference to an identity that is not chosen, that is given almost genetically and that, therefore, is inalienable —theory defended by Fichte and Herder. Angel Calvo Ulloa, in the text for an exhibition in Vila Do Conde, defines the artist's work in the following terms: “Lois Patiño's cinema is purely Atlantist, as Atlantist is the feeling of a Carlos Oroza who invokes Pessoa to whom he says he finally understands him, who finally shares his sensations. [...] I want to live terminally, on the last shores. From these shores, I'm looking at another world. That's what saved me: going to live at the end of the land of Europe. I look forward to the distance...”


In Willie Doherty's work, the landscape functions as a receptacle of memories associated with traumatic events of which it was the stage; the sensory facet acquires great relevance in all of them: smells, sounds... It is the same perspective as Dinh Q. Lê. Elina Brotherus experiences a very physical relationship with the landscape, but one that goes beyond that, going into the subjective. Lois Patiño shares with them the emotional intensity while pursuing a landscape ideal close to the dreaming of a fleeting moment or a sudden vision; apprehended in a state of spiritual and creative grace. It is nothing other than intuition, as immediate and evidential knowledge of things; the sensitive experience of the real. His is a spiritual realism, where the world of representation is replaced by the world of presentation.

The staging of this exhibition is not free of charge. Nature, animated and inanimate, is presented to us in a pristine way of reality: it is the artist's description according to the essential perception of its transparency, perceived thanks to the transcendental consciousness to which phenomenological reduction leads. The desire to dispense as far as possible with any spatial reference outside of what is shown in the videos is due to a desire to emphasise its ethereal character, which is about to sublimate and fade away the next instant.


IH






Lois Patiño. Résumé

(Vigo, 1984)


With Mountain in shadow won prizes at the Oberhausen Festival (Germany), at Clermont-Ferrand (France), at Bucharest Experimental IFF (Rumania), and at FIDOCS (Chile), among others. And in 2013, at the Locarno Festival, received the award for best emerging director with his first feature film Costa da Morte. This work has also received 15 other awards at festivals such as Jeonju IFF (South Korea), 


FICUNAM (Mexico D.F.), Festival dei Popoli (Italy), Valdivia IFF (Chile) or the European Festival of Seville. His short film Noite sem distância was at the Toronto Film Festival and, among other awards, won at the San Francisco Film Festival. His last work Fajr, carried out with a grant from Fundacion BBVA, debuted at the Rotterdam IFF.


His videos and video installations have been seen in national art centres such as MACBA and CCCB (Barcelona), Casa Encendida (Madrid), MARCO (Vigo) or at the ARCO fair. And international spaces such as the Centro Cultural San Martin (Buenos Aires), Konstnarshuset (Stockholm), JIFF Art Gallery (South Korea) or the Paris Photo fair (France).


His movies have been shown at film festivals in places such as Locarno, Toronto, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Ann Arbour, Viennale, Rome, Cinema du rèel... or at Les Rencontres Internationales, held at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and the Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid).


Some specific parts of his work have been highlighted in places like the New York Film Festival (Views from the Avant Garde), Flaherty Seminar (Colgate University), BAFICI (Argentina) or in the Cali Festival (Colombia). And he has been invited to show his work at universities such as Harvard (Sensory Ethnography Lab), CalArts (L.A.), California College of the Arts (San Francisco) or the Universidad del Cine de Buenos Aires (FUC). Harvard University, in particular, awarded him in 2016 the Robert Fulton III scholarship for emerging 








 

© 2011 Isabel Hurley