Extinct Formations in Indistinct Environments
What is a face but a wall? It is said the eyes are the windows to the soul.
The façade echoes the face. They are both a surface reflecting or absorbing the context they inhabit, an ambiguous invitation to look in, to enter or to gaze, while we long, irremediably confronted to silence. Both expanses offer a field enouncing a territory and announcing a confrontation, yet presenting us with the secrecy of the persona absorbed in itself. The portrait eludes, as the façade to the stage; one curtain rises while the backdrop remains intact. Actors live on through the history of stones, their narrative entangled with the syntax of a monument.
These buildings are not yet open, windows have not been cut out of the concrete surface; they are not populated. They appear dead, yet in their infancy, dormant. In this too they reflect the art of portraiture, the object from which the viewer will retract a sense of presence, an imprint of a character, a memory yet to be, that cannot be inhabited, the eyes harboring no life in the biological sense. It is nevertheless a battleground where fiction and actuality cancel each other out.
Loeben, known as Isidorus once wrote: “to be blinded by enigma is thus to see”. Dante could have agreed, as he searched in vain for a lost Eurydice, beyond the city walls yet, inside the very fabric of a place he had once discovered through the gaze of an unobtainable treasure. We tread around the building that perhaps will open its gates although this may be only once, for it belies a reality we cannot comprehend, the labyrinth hidden in the shadow, what lies yet unknown behind the door. The structural formations humanity invented to separate itself from the possibility of premature death and certain pain is also our entombment. They appear like sacred sanctuaries, rising against gravity, to defy our fear of extinction. Yet, as we enter, we descend into sleep, it is no longer life we seek but virtual continuity.
Thus, we become extinct in the perpetual immobility of architectural forms as we relinquish our psyche to the impenetrable walls we erect to find shelter from emptiness, in itself another concept as formidable as the highest skyscrapers rising above our cities. In their face, effaced, we turn a feeling into a sensation, denying ourselves the plurality and the profundity of our soul. Those facades are like gigantic masks staring avidly at our vanishing trace. They cease as much as they seize the moment before us, embalming, like a photograph as Roland Barthes described it in Camera Lucida, the nostalgia for an existence that can only ever be almost in reach.
Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2014
New proof of Life on Earth, East End of London at http://www.hundredyearsgallery.com
‘Edge of The Land’ : Jaime Valtierra, Yuri Pirondi, Anna Burel and Pascal Ancel Bartholdi. From 18th to 30th of June
An exhibition curated by Jaime Valtierra.
The pieces on show are chosen works from specific series from each artist which relate to or speak the language of representation on symbolic, mythical or poetic terms.
“ There is a place where the artist reaches a certain stream of thoughts/feelings, lead by her/his own intuition, with the intention of leaving a rational understanding of the world out of the creative process, reaching the absurd, the incoherent, the fantastic….”
This kind of process can impersonate the artist`s experience of her/his world. It could generate artificial spaces and characters which mask an innermost desire of the artist: that this fiction or representation will contain a degree of the intensity of the “real”, as it is experienced, and therefore transcend its own “fictional” qualities.
22th June: Film/show reel night curated by Pascal Ancel Bartholdi
29th June: Performance improvisation night hosted by Adolfo Healer, ( Digital and Analog Projectionist ) and invited audio-visual-performative Guests from Magma Collective.
Pascal Ancel Bartholdi