Saturday, 11 October 2014

An Exihibition titled Reflejos (Reflections)

Friday (10 October 2014) saw the inauguration of a new exhibition titled REFLEJOS (Reflections) in Santander which was seen as an experiment of colaboration between Artists and the Writers. Marisol and I formed part of a collection of Artists who participated, although I can hardly call myself an artist. They are part of a group of artists and writers who go under the name of the Kirguise Collective. The name comes from the Spanish version of Kyrgystan which is a country in high Himalayas (I think) whose name roughly translated means 'the land of the forty clans', however I was told by Mariano (more about him later on), who knows a lot about these things, that it also could mean 'those people up in the clouds', which some of the members of the group certainly are!

Anyway after a year long battle with the authorities to get the venue and several cancellations and postponements, this project finally got under way on Friday 10th October with the inauguration of the exhibition at the new Central Library in Santander which is housed in a lovely building which used to be an old tobacco factory. This building has several exhibition spaces which are all great for varying sizes of displays.
Each visual artist paired with a writer or poet and produced a work which 'reflected' the words in the artwork in some way. Marisol chose to work with a local writer and poet Maria Jose Echevarria, with some reputation for her writings while I paired with Mariano Gomez de Vallejo (mentioned earlier) who is an artist and also known to write regularly. 

Marisol's installation titled 'Arena sin Continente' (Sand without a Continent) is based on a poem written by Maria Jose, which deals with the human condition and feelings of pain and bereavement which perhaps perhaps leaves one feeling like the sand of the title. This consists of three broken mirrors with some piece of anatomy bursting forth from the centre. The words of the poem in Maria Jose's own voice are available as a video which can be seen and heard on a TV which is also part of the installation. The other element is an unbroken mirror with a hand holding out miniature books with the words and pictures from the work printed on them. And to complete the installation there is an island of sand on the floor with broken mirrors with text embedded in the sand. The island is surrounded by black paper boats which could be seen as a blockade or a ring frame to give more visibility and harmony with the black frames of the mirrors on the wall.

Marisol's installation 'Arena sin Continente'

My own work consists of a couple of my earlier Fractals and a recently completed image which displays a colourful spacial arrangement of the chemistry based on the data of the 1st chromosome from my own DNA data (aptly named Chromosome 1). My own image can be faintly seen in this display to give it an air of a digital self portrait. The words of Mariano that reflect my work are also derived from a formula which has some parallel with my Fractals. He told me that he was excited by the prospect of trying out the Oulipo method of generating text from a given starting point, such as a definition of a Fractal. So starting from a Wikipaedea definition of Fractals he did iterations of substitutions of translations from a dictionary of various words in the text. This produced a mysterious mix of words when read out had a synergy with visual versions of the Fractals without the theretically heavy exact definition that usually requires much understanding of mathematics.

He even produced a performance in which a mysterious figure in a strange white suit mimes over a digital voice reading out his text in a somewht eclectic mix of tones and silent periods.

The exhibition is a great experience and runs until the 4th of November. In the meantime we head for distant shores to celebrate Dad's 70th birthday, their 70th wedding anniversay, and our own 40th!! 
Regards and all best.