Lois Patiño explores the relationship between people and landscape from its temporary experience. He does an exercise of landscape stylization, not abstraction. In his videos nature is subjectivized and mystified Thus, it suggests an affiliation with mysticism, given its strong spiritual, contemplative and interiorising component, between the solipsism of those hermits who felt in communion with nature, and a kind of oceanic feeling, about dissolution and continuity on her (Bataille)
In these works we observe immobile figures placed 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 absorted in the meditation to which the landscape invites us. Bodies where time is condensed to open up deeper. Immobility radiates, Gaston Bachelard said. Figures in Lois Patiño videos radiate light and colour, occasionally entering in a kind of ignition.
There are two aspects that deserve an special analysis: space and time. It is inevitable to make a reference to Bachelard and his book The Poetics of Space, mainly the chapter dedicated to the corner, where 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.
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 its different rhythms, where the inner time of the consciousness is accelerated or expanded according to the intensity of the lived experience.
Fajr radiates a meditative tempo. Recorded in the dunes of the Sahara at dawn, its sand is dyed progresively with a more transcendent colour when the song of call to the prayer it sounds. 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 Night whit no distance. 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.
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.
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 psycologically through a very intense, both, perspective and a state of mind. It is that moment of interior overflow that must have overwhelmed Durero when, anticipating in several centuries in relation to 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.
In addition, German Romanticism has a very strong identity component, in reference to an identity that is not chosen, that is given almost genetically and that, therefore, is unrenounceable —as it is enunciated in the Fichte and Herder theories-. Angel Calvo Ulloa defines the artist’s work like purely atlantist. In fact, they are very atlantist, either due to his tendency toward the melancholic and the mythical, that we consider it´s perceived in a kind of epic in some of his works, or toward the supernatural, of any kind of etiology, that we aswell can perceive in his videos.
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.
Nature is presented to us in a pristine way of reality: it is the artist’s description according to the essential perception of its transparency. Thanks to the transcendental consciousness 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.
Lois Patiño. Résumé
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
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