In La menor distancia, Javier Garcerá (Puerto de Sagunto, 1967) formulates a utopian proposal in order to confront us with the search for a state of reality that conveys those indescribable qualities impossible to grasp without the concurrence of intuition. A few exquisitely-made pieces combining non-antagonistic opposites give rise to a subtle and elegant exhibition with considerable emphasis on the formal dimension, as it embodies both the argument and strategy, and consists in suggesting a perspective of the imprecise, diffuse, changing and multiple space that provides a glimpse at the flaws emerging in the supposed evidence. Its appreciation requires a vigilant posture and the artist therefore appeals to the senses. It is necessary to rid oneself of all prior experience, to come naked, as a neophyte, and experience the mutual transference that takes place between the beholder and the artwork, without any mediation that might buffer the pure and integral perceptive capacity required to capture the mutable infinity. In Garcerá’s own words: “…it is a process of intensification of perception proposed as a means of creating a state of conscience in which reality can be perceived more intensely, more serenely”. Or, as G. Didi Huberman wrote in Lo que vemos, lo que nos mira (What We See, What Watches Us): “The simple opening up to the perception of a spectre of something hardly classified”¾a quote the artist included in the catalogue of the exhibition significantly titled Take off your shoes.
Impermanence, as an essential and genuine characteristic of a universe governed by the relative, is a core theme in this exhibition, which ultimately refers to approaching life and the person, after having renounced the circumstances that surround and limit him; that impermanence, however, is the only thing that remains constant in any life cycle, developed in a continual and changing flow with beginning and end. Then why cling to anything? The process undergone to reach this direct observation of things is a path of liberation from everything that not only subjects us every day, but also lies between the primeval layer of reality and the individual. This is a fundamental question that arises when the subject encounters life and himself; the doctrines of Western thought have viewed it as such ever since that formulated by Heraclitus summed up in the famous Panta rhei, an image of becoming animated by opposites; the basis, likewise, of the ancient oriental philosophy of Taoism –Yin and Yang– with such a penchant for meditation and contemplation. Like Plato, later, Heraclitus did not disparage the use of the senses. To the contrary, he considered them essential for acquiring knowledge of reality; and he defended subjectivity as a stage for playing out the contention between the real and the apparent.
The artist’s approach to the work consists in appealing to the realm of the senses, after first ridding himself of all contaminated content. Once he is one with nature he inhales its aroma and lets it envelope, invade and move him primarily by its essence, transferring those stimuli onto the different media through the most direct and faithful techniques of its rendering. In addition, with a dynamics of opposites that are not incompatible, such as simplicity and complexity, sobriety and saturation, fragility and forcefulness, micro and macro, spiritual depth and sensuousness, sumptuousness and austerity…he combines a series of elements that are part vegetable and part fossil, part cellular and part stellar, shapers of systems, following a pattern not extraneous to the fractal. While it is true that there are specimens of native local flora among the most identifiable elements, the workmanship and the media evoke the Far East with its lacquers and bronzes, and in the handling of landscape, which echoes an exuberant and vibrant nature allowing one to feel its pulse and rhythm. To Javier Garcerá: “The materiality of the work emphasizes visual elements that reinforce a sort of unfathomable quality and the idea of change and movement, in form as well as light and colour, in an endless tonal variety, which causes the formal structure to constantly vanish and reappear, depending on the point of view”. This leads to “the impossibility of feeling as if one owned the image that the work originates, since we are no longer aware of the limits of speech, but subjected to the experience of the impossibility of seeing.”
The notions of system and scale, foremost in the show, also refer to the need to establish an order of priority capable of placing precedence on the essential.
Let’s take María Zambrano’s advicein a text also quoted by the artist, Algunos lugares de la pintura (Some Parts of Painting):
“All we can do now is surrender and wait; wait patiently without expectations, spending time, losing time. Because the work is a temporary dwelling that holds mystery, enigma, in its bosom, the “ghost” that succeeds in surfacing for an instant before it is swallowed by the current, only for an instant, for it is not befitting of a ghost to last.”
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