Artists: Antoine et Manuel, Paco Chanivet, Pablo Durango, Regina de Miguel, Lúa Coderch, Siddharth Gautam Singh, Tai Shani, Shaney Peña
Exhibition title: Going Home
Curated by: Fito Conesa
Venue: Espai Tactel, Valencia, Spain
Date: January 28 – March 13, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Espai Tactel, Valencia
Made of stone, I lost my centre
And was thrown into the sea.
And it took me a long time
To come to find my centre again.
El Cabrero, Republican Fandangos.
Going Home is the title of one of the most well-know tracks by Alice (McLeod) Coltrain. Going Home might well be a declaration of intentions and a call to order, but Alice is (if I was going to limit myself to the present tense) one of these types who invent and carry out while the rest of us insist on cataloguing, structuring and organizing the intangible.
This musician from Detroit introduced the harp into jazz around the seventies, adding a layer, inexistent until then; the magical, the uncanny, something else. The opening chords of Going Home let us see that inside Alice something has started to vibrate at another frequency. The sounds of the harp mutate and multiply at the same speed at which she insists on occupying and treading into other places. The founder of the Vendantico Centre in California, who found shelter in this community; a safe space, territory where se felt unquestioned, composing music to be only listened to by the members of her own congregation.
This song gives its name to the selection that Fito Conesa has coordinated for Espai Tactel. The choice of artists and works in Going Home calls for us to search, calls for the authenticity of non-being and the possibility that there are other non-categorized ways of doing things. When Alice embraced the mystic, overused and revisited by the Californian hippie community, she became part of a specific context. The limiting and castrating context which constantly revisited oriental philosophy and that began to respond to, or to expand, with a specific aesthetic or modus operandi.
Going Home transforms this Valencian Gallery, Espai Tactel, into a refuge of balances and hyper-links. A universe that firmly expands and that overflows with magic, secrets and untold stories. The Exhibition forthrightly urges the viewer; it invites the visitor to take part in a game of suppositions, a literary exercise that evokes images. Going Home is a mirage in which eight thinkers propose ways of understanding other situations, other already possible ecosystems.
The artist Lüa Coderch writes in a seemingly magical, ethereal brush stroke with macro-consequences, a beam of light. A line of light turning into a rainbow, acting as a dividing line that blurs the difference between the centre and the outside, rubbing out the border between being and belonging. With the same idea of frontier, the architect Shaney Peña presents a utopic project:
a park that has sprung up of the Haiti-Dominican border, a fantasy place for ways of behaving in the reigning neoliberal world, a possible space on the architectural level, incomprehensible on the political.
With No todo as vigilia la de los ojos abiertos (Not everything is wakefulness her of the wide open eyes), Paco Chanivet punctures a hole into our psyche big enough to open up a communications channel between what seems to be real and the reality processed by our brain. A wellspring as a sort of source of tears suggesting an uncomfortable cosmos or universe, a priori unreal. A well of tears with glittering eyes who seem to be scouring the room for us.
While Chavinet disrupts the parameters of the real, sketching out a parallel reality. Siddharth Gautam Singh proposes a new system of belief. In an animated piece he approaches and proposes our myths and dogmas that may serve as shelter for future climate refugees. A new spiritual structure that reorganizes our sense of tabula rasa.
The Video projection Deception by Regina de Miguel shines in the principal gallery space. The artist’s interior voyage takes us away from the anthropomorphic subject by Chanivet by a considerable distance. Regina visits the invisible, the universe that we sense in the micro-world, in the darkness, in those ways of living that propagate in alternative and extreme natures. The world limits that which is hidden in interstices and chance events.
Deception is at the same time route map, light and atlas.
Going Home weighs up each and every element that by relation and empathy make up a self-sufficient space of its own. It is from the performance practice of Pablo Durango (Onyx) where this ecosystem, world universe cosmos, developed in the gallery, takes on a concrete temporal dimension (inauguration/closing) and becomes real: an event. Onyx starts off with a birth ritual on the inauguration day, which will come to an end on 13 March with the closing of the exhibition. Pablo proposed from the point of view of queer ecosophy, an alternative way of living with our own mass/body. Onyx is metamorphosis and it is precisely in this metamorphosis as a protective screen where we can place the delicate botany by Antoine and Manuel. The work that the Parisian duo presents us takes us back to the botanic studies of the XIX century, also occupying at the same time the world of chance and causality of Regina de Miguel. Nature drawn, analysed and assimilated that botany offers us, is seen to be distorted. What we don´t expect is presented and shows us new formulas. An other-worldly flora of the stars which attracts and seduces us with the same delicacy that fireflies implant the chip of science fiction in our brains.
When this range of different possibilities, coincidences and feeling have been exhausted, we find Tai Shani. Betanovella, a video piece by this artist, is text, narrative and drama that explore an exaggerated performativity close to absurd theatre. A television screen as a cathode tube sculpture presents us with characters living together in a sinister borderline world. The actors of this soap opera accuse each other of having done some act, of which the spectator hasn’t witnessed. Almost as an acoustic game but with the added savour which the soap opera filter adds. Shani recreates an accusation with different endings in three episodes. Betanovella breaks the narrative line and reorganizes the start-climax-denouement sequence.
The exhibition Going Home traces the trajectory in which the artist opens up possibilities and offers us a balance; an ecosystem that does not need to be discovered, and in this way avoiding its imminent destruction.
Learning by repetition, acquired wisdom in a subjective time intersection, allows us to learn how to manage ourselves within our own emotions in a socially agreed (or imposed) space, in such a way that, if I see a plane cross the sky nearing the Sagrada Family church, the experience reminds me that, in the world of palpable object, the three-dimensional nature of the hierarchy of our relations, intimately the plane becomes part of the background and doesn’t fly through the basilica, instantly reconfiguring my sense of scale. If the plane is background and the Sagrada Familia is middle ground, I’m getting closer to home.
It’s not necessary to invoke the Joseph Kosuth of the things to know that my idea of chair is different form his, therefore EVERYTHING IS COLOUR which Lole and Manuel sing has a sinister patina which make it different to any stereotypical sensation.
The time has come to let go and return to the space we never left.