Once on the road, travelers will understand that nowhere will
they find anything that they have not brought with them.
Luis Gruss. Silence: The invisible in life and art
In First Person
Learning to speak was the key! Speaking would allow communication, feeling more integrated and close, not so different. Feeling more “at home”.
But for that, it was necessary to speak the same language…
But is that a guarantee to understand each other?
I was born in a house where other languages were spoken.
Other houses were also mentioned… distant and lost ones; from other places where I had never been, but even so, I seemed to remember them.
Dear but absent people were named: grandparents, uncles, neighbors and friends. No one had a face. Stories and places that for me were just names without images.
There were no photos at home. My parents´exile also left part of my own life in another place, and forced me to invent a shape for what remained present but invisible.
This exhibition is built with images sustained on pillars of words and silences. To speak and to make someone speak, to be silent and to silence someone; they are all acts of power and resistance. * 1
The allusion to the myth of the Tower of Babel brings us to the existence of the “Other”, with whom it is difficult to communicate. In Biblical Babel the different languages were created, and the whole of humanity lost the ideal of mutual understanding.
Let us imagine the immigrant of those days and of today; who wants to be understood and does not understand his neighbour, who wants to speak his/her own language in a place where another one is spoken.
The installation “Tradutore- Tradittore” is made with hand-cut rubber. From the inside the visitor, wrapped in a tangle of characters of alphabets of 70 different languages, can see the outside and listen as s/he enters the installation, to many greetings of welcome in those multiple languages, which when juxtaposed with each other, become an incomprehensible texture of confusing sounds.
This exhibition proposes a journey, an invitation to live the adventure of perceiving, interpreting, and abandoning oneself to the enjoyment of matter and color, to textures transformed into words.
In the labyrinth of voices and silences that surround us, we get closer to another language: the tactile and the visual, that brings us to the borders, the edges and the interstices; discovering in each step the abyss, or the celebration of life and art.
Spaces get confounded, and image appears inside the image in “The Esterhazy Castle…” or in the hand-cut material inserted into the photograph or engraving, as in “Misunderstanding” or “Silenced Words”.
Like a piece of ancient Japanese pottery, restored through the technique of Kintsugi * 3, the images embellished with gold, with strokes or colors, try to capture the invisible traces of other golds, the nobility of other times and places; or a recently discovered story. In “Remembering The Forgotten” and in “Archeology Of The Journey” it is not the intention to forget the pain, but to be able to name it and summon anyone who dares to face it ; to look and to see, to stop holding their breath for something that should have been said and was not ; because it is not possible to run away from what will not disappear.
“The Silence of the victim is different from the silence of the murderer or the silence of the witness” * 4
*1 Pilar Calveiro, Familia y Poder, Araucaria 2005
* 2 The biblical story makes Babel derive from a Hebrew word that means to confuse. Etymologically it is not correct, but the sound is similar, giving rise to interpreting the meaning of the name Babel with” the place where languages are confused”.
* 3 Kintsugi is a technique of Japanese origin for fixing fractures in ceramics. It is part of a philosophy that states that breaks and repairs are part of the history of an object and should be shown instead of hidden, and also that to do so is to beautify the object, showing its transformation and history.
* 4 Ellie Wiesel