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Asier Laspiur exhibition at ARTEZTU GALLERY in Donostia



opening of a deliberation, or outward introjection:

Normally, I am never satisfied with a single and isolated referential source: things, situations, realities... they always mean something more to me... they keep a lot of meanings, they are not univocal, that is why I introduce in and with words a degree of significance… with the purpose that they are more than words in a single direction… that significance that has so much in common with Art, as that which has meaning even if it lacks meaning; if we put titles to the works, it is to the benefit that they are not discursive headlines, but that they incarnate with the work, make body (from the skeleton to the skin) and are objectively fused Meaning-Sense-Form (Marcel Duchamp did it with his titles, he did not stitch without thread... and he said that titles are important: an "invisible color, which does not exist in light", that is, an internal element of the structure, which, however, can be seen outside );

these effects of Language, attached to the effects of Form, and being a constitutive part of the work, increase my perception of what surrounds me: they are no longer "language to communicate", they do not "communicate", nor "inform" (because Art is not Communication or Information), but they are open, polysemic signs, but that support their Sense of work in that opening, in the event of the work, it is not about attaching "explanatory" titles, but about suggestions, evocations , unfolding, displacements, dislocations... that help preserve the unity of the work in a saturation, a condensation or intensity... in a heartbeat on the reverse of the visible plane, of the appearance and of the countenance, and despite this offering a latency that it manifests itself in the patent; Humberto Boccioni was a groundbreaking paradigm with the title of his sculpture «UNIQUE FORMS OF CONTINUITY IN SPACE», which already in 1913 marked a descriptive plane of the work, an allusion that was not metaphorical or poetic, but almost from a manual of instructions for an appliance… in my case, I don't stick with the mere description, I prefer the title of the painting «CECI N'EST PAS UN PIPE» (1928) by René Magritte, a formidable counter-description that annuls the representational scheme, the rules of dependence between word/thing, signifier/meaning, and form/content;

the current exhibition is, certainly, a reunion of some works that I have made in recent years (with occasional alterations that they have been able to adopt... my research is a successive palimpsest of making-remaking, a cyclical present where the sculptures of the past intertwine with those of the future in mutual affection), and that have not been seen in Donostia... an opportunity provided by Iker, who has had the nice and kind idea of bringing together a young artist with another more experienced one, each one doing his exhibition and, later, in the global exhibition of the year, showing a work done in collaboration, four hands… this will be a novel experiment… as far as I am concerned, I am with my daughter, Jone, who has recently finished her Bachelor of Fine Arts and is very excited to do things in the future… so, I take advantage and thank Iker Antía for his generosity with this original multiple project of 2018;

Regarding how to distribute the works in an exhibition, I will say that, just as we do not understand very well at what minute to consider a work "concluded" in its singularity, I do not know exactly what the overall composition or final arrangement of an exhibition will be: it is necessary to make a link, and put in dialogue (in the heart of internal conflicts more or less wanted, or supervening), the works among themselves, and with each specific space in which they are exhibited, with which, in the end, they will remain living together;


It can be seen in the works themselves that in my sculptural longing the interest in curious transitory states of matter (in a physicality composed in the key of an organism) has been a trademark of the house, for the relations of tension between objects (considered animated beings) , and by energetic situations that seek a solution (whether in its rest or activation aspect), in a vast display of tangible forces: transfer of fluids, articulation of weights, intertwining of volumes, coupling of devices... and, ultimately, in a copious manifestation of processes of osmosis and metamorphosis that erupt in the middle of a transformative combat (vast crucible for an alchemy), between instability, disengagement, imbalance... and their opposites as iconic phenomena: security, congruence , the rhythm… in that interval, space of transit, of permanent change between some states and others; this occurs in an attitude of play, commitment to mischief, even if there are subtle doses of drama in some configurations; It should be noted that, circumstantially, in my works the real body of the viewer interacts ("HELDU, BAINA EZ NAZAZU ERAMAN" would be one of them), widening its symbolic horizon thanks to the contribution of a poetic facticity (not by a long shot utilitarian, of course). ); Over the years, I have handled in this task a wide know-how of the matter, from stone to glass, through mercury or latex, from water to electricity through sound or air;

Regarding the modus operandi, or the procedures for carrying out my works, I will say that I operate installed in a wide range of acts: I can resort to already-made objects (bought, found, rescued...), reuse them and subsume them in superior geometries, or I can elaborate pieces myself, building and assembling with my hands (erotics of manipulation, praise of the hand), modifying the supports as required on each occasion, some very specific in their physicality (if I have to apply a tekhné or a craft, I'll be happy to), just as I can order precise parts from specialists; the combination of all this forms my sculptural objectifications; these procedures are integrated into my creative process naturally, holistically; the matter of the technical is fundamental, since it is the basis of the work of Materiality and Form, without which none of the rest (Representation, Image, Symbol, Verisimilitude, Immanence, Empathy, Content, Event...) would be possible: in this confluence of technique/subject, is where we aspire to caress the raising of worlds, that is to say, diegetic universes (consummate the function of diegesis, essential to the field of Fiction);


My position in Art has been symptomatically a place of maladjustment and discomfort, an impossibility of being an artist, a being/being an artist deferred in time, stubbornly at the crossroads of postponement and delay in being an artist, in fulfilling a certain will of artist, an artist's way of life... since I was a child my modality of expression has been through plastic arts... and I say expression as ex-pression, that is, release the pressure by taking it out: but I soon realized that this is not it has nothing to do with acting and behaving as an artist, next to other artists, and in Art showcases;

not knowing what to do, what to be in life, Art caught me in search of a space in which it is not required to have a "profession", nor to identify oneself as an "expert", a trained "professional", in a exercise that sustains you existing... and it turns out that Art has been my greatest support, my strongest support or staff... which has kept me, not in comfort or safe, but in mutation, in crisis, asking myself again and again how to inhabit the superstructure of Art, in addition to how to inhabit myself in my individuality: it has given me a lot, along with no less than what was stolen... it has kept me on edge, in a fist, "victim" of my own representations, and in "debt" with a kind of supposedly "very large", "transcendent", "messianic", "life or death" dimension... that of the figure of the subject of Art who struggles to signify himself in Life... and that it is eternally to be done, to be erected... and here a jump opens up for me, a gap, almost insurmountable, difficult to manage: that of the pirouettes s, somersaults and acrobatics for living doing Art; It is not about obtaining a market, notoriety, or belonging to collections (vanities of the Ego), or anything like that, but about achieving a seriousness, a truth, that links my person (being desiring) with my social appearance, emotional, intersubjective… I have never been able to put this together… it goes from an aesthetics of negativity, in its most Oteizian code, and even in the most accentuated Freudian hermeneutics of the irresolvable division between the pleasure principle and the stubborn reality principle, maladaptive of me … which instills in you an insatiable (negative) thirst for aesthetics, experienced in its most tragic and simultaneously most playful attributes, favoring a state of mind that makes you breathe; I remember what Marcel Duchamp believed when alluding to his artistic work, a true extension of his life: «I am only a respirator: my art would consist in living; every second, every breath, is a work that is not inscribed anywhere, that is neither visual nor cerebral. It is a kind of constant euphoria”; here is a genuine respirator (of more than the air of Paris), and a respiration that, as far as I am concerned, while supporting me living, has mortified me and has made me sick frequently... and in that apparent existential contradiction of healing/illness with stubborn alternation, underlies embedded, more or less unconsciously, a motivation coming from a European romanticism, from a historical idealism from which we have drunk my generation, that of late-Modernity, which later made us turn on the hinge or point of inflection towards post-Modernity so crazy (dispersed and expansive) and so schizoid (fractured and rhizomatic) in themes and technologies… then, live making Art, or make Art while living?;

Oteiz's exegesis proposed traversing being an artist and Art (which are not a goal in themselves, but a means, a transit) without the hunter-artist being trapped (as a hunted hunter) in the trap of Art, so that, once freed from Art, the artist ceases and the citizen can emerge in order to effectively influence society (city) and the world (since Art, per se, is incapable of doing so): an aesthetic education of the subject, which take it, not to Art, but from Art to Ethos, in which it intends to intervene and improve it; I, on the other hand, have not even used Art with the desire to become an artist or homo politicus (let's say that I have not "let myself be loved" by Art, as a precaution to end up being instrumentalized by it, which would mean another class of alienation, similar to that of any trade)... of course, undeniably, I have been trained mediating the experience of doing art (even obsessively), and even so, as far as I am concerned, it has been unattainable for me to accommodate myself, "fully law", in the scaffolding of the system of Art: it resembles what happens with the slippery notion of Utopia that, twin of the rainbow, is an elusive stage, out of reach as we pursue it, and that, however, — and not mixed with Chimera—, makes us move instinctively in pursuit of that something by way of promise, illusion, dream, hope and faith, vital need, desire... which I do not renounce...

closure of the deliberation, or inward exteriorization:


I make Art for pure pleasure, because my body (mine and Art's) asks me to, because I feel like it, and it intensely satisfies me to compose new forms for myself, organize and assemble elements, rearrange objects, stir (such as a child splashes in puddles or manipulates portions of earth with delight), in the same way that I may want to jump, dance, walk, sing, or stick a stick along a fence… I have not even fancied an Art for… neither as a "political tool", nor as a "source of knowledge", nor as a "screen of culture", since it is not subsidiary to any other praxis external to itself, to Art; Already in its embryonic warehouse phase, the raw material eroticizes me: when I see pigments and colors available in the store, or I receive the aroma of artistic products (which happens with spices in the market), raw, without qualification, and I feel the texture of countless metals, woods, rubbers, cardboard, plastics... in addition to touching the various tools, out of habit, my attention is directed to exploring them, savoring them, visually, tactilely, and olfactory... then, the creation process It fills me with joy, don't ask me why, or analyze it (despite the fact that, inevitably and necessarily, moments of uncertainty, stagnation and blockages arise) and, likewise, having by my side and being able to contemplate the finished works also gratifies me a lot ; My aesthetic work is not at the service of theories, concepts, or previous programs to serve and kneel before, or to execute the work in their name; but it is not art for art's sake, or art for art, it would rather be art for my subject, or art for my subject; whoever wants, so share it;

it seems that we have to justify, found, and authorize artistic action with something "superior" to it (more "deeper", or more "intelligent", or more "primordial", or more "social", or more "comprehensible"... ) that, by chance, inevitably, is outside of it, or some seek to find it where it, the artistic activity, is not, and merely this is suspect; if then my productions find a suitable bed in society, or in the eyes of others, or in the polis environment, or favor wisdom, or nurture certain values, or simply do not do any of this, it is something that I do not It is not my business at all, and to think about it would already be a germ of paralysis, of annulment of the desire and the drive to do something totally "useless" (less practical function = more aesthetic function), purely symbolic, even antisocial; having confessed this, showing the other the artistic objects, once modesty is overcome, is something that is not exempt from conflict and contradictions: why do we do it, if we have already agreed that we do not lie in wait for a recorded transcendence , homologated, legitimized, expected, supervised?: because we need the mediation of gazes that are not ours, mirrors that give us back a reflection of ourselves, since no one "is" in their sameness, in their uniqueness, and hence Art plays —and locate the rules of your game— in a complex dialectical and scopic field of confrontations and contrasts, of discernments and discriminations... between the I and the We-Them... and so, we already have the mess set up... (the mess is fatter as greater public money and institutions involved);


From what is mentioned here, it should not be deduced that I advocate an outsider position, that of the isolated weirdo in his corner cursing the world —the world in general, and the world of Art in particular— full of rancor while claiming its approval as before an autocratic and disinterested father —or mother—; eye, here there is no fetishistic, shamanic affiliation, with the avant-garde artist or desire to fight around the binary schemes of authority/obedience, establishment/rupture, old/new, original/copy... and other pairs of opposite poles that so much marked the character of past decades (Donald Kuspit already warned us in his remarkable text «The Good Enough Artist: Beyond the Avant-Garde Artist» 1 —to those who do not know this writing, I strongly invite you to do so, it already has some years old, and yet it does not lose its validity—), I only urge that the term Art not be rehashed for free, nor for opaque interests, that far-fetched and equivocal grammatical predicates not be cooked up, flashy in public, circumstantial (which generate cloudy and inappropriate ethical models of the artistic), which end up dragging the radical and structural (ontological) category of the noun Art through a black hole, or vice versa, the addition of adjectives to be exhibited on a stage with such an excess of spotlights (light not typical of Art) that it ends up blinding us and veiling its being;

1 “Today, the marginalization of the good-enough artist is more a personal matter than a social one. The precondition is the isolation created by the lack of success within the mainstream. The isolation generated by not being an avant-garde personalist artist or a re-educational artist can lead to depression, but it can also lead to the creation of good enough art. The precondition of such creation is to transcend the irony of being avant-garde, since being avant-garde implies, at the beginning, being extravagant, non-conformist and heterodox, and in the end, conformist and orthodox: that is, a new "status quo", academy . This perverse dialectic points to the fact that the avant-garde artist seeks success more than he openly acknowledges. That is, he wants to be accepted by the system he rejects, which implies that he cannot bear his own insecurity, the insecurity of being avant-garde. In his heart, the avant-garde artist wants his transgressive art to become official and consecrated.» (Donald Kuspit. «CREATION» n° 5, May 1992)

because any attempt to represent in artistic fiction a hint of Reality, Life, Existence, Matter, Space and Time, must be synthesized and fulfilled, sine qua non, from the work of Art, and not from the passing of Life2; How satisfying it would be if the dense Art/Life, or artist/society, dispute were made crystal clear once and for all, and this, being aware beforehand —because we have been confirming it since the 20th century— that no matter how well clarified we leave this litigation of ancient lineage, it will continue to be in dispute periodically (we are very bloody and insistent when it comes to blaming ourselves, we like being in crisis), if we look at it well, it forces us to redouble our alertness and fuels the fire that continues to feed a company still under the name "Art"; Seen from the coordinates of Professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts, these questions, often difficult, or at least difficult to elucidate, have caused more than one headache for me (and the students), because sometimes we encourage behaviors, ways , poses, manners and even styles! that perhaps they are not completely accepted or assumable, nor sensible or advisable: cautious in the face of fierce dilemmas, which I do not shy away from, and costing me an outrage, I have to separate the man-artist from the artist-teacher (is this possible?), although In this logic, the term artist acts as a bridge between the two; I have no idea what Art is, today... something different is what it should be, and in this, each one will have one opinion or another, but I would be inclined to define it on the side of an area (fringe, gap, interval, hiatus, fissure, break...) in which ordinary, habitual and factual life vanishes, replaced by counter-reasoning in which what is established by consensus is short-circuited, abolishing the laws that govern " normality", which gives way to a disruptive discontinuity of signifiers/meanings, a fracture in the folds of existential fatality, a failure in the roots that push our destinies: we no longer operate in the cause/effect axis with the foreseeable, there is no room for the calculation of circumstance/purpose, nor a congruence between necessity/contingency... otherwise, I don't play;

There is still the eternal issue of the autonomy/heteronomy of Art3, of external influences (context) in connection with their internal consequences in the work: the epistemic simulacra that call themselves relational art, ecological art, feminist art, gastronomic art... and other biased classifications in which the term Art is followed by an adjective that perverts the first and ruins it, by confusing Art with creativity: every subject is creative but not everyone is urged to Art; Without a doubt, we appreciate the value of the Art/Society gear: Art is permeable to extra-artistic stimuli, which threaten to dilute the identity and continuity of its evolutionary future, and in turn, the impulses of external attractors will add the internal resistances that struggle to preserve that identity and continuity, so that the external attacks amalgamate with the internal impetus a field of friction in which the evolutionary succession of Art develops, which means that Art ends up absorbing external stimuli and make them immanent, through its initiative and autonomy, adapting them to its own nature; To close these reflections, I make my own the words of the Marxist philosopher Galvano della Volpe:

«The historical, social link of the work of art cannot condition it mechanically, or from the outside, but must
be, in one way or another, an element of the sui generis jouissance that the work —and not something different from it— procures for us, what
to say that that link must be part of the substance of the work of art as such»

2 For example, it would be a mistake to endow a sculpture with artificial movement, pretending to emulate a biology or a machine of autonomous dynamism, since the core of Sculpture is precisely its stillness, and it is from this condition that Sculpture manages to represent ( all Representation accuses a "loss", we already know it, and in it we gloat, therein lies its charm, in that it is not a deprivation or disadvantage, nor a diminution of its representational capacity, but a multiplication in the perception of Reality; to deny this would be to assert that Poetry, self-restricting, self-limiting in its special use of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, is "less" than prose, than the prosaic, informative Reality of Life. , being the other way around: precisely its metaphorical and metonymic power exalts the experience); Oteiza conceived it this way, and defended that Sculpture is a static art, since it bases its representational strategy on non-mobility, since kineticism denatures Sculpture (he abhorred the circus in Alexander Calder): «All dynamic sculpture is an unsatisfied sculpture ». ("PROBLEMS OF ABSTRACT ART", 1956). «Movement is by molecular definition of aesthetics contrary to the statue. The cinematic, the mobile, is the appearance of life in the statue, not from the statue, but from life. (EXPERIMENTAL PURPOSE, Caja de Pensiones Foundation, 1988); James Joyce abounds in this certainty of stasis versus kinesis in «PORTRAIT OF THE ADOLESCENT ARTIST» (1916), indicating that aesthetic emotion is a static emotion: «The spirit is paralyzed above all desire, all repulsion. The beauty that the artist expresses cannot awaken in us a kinetic emotion or a purely physical sensation. It awakens, or it should awaken, it induces, or it should induce, an aesthetic 'stasis'; we transfer these judgments to the rest of the plastic properties intrinsic to Art;


3 The contemporary analysis of Art must include the two planes of autonomy and heteronomy that Luciano Anceschi already provided us, and that inhabit the work and the artistic work: autonomy analyzes the group of rules in the formality of its specific being, while heteronomy is responsible for the synthesis of cultural, historical, psychological, anthropological, biographical (the encyclopedic) references... that affect artistic processes; This dual, intertwined analysis must not fall into an aestheticism (dangerous limit of autonomy) that belittles the sociological projection in the artist's psyche, but neither must it fall into its antagonistic sociologism (red line and risk of heteronomy), that despises the cosmos in which the artistic work consists, whose independence, both material and symbolic, has to fend for itself, for its internal constitution of parts (structure of meaning);

Asier Laspiur . Donostia, July 13, 2018




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