Aula de Cultura de la Fundación BBK
Elcano, 20 – Bilbao
May – June, 2006
Lourdes Fisa, the trace of the invisible/el rastro invisible
Glòria Bosch – Lourdes Fisa
Text from the catalogue “The invisible trace”, Fundación BBK, Bilbao 2006
Glòria : The first day, you appeared with a book under the arm… I found myself facing again a nearly forgotten text on Calvino, and I promised myself not to re-read it before our dialogue would come to an end. A philosopher friend of mine told me the other day that in my writings I am always looking for a travel companion, an accomplice dialogue open to different portable voices which could fit in a suitcase, like you do when you are recycling the baggage of your life.
Lourdes : This suitcase contains the essence of my work. It tells us about the importance of the lived experience, of sensations and emotions. They are small fragments of life, fragments of ideas, and fragments of thought. This visualized journey accompanies us since be were born until we die (and some believe that the journey continues). Life consists of movement, of an accumulation of experiences and circumstances, a thought in progression, a search for…. Perhaps there will come the day when – as Hermann Hesse says in “Wanderung”- “… I will have reached so far that the (visualized) journeys and the distance will form part of my soul, and the images of them will live in my interior, so that I no longer will feel the necessity of realizing them…”.
Glòria: You mean a sort of puzzle which might be able to fit in various forms… The lived journey will be in charge of finding the fragments of the labyrinth which is outlined in your interior world. Your visual framework consists of a cobweb which becomes larger and larger and branches in different directions, always like standing in front of a road’s crossing, like in this exhibition of all exhibitions when we become absorbed, not only in the precise but also in the absence of all that which “time and space might contain”.
Lourdes : I think that the reality cannot be grasped in its totality. Any intent to represent and to know is a fragmentation. I am interested in expanding the limits, in creating suggestions, in opening the frameworks in order to create other perspectives, to provoke real journeys, and perhaps it might be the proper spectator who will complete the work.
Glòria : Since 1992, when you were living in the United States, the titles of your exhibitions are like shields which protect you from the actual view, from emotions which question and join the meaning of a limit like a superposed, simultaneous plot where the interior light explains the fragile mobility of the forms: journeys, labyrinths, rooms, traces, roadmaps, paths, expeditions, origins, step by step, crossroads, exodus, human territory, fragmentations, fragilities… They are all titles which construct series of works that are marked by clear symbols of direction: signs, numbers, letters, eyes, writings… The evolution of this visual labyrinth tends to displace the most concrete in order to dilute it into an atmosphere where the existence fuses the internal with the external, like the look of the eye which is asking for what we feel or perceive, the profile of the distance with the intimate face of this hidden instant which never will resolve: the perpetual flight. It is a flight which gets detached from the work when you flee from the regular formats, the limits and the static character.
The travelling and the shadows which you pick up in this crossing of intuitive fragments which, like a collage, unfold and detach themselves, are mutant and interchangeable fragments of a voyage that follows the cycle of life since its proper internal rhythm, just like in your installation in the Church la Piedad or in “The Four Seasons”, but they are also the essence of all that waiting, of passing junctions where you accumulate your experiences, ideas, memories, emotions, and where you try to find the balance between the body – the dialogue with the textures, the colours, the movements…- and the mind.
Lourdes: The human being always has had the same worries throughout history. The concept of man does not change, but yes, the circumstances. Every person is an abstract of his own life; each epoch and each society is an abstract of the anterior; and every artist is the reflection of his society and the epoch which he was born in. And for me, I pertain to the 20th and 21st Century. I am worried about the actual tensions and problems. I should like that this century was much better than the anterior, but it is necessary to change the insight, the course, the colour, and the direction… Understanding the Arts through history is to understand the motivations that have provoked them: the human spirit, its culture, and its evolution. All is interconnected like a network which connects and unites all that what is different. The small parts fit together and acquire a global meaning. When this happens, in my opinion the Arts acquire an indescribable magic and, at the same time, fragile meaning like life itself.
Glòria: Scratching, destroying, and sticking together… I think about the magic moment of the search which always is in disorder because, for you, the presence and the transformation of the material respond to an intuitive process. But as nothing fits together for always, the poetic compromise that is revealed in your work and the fragility of the instant itself are questioning you each step and induce yourself to disconnect in order to continue searching… We always assist to the transit, just like it happens in the books of Auster and Vila Matas, where the protagonists move to other writings and thus find themselves in other books… With these fragments which come and go, and are made and unmade, the open process confers a movement to the structure of the work.
Lourdes : It is like discovering other works through the light in the work itself, through the reflection of a mirror, like the transit’s shadows trying to “capture” a fleeting moment. I am interested in dualities, like construct-deconstruct, noise-silence, opacity-transparency.
Glòria : When living in Braunschweig (1988-89), you were exploring the manner to get to know graphic design, but collage is the base of your work. You started to integrate it already in the engravings, introducing writings or the concept of a writing with those monotypes which allow you to tear off and stick, or the plates which are part of the pictorial work. Then of course, the glass-fibre allowed you a more direct communication with its textures and real framework, and the idea of the writings which always have formed part of the iconography itself. Before, you focussed more on an interior journey, and now you are walking on an invisible line which joins traces of lines through which you see and feel… and you combine all materials in a global manner.
Lourdes: The artist finds, transforms and translates the material. I like to spoil the material, to caress it, work on the textures, enrich it, and search for poetry… I feel very open and receptive for the environment. In order to capture it, I shoot photographs, videos, I write, I make drawings… I collect organic elements and I transform this information from my studies into another reality. Nature is a great source of inspiration… ¡There are so many interesting forms, compositions, shadows and textures! And at the same time this transmits me harmony and interior peace.
Glòria: One of the readings which impressed me is by Terzani, especially when he complains himself of this “great material progress which has not happened at the same rhythm as our spiritual progress”. The idea that the human being has lost control of the mind when “wanting to know the exterior world and get hold of it just like it would be the only source of our fugitive happiness”. Therefore, “the contaminated basic elements of life” have “broken the balance”.
Lourdes: Actually, science and technology are very advanced but humanly speaking there is a recession in quality in the human relationship. I think it is necessary to return to nature, to our origins; there has to be a balance, not a dominion. I am searching for a balance between all these things and to unite what is different. I believe in the interrelation of the disciplines because the artistic thought is very extensive and contains poetry, philosophy, science… And all languages are equally valid to explain subjects. The isolated disciplines do not respond to the enigmas of life. It is perfectly correct to complete them and, at the same time, to question one through the other. I don’t believe in dogmas. There is not just white and black. I am a painter, and I have learned to see an extensive scale of grey shades between white and black. The colour of an object is not standing alone, it depends on its environment, the light it receives, the shadows… It depends on our perception.
Glòria : We are always recycling. We don’t change. We are looking for different ways to assume other significances, and the journey associates this perceptive sense. The work in its process is being alimented by all the elements and can never be understood as something separate. Dogmas kill the concept of Art and mutilate that free path which must never be conditioned.
Your journey to Israel in 1997 coincides with the appearance of the glass-fibre material. That is a moment which has marked you conceptually. There, in a small territory, an authentic microcosm, where the worldwide confrontation is taking place, you are confronted with the plurality and the necessity of uniting fragments… There is nothing that could be eliminated because the world only makes sense when substituting “competitiveness” by “coexistence” as Terzani tells us. And there is more to it, it is necessary to eliminate the occidental particularity of the unique and uniform thinking that “the idea of a superior civilization above the others is only the consequence of ignorance”. In your work emerges the problem of the intolerance, although not being a direct claim, because you listen to the voices of this fragile mosaic of cultures and explore profoundly the necessity of integrating coexistence.
Lourdes : Man is perfectly imperfect. Each society is a rupture of the former one, a rebellion, but which must no forget about its teachings. Everything is accumulative. The puzzle is the sum of all pieces. If one piece is missing, the puzzle does not join together, so you have to go on searching. I am worried about the lack of social communication and mutual respect.
Glòria : That means to divide in order to join together, again and again. Although we live here and now, it fascinates me to unite common backgrounds between the different epochs. The duality of concepts and the emotions one can gather from your work are applicable to an existential background… If we took away the concrete reasons, then the meanings and reactions are timeless. That what moves us is always the invisible trace which unites us…
Lourdes : … Yes, the invisible trace which could be the search for happiness, the search for the light. But light does not exist without darkness, as happiness does not exist without sadness, or the day without the night nor order without chaos. It is the suffering what makes us grow up, it is not the problem which is bad, but the bad solution. It is action confronting adversity. The History of Mankind is cyclic: war-peace-war-peace-war, and man always commits the same errors. Does he not learn from the cyclic and repetitive history? Are we insensitive? Are we loosing our internal balance?
Glòria : We are preoccupied with fighting since the creative process itself, the necessity to obtain a “ray of expectation for society” through the Arts and “means to make society more human”… What is happening with words?
Lourdes : To add only one letter might involve a great change in significance. An “innocent” D added to OLOR (in Spanish: aroma, odour, scent, smell) provokes DOLOR (in Spanish: pain, ache, grief, sorrow, distress, physical pain, moral distress, mental pain, distress of mankind). It’s a word with a heavy symbolic load. It’s necessary to be aware of the significance of the words: wars always begin with words. They are words which annoy intensely, which separate, provoke conflicts… Who is it who puts the perverse killing-machine ON?
Glòria : We never think in uniting what is different. We always want to impose so that what you pointed out comes back: the dogmas, the unique thought, the cynical superiority, the lie as base of all power strategies… Lies in order to destroy what is inexistent and strategies for the attack… History has changed the sword for words.
The character of multiplicity was evident in your installation in Vic already, just like it is now in this exhibition where you integrate passed journeys from all of your exhibitions. But the world goes on being this indefinitely ramified puzzle where the fragmentation unites but never gives you “all” what is apparent and what Wistawa Szymborska saw as “a shred of chaos”.
Lets go back to the beginning of this potential, portable suitcase, transformable in its interior, where the “thinking I” is substituted by a multiplicity of looks and voices on the world. This exhibition is like the road of roads, like the spider’s cobweb where all – since the transparent silence of some images or some nearly forgotten objects in the interior of many questions – can be superposed, put into relation, become estranged, be exchanged, transgressed… We are situated between the memory, covered “by layers of fragmented images” by Calvino, and the necessity to boost that germinal writing of what cannot be written and which Marguerite Duras sees like a plurality of voices, installed “everywhere”.
Lourdes : … The suitcase like an idea, the cases like a container of objects and ideas, the look, the step of the wanderer, the return to nature… tearing up in order to construct again: destroying outlines, dogmas, prejudices… and renewing the look, changing the colour and the direction, questioning the doubts… Sometimes I think I have encountered the key, but then I understand that the key does not open…
Glòria: The key of the key is not encountered. We are always searching… in order to find and meet each other to start again.
Glòria Bosch – Lourdes Fisa
Text from the catalogue “The invisible trace”, Fundación BBK, Bilbao 2006