The proposed body of work functions as a vehicle that goes back in time and carefully selects two entities, one historical, another mythical. Both having been developed in previous projects but now for the first time displayed in intimate dialogue with each other. Entities which have manifested an unexpected metamorphic character and that in this Outono Project exhibition will be explored as sculptures.
The very act of looking backwards in time, hearing the echoes of past voices, is a historical shift that is here surgically realized to bring to the surface presences of wildly different qualities which are nevertheless deeply entwined, becoming a single voice signaling the destruction of the fertile, the natural and the archaic perpetrated by contemporary civilization.
Junko Furuta, the historical entity, is continuously brought center stage in my process through drawing, painting (Img.1, 2 and 3) and most recently sculpture (Img. 4, 5 and 6). It resurfaces once again in this project in direct sequence of HYLAND.
Img. 2 - In this installation Junko name was scattered all over the place and afterwards those leters spread in collages (img. 3) and artist books.
Having appeared at the Hyland exhibition embedded in a block of organic matter, Junko appears to be melded with this solid cube in an advanced stage of decomposition. Descent into oblivion is only halted by the opening at the top of the piece (img.6), resembling a manhole that gives away the presence of the body. The shaping of the piece into a cube points to a regular incision in the ground suggesting a sort of rescue of the pre-fossilized body.
It is precisely on Junko's nape of the neck that a second opening is sliced into, deeper this time and possible to peek into, containing labyrinthine structure on which it is possible to see a minotaur’s head painted on the inlet.
The reference to the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur is clear and even the piece's title, Pixel - Junko Furuta, points to the exploration of the relationship between the labyrinth and death in a digital context.
It is precisely the entrance to the labyrinth that I wish to explore with this piece at the Outono Project exhibition.
To explore the relationship between the body and its surrounding structure, the space-time dimension is invoked significantly to the point of conditioning the movement of the visitors in the space.
Several characteristics of the Pixel - Junko Furuta piece will be preserved such as the interior and exterior color of the body, as well as the diverging textures. The hair as a signpost of the human body will be replaced by the trachea.
However the main development of the piece will be on the structural level in which the solid organic block will fragment itself to give way to a site-specific metallic structure, which will occupy a considerable part of the entrance to the room.
Maquete Simualtion (Outono room entry view). Work in progress.
Back view. Work in progress.
Front view. Work in progress.
Cleyto- Mythical entitie
The myth of Atlantis, though familiar to most, traces itself wholly to the remnants of an unfinished book by Plato which, in the description of the formation of the Cosmos, briefly alludes to the history of the civilization of Atlantis, with an apparent moral charge pointing the finger at this golden civilization which, smote by the gods as punishment for their greed, was doomed to be swallowed up by the ocean never to be seen again.
The details are scant but sufficient to understand the profound meaning of the story.
It was Poseidon who discovered these wild, fertile and lush islands, and within them a tribal woman by the name of Cleyto. Precisely at the moment when the two meet Cleyto's parents perish, and Poseidon joins himself with Cleyto. In order to protect her, he reshapes the island creating concentric moats round the central mountain, where Cleyto dwells and gives birth to his ten children: five pairs of male twins, who inherit the island kingdom.
The rest of the story is just as brief and just as well-known: the Atlantean civilization, though prosperous and rocketing in development, propels itself into wars with neighboring civilizations, spelling its doom and that of the once fertile island itself, irremediably submerged into the ocean.
Despite considering the myth, in all its interpretations, as an extremely pertinent model to contemplate the
modern zeitgeist, one detail in particular piques my attention.
The abrupt way in which it all started, the abuse of power perpetrated by a 'superior' entity towards an archaic civilization, to the extent of drastically reshaping the very earth, planting the seed that would irrevocably lead to the island’s destruction.
Cleyto embodies all these aspects and is the core figure of my project. I am avoiding a moralistic perspective on the subject, focussing instead on the sensuality of this native woman, irresistible even to the eyes of a god, while at the same time observing through Cleyto's eyes the curse felt from the very first instant she crossed paths with him.
Cleyto is an archetype of the perpetually asymmetrical male-female connection. This theme has been insistently developed in my work, beginning as a large-scale installation in the ruins of an old fishing factory (img.7). This installation integrates a large set of a yet-undivulged work in progress by the name of Atlantica Project.
At the Hyland exhibition I merged two bodies of work, Cleyto and an intervention
on a broken television screen (Img. 8, 9 and 10).
The television is one of the grand symbols of apathy and submission of our contemporary culture and the principal agent in the virtualization of our bodies. Immobile facing the tube we travel through endless tales of images.
It is on this object of great symbolic significance that I recently uncovered a new language. Using these broken screens, I challenge their categorization as mere garbage and breathe into them new life, elevating them to a new level of virtualization at the expense of the content to which they were slaves to during their functional life.
The fact that the screens are broken makes their surfaces pressure-sensitive creating irresistibly hypnotic effects.
Using sharp gouges I draw on these screens tearing the fine film housing the crystals, exposing
the lower layers of the LCD screen.
The symbolism of this act is clear: by peeling off the crystal layer that once allowed the display of colored images, I expose the pure white light emanating from the LCD's depths.
This is the perfect vehicle to delve into the mythical entity of Cleyto and it is precisely this train of thought that I want to follow in Outono Project, working upon a broken TV screen that can still display images if only intermittently, allowing me to show a video which will be made specifically for this purpose.
Upon the screen, using the technique described above, I will write a text. The text is not as of yet composed
but will be in direct relation to Cleyto.
Example of the work in process for the piece A.W.P showed at Quarto Crescente, 2019.
Img. 9 - Note that the white lines are were peeled off the screen surface
This piece would be exhibited in the second room, as shown on the image below, and will take advantage of the couch present there to make it a contemplation piece.
In the intersection of Junko and Cleyto I aim to join multiple dimensions: physical, historical and mythical, having always as a backdrop the Sacred Feminine as the ultimate objective.
With that in mind it will be necessary to overcome trauma, exorcise the poisoning visions of destruction, and only from then on reconnect with our Great Mother and with our infinite family, the Earth and the Cosmos.
Daniel Alfacinha, 2020.