FUNERAL RITES

DEMOLITION 05/02/07

  

In the face of the impending demolition of the factory, I summoned the wailers so that they wept, so that they performed the theatre of pain caused by the inevitable death of the space. All operatives were assembled for the funeral banquet which, following tradition, was presided over by the deceased: the industrial building at the time it went out of business, just before it was brought down. Lastly, I created the installation art piece Lacrymatories, with threads and black hair spinning a spiderweb among the machines. This funeral installation was built in a ritual manner and remained inside until it passed away with the demolition of the building. Placed within, its mission was to accompany the deceased on its journey to the afterlife. © 

LINAREJOS MORENO 15-03-07

 

 

 THE WAILERS

 

[…]The following is the way in which they conduct their mournings and their funerals:- On the death in any house of a man of consequence, forthwith the women of the family beplaster their heads, and sometimes even their faces, with mud; and then, leaving the body indoors, sally forth and wander through the city, with their dress fastened by a band, and their bosoms bare, beating themselves as they walk. All the female relations join them and do the same. The men too, similarly begirt, beat their breasts separately. When these ceremonies are over, the body is carried away to be embalmed.

 

HERODOTO.- Euterpe, Libro II, pag, 67

Wailers II. 2007. 96x120cm / 124x155cm. Lambda print backmounting on aluminium in showcase. ©

 

Wailers III. 2007. 96x120cm / 124x155cm. Lambda print backmounting on aluminium in showcase. ©

 

Wailers IV. 2007. 96x120cm / 124x210cm. Lightjet print mounted under plexiglass. ©

 

Wailers I. 2007. 124x155cm. Lambda print backmounting on aluminium in showcase. ©

 

Automaton III. 30x42cm. Lambda print on barite photopaper. ©

 

Automaton II. 30x42cm. Lambda print on barite photopaper. ©

 

Automaton I. 30x42cm. Lambda print on barite photopaper. ©

 

Wailers V. 2007. 96x120cm / 124x155cm. Natural pigments print on etching paper ©

 

Female molds. 2007. 66x160cm / 98x235cm. Lightjet print mounted under plexiglass. ©

 

Automaton V. 42x30cm. Lambda print on barite photopaper. © 

 

the banquet

 

The Banquet I. 2007. 96x120cm / 124x156cm. Lambda print backmounting on aluminium in showcase. ©

 

The Banquet II. 2007. 96x120cm / 124x156cm. Lambda print backmounting on aluminium in showcase. ©

 

Lacrymatories

 

Lacrymatories I. 2007. 124x111cm. Lambda print backmounting on aluminium in showcase. ©

 

lacrimarios-1

Lacrymatories II. 2007. 140x200cm. Lightjetprint on canvas . ©

 

lacrimarios-1

Lacrymatories III. 2007. 140x200cm. Lightjetprint on canvas. ©

 

lacrimarios-1

Lacrymatories IV. 2007. 120x200cm. Lightjetprint on canvas. ©

 

PLACE EFFECTS, EPIPHANIES AND MELANCHOLY

_____________________________

FERNANDO GOLVANO 

 

“A ruin pumps memory(…) A ruin is a less-than-object that carries a more-than-object”.

Gérard Wajcman (1998) The object of the century

“lonely place, the meeting place”

Octavio Paz, «Clear night» in Poetic works 1935-1988    

 

Every place evolves to constitute a meaningful space. Evading metaphysical thinking, it is known that an investigation of places requires, as Bordieu observed, recognizing how a structure of the inhabited or appropriate space, that functions as a spontaneous symbolization of social space, manifests itself under the guise of spatial oppositions.   Whether it be to recognize the ways in which social differences are masked in spatial projections and uses, or to investigate the ways of reification in the relation between the  distribution of agents and the distribution of goods, in other words, to expose some ways of appropriation of their social imagery significance, Linarejos Moreno seems more concerned with this latter drift of spatial meaning. And, in view of the obsolescence that ruins spaces and industrial architectures in crisis whose days are numbered, she has been developing for years now her project Fictional Industrial Archeology (1998-2007), in which she documents them, she intervenes and she bestows them with new meanings, just as she has exhibited in her installation Historical bunker and the Wailers(2007) series, whose action takes place in a factory in Linares shortly before its demolition. Such spaces, evolved into sinister remains of worlds of life, work, dreams, and disparate hardships, are object of a reminiscent appropriation that turns them into settings for memory and melancholy. As the artist herself has stated, these pieces “are two poetic acts of resistance before the loss of two industrial spaces”. Two acts that poetically object to some dystopias in the making, other “voids of place” that the industrial and urban crisis unrelentlessly produce[1].

               Her Bunker installation as well as her events stated at the Wailers series, seem to be in keeping with a sort of contemporary Vanitas, as they show the mourning for a disappearance to come, ambit of future palinodes. Particularly, this installation would become analogous function to that of the cabinets of curiosities or of wonder, one of the origins of the museum memory and logic.  “To collect –observed Benjamin- is a way to remember through praxis and, among the profane expressions of “nearness”, the most conclusive”. Linarejos, on her part, seems more interested in collecting dense spaces and times in social significances whose memento mori is close. She activates a whole poetics of the historical archives that can become a new cultural patrimony. She defines her project this way: “retention of the space, tell, a ruin, industrial space, sets, instant, pseudoscience, mathematics, storytelling, mimesis, heterotopic spaces, psychodrama, psychologism, scenography, theatricality, thresholds” (2006) But another beautiful word that would underlie those already mentioned: poiesis: production/invention of a presence (which would also hold a deferred absence) and of a reflective memory.

These fictionalized or dramatized spaces even more in dialogue with the photographs of her Wailers (2007) series, can be perceived also in its atopian condition (out of place, linked to the past and the present), and heterotopic: spaces where the phantasmagorical, the fantasy and the utopian fluctuate. The sinister transmutes here into a fraternal space. Reality would be object of narrative appropriation, ambit of alterity, that photography as a fictional device recreates, as José Luis Corazón[2] has pointed out. There is, furthermore, a melancholic pulsion that relates to a phenomenology of spaces that Gaston Bachelard aspired to name topophilia, this is, as a poetics of spaces to be extoled, captured and lived by the imagination[3]. But, how can the melancholic mark in her pieces be obviated? Such affection is like another place effect, but one that doesn’t exclusively belong to the artist nor does it belong to the world. It is projected in an interaction of both. And it also is, from a baudrillardean point of view, a hue, a quality we can find in things, it is the world’s immanence itself and the absence of sense. The Wailers series, as a device of representation, fondness and intention, activates an inner world –even materialiter spectati- as well as an effect of distancing oneself from that world and of fantasising about it. This distancing would be favoured by the Verfremdungseffekt caused by the duplication of those mourning figures and their ghostly form. The sinister would come into play to disturb the creation of that world of  its own that correlates to a world decipherable only in part. In that state of things, such images, in their ghostly or spectral drift, seem to invite us to a perception where the mysterious and upsetting beauty can emerge as a reminiscent game. And they also allow our creative imagination to perceive them as epiphanies, or profane illuminations where the duality between essence and appearance, between the timeless and the contingent, between the ideal and the sensitive, disappears. The epiphany would be that strength of presence, or perception as disclosure in abandoned places dense with lived and significant times.

It is known that recreating places from art entails a certain mysterious impulse, informed of choices and rejections, whose intention is to transform our memories’ confusion into prodigious images. And it is also known, that oblivions as well as memories interweave in public memory, which is irreducibly plural. An ethical dimension of artistic intervention becomes evident there: in the production-invention of a poetic memory and in the new form of an action reduced to a (in this case, visual) language.[4] Thus, gaining an access to the past that prioritizes the turning into culture of dialectical images, for they would state the contradictory nature of every historically significant event or place. Since memory as well as history can be fragmented into narrations and images, artists, from their creative and critical imagination, have been able to update dialectical images that have flashed through past, memories and experience producing marks and representations that long to anchor the disappearance, obsolescence and escape of the world or events. Dialectical image, the way Benjamin conceived it, is that form able of genuinely synthesizing an event from the past[5]: “Wherever thinking manages to stop in a constellation overflowing with tensions, the dialectical image appears. It is the caesure in the movement of thinking.”[6] It is, after all, a critical constellation that interweaves artistic, historical and political praxis.

               There is a slow temporality in the construction of those images, there is also a scenic wish through the mourning of the characters, who are different and duplicated, and there is an immaterial and weightless effect that gets them closer to a sort of hybridation with the machines too. The doppelgänger was, in Freudian analysis, a genuine guarantee against the ego’s destruction and, therefore, deaths’ destruction. Nevertheless, the figure of the doppelgänger, in its ghostly evolution, relates to the sinister or the ominous and becomes this way an ill-fated forecaster of death. Linarejos has forced, maybe in such paradoxical tension, this human figuration until making it look automated, ghostly and unreal. After all, artistic imagination can sharpen or transmute the real so as to resignify our image of the world. She even finishes off a new version of Wailers, Nine female molds (2007), in which she shows the same characters, only this time masked with falconry hoods that were part of another installation entitled Birds of ill omen I (2006). Intertextual games that are put into motion as well as other complicity winks to the large duchampian glass, sort of modulate another new complexity to her pieces. In her graphic work The groom stripped bare by his bachelorettes (2006), she ironically registers that lability of the symbolic, its openness to the ineffable. That precarious landscape bequeaths us, as well as its mark and its memory, its other truth: of the conventional and known, openness to other forms of the thinkable and the representable.

It is worth starting another itinerary around those scenes of memory as presented in the aforementioned works. For instance, they could be experimented as an imagery of waste, of these spaces or objects that break cycles, as sociologist Jesús Ibáñez recalled, and that remain seated without standing to circulate. However, the aesthetics of precariousness and leftovers that Linarejos Moreno’s projects state do not relate to the classical or romantic conceptions of ruins. While during the Renaissance, the ruin acquired an antique dimension, symbol of bygone ancient times, in romantic poetics, it will be represented as figure of nature’s destructive power and as symbol of expiration and death. It could be said that, in this artist’s poetics, it can be recognized better what Félix Duque has defined as refuse transaesthetics: another form of art that consists of “the vindication of waste”. It is art obssessed with ruins (…) understood as bodily loss, as puzzlement sensation regarding expiration and mortality of our own body: as that which metaphysics has always left aside”[7].  We still have the sublimation of art to rebind in other forms those place effects, melancholy and a new sort of epiphany. We still have the truth of revelation of an imagery that is not an adequation to that which is already given. And we still have, as Duque reminds us again in another lucid text, “to save from the wreck of the old values and meanings (of the divine and gaugeable world), that which in a hidden way confers it an aura, this is: the meaning of variable time, of the mortality of the individual, who is unique and irreplaceable. (…) The artist rakes [loots, as pirates loot shipwrecks] the leftovers (from the system’s point of view) from our society and puts them for everyone to see, in other words: to speak her truth (in the exact same way as Alice-Aletheia does in monsterland). Exposing the shine of filth, that which deep down constitutes us, to the world: such is the sacred role of art in a world where gods and monsters only exist  ex - posed or in the pages of books: two forms of the memory  of things– otherwise gone to wrack and ruin –. Two ways of being of the truth”[8]. Such is for this artist her way to regain the radical excitement for art, art’s charming potency. Forms would be more than just forms. And sense would irremediably override nonsense.

 Text written by Fernando Golvano for the exhibitions Wailers and Historical Bunker

 

 

 

THE WAILERS

_______________________

LINAREJOS MORENO

 

 

The concern for the configuration of identity in a world that quickly homogenizes and globalizes, the disappearance of unique spaces (because of the narrative potential contained within their  walls, marked by individual stories) and the projection of the utopian space, either interior or of the first perceptions, on the real space, have been and still are a constant in my work: the search for spatial representation, understood tridimensionally as a mesh node where numerous existential layers meet.

 

           The project displayed here, Wailers, could be included in a larger one: Factory Demolition/ Funeral Rites. Before the impending demolition of a factory, a series of funeral rites takes place: Wailers, The funeral banquet and Lacrymatories. In Mediterranean imaginary, funeral rites were used to extol the virtues of the deceased, thus heroifying him so that his memory was honoured and lasted throughout time. The performances that unfold in this factory turn out to represent something more global than a mere protest against the disappearance of a building, they aim to be a sort of complaint or memorandum against the continuous disappearance of the industrial heritage in our country and, with it, of the record of manifold individual stories.

 

           The Wailers project stands out for portraying the passage from real to heterotopic space through ritual and mechanism, for evoking the frontiers between theatrical figuration and a complex ritual.

 

           The viewer, standing before the wailers who held a wake for the deceased during the passage when the soul was not within the body but had not yet reached its final resting place, places himself into that other utopian or phantasmagoric space. Once again, these photographs constitute a record of that spatial node.

LINAREJOS MORENO-22-06-07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] As Fernando Castro Florez has observed too, “The city continuously produces voids of place. The twilight of the industrial city gives rise to a series of questions on the project and intervention that concern architecture. Does the new metropolitan condition have to keep reproducing the values of consumption as the only pragmatic finality of the framework and the visual order of the simulacrum as a model for its spatial formalization? The city as a place in memory, as transit for dialogue, as area for exchanging subjective words, this is, as a territory of our own existence, disappears. Cfr: Fernando Castro Flórez, «Notas intempestivas sobre el destino nihilista del arte contemporáneo».[possible translation: «Unearthly notes on the nihilist fate of contemporary art»] in the catalog Heterotopías, Interart 99, Generalitat Valenciana, 1999, p.30.

[2] Esos espacios activan nuevos efectos de lugar mediante la estratificación de su temporalidad asociada. Y son «umbrales a transitar en un mundo en el que la utilidad y la productividad intentan anular la posibilidad de fuga, siendo una reivindicación necesaria de aquellos lugares en los que continuar la deriva». Cfr. José Luis Corazón en «La arquitectura de ficción de Linarejos Moreno» en la revista Sublime, febrero, Madrid, 2006

[3]  Gaston Bachelard (1957) Poética del espacio, FCE, Madrid, 1994, p. 28

[4] Since memory is a very complex cognitive faculty, it relates poiesis and praxis. As José María Ruiz-Vargas reminds us: “Memory is a dynamic system that gathers, keeps, moulds, changes, transforms and returns to us the intimate reality and the shared reality after being distilled in the neverending rough tracks of the still that our own identity is. Nevertheless, it is convenient not to forget that behind every memory there is not only an individual mind but also the whole collective world of minds, for memory is not only the essence of our identity but also the soul and motor of culture” (J. M. Ruiz-Vargas, «La complejidad de la memoria»  [possible translation: «The complexity of memory»] in VV. AA, Claves de la memoria [possible translation: Keys to memory], Trotta, Valladolid, 1997, p.11).

[5] Pablo Oyarzún has evaluated the notion of a dialectic image that updates a past that couldn’t be executed in its present –it longs to rescue that forgotten future- and therefore commits himself to a philosophy of history that is critical towards the ideology of progress. Cfr. Walter Benjamin, La dialéctica en suspenso. Fragmentos sobre historia, ARCIS-LOM Ediciones, Santiago de Chile, 1996.

[6] Walter Benjamin, La dialéctica en suspenso. Fragmentos sobre historia,  p. 150

[7] Félix Duque (2002) La fresca ruina de la tierra. (Del arte y sus desechos) [possible translation: The fresh ruin on earth. (On art and its refuse)], Calima Ediciones, Palma de Mallorca, p. 167. «It has been the current postfigurative art, heir to Duchamp, that has tried to recycle again refuse, not natural, but industrial or of everyday use so as to, through some sort of emotion chemistry, substitute the “natural” loathing that waste causes for a feeling of melancholy or mercy towards anything that “isn’t wanted” ». He calls such position: aesthetic ecology.

[8]    Félix Duque, «Los restos del naufragio»  [possible translation: «The remains of the wreck»] in EXITexpress no. October 22, 2006, Madrid, p. 10