Ignasi Aballí

Text

Ignasi Aballí interviewed by Dan Cameron

 

Dan Cameron: When you began to make art, was your concept to be a painter within the generally understood definition of painting?

Ignasi Aballí: I started off working with paint, using paint in a traditional way, that is, to represent reality, using a frame, canvas, colours, paints, brushes...

 

D. C.: In the early 1990s, when I began to get to know your work, an important theme was absence, especially the absence of the painting as a thing...

I. A.: As I was saying, at first my work was closely associated with traditional painting, but the processes I followed in it led me to a point where I no longer knew how to carry on using these traditional media. So I started to look for different ways of relating to painting, to art in general, and as a result, little by little I stopped trying to represent reality and started to use more conceptual elements in which the idea was more and more important and the fact of painting less and less. To the point where, when we met in the early 1990s, I was producing works made with sunlight. Light did the drawing, painted on the support. I used this technique firstly to represent the windows of my studio and my house, as those are the spaces through which the light enters my places of working and living. Later, what I did was to suggest the presence of pictures through their absence, through the trace they leave when you take them off a wall. What you could see was the mark they left on the wall due to the effect of the light.

 

D. C.: So the suggestion of the painting became more important than the concrete presence...

I. A.: That's right. I reached the conclusion that I preferred to suggest the presence of a picture rather than to present the picture directly. I was more interested in leaving the image, the image that was supposed to be in the empty rectangle, in suspension, and devote myself to talking about the places where I suggested the presence of a picture, but one which could no longer be seen there.

I mean, it was very difficult for me to propose an image, to give it concrete form. I began to think that the less there is to see in a work, the greater the desire to see. That hiding part of the world is inherent to the act of showing the world. This led me to a kind of end of the road, or path, where I had to find other solutions, other ways to carry on, because those offered by painting, pictures as I understood them then, were finished as far as I was concerned.

 

D. C.: At the beginning your work was also very concerned with what we could call the linguistic framework of the painting: the stretcher, the frame, the exhibition, the wall. There was a picture present, but not really a painting.

I. A.: I think I opened up the process of my work towards what we call the "pictorial" which, I suppose, corresponds to what you call the picture. The pictorial expands a territory which, if we are talking strictly of painting, is much smaller. But the idea of the pictorial allowed me to propose works that, whilst not painting from in the traditional view, do refer to it, take painting as the reference and are directly associated to it even though it is not present.

 

D. C.: But it is present by way of its essence...

I. A.: Exactly. Sometimes it really is present, because the paintings I have done using transparent material, for example, are also paintings from the material point of view, though they deny everything that is the essence of painting, which is to open a window onto fiction, a new reality that may be figurative or abstract. What these paintings do by being transparent is to destroy all possibility of fiction. We can still see the frame and the wall they hang on through them. They are representations of anti-fiction. They are "anti-paintings".

 

D. C.: For a viewer from, in my case, the USA, there is an indirect reference to the generation of artists at the end of the 1970s who began working under the concept pictures, but using the term to locate a terrain somewhere between photography and painting. But while this generation was interested in how the picture was present through advertising, or photo-documentation, you seem more interested in the world of museology...

I. A.: More than the museum world, I think some of my works take the world of art, of painting, as the point of reference to propose a critical viewpoint. If I had to mention a reference, an earlier style that interests me, I would say conceptual art, because of the kind of scheme that is organised in relation to the work. Conceptual artists began the process of dematerialising the work, and this is an aspect that interests me very much, because, in one way or another, it is also present in quite a few of my works. For example, when I say that the viewer should form part of the work, to complete its meaning, as that is what fills the absence you mentioned before, it is what mentally occupies the empty space left when the work is taken away.

I think that conceptual art also, very often, puts forward this point of view. You could say it was like half doing the work, doing it as far as you can, and the rest has to be done by whoever sees it, whoever looks at it.

 

D. C.: That's why it seems to me that you felt unable to push further toward reality, but preferred to leave the work to appear half- done, or suspended in the process.

I. A.: Yes. It forms part of the process and something of a personal contradiction between wanting to paint and the dissatisfaction I felt with the results. So, little by little, I looked for other ways of continuing with painting, with the job of creating a work close to painting without actually, explicitly, painting. Or, which at is the same thing, without the physical act of painting leading to the appearance of a new image. I feel I managed this fairly satisfactorily with the transparent paintings and using other materials that I consider to be in the same kind of area, like Tipp-Ex correction fluid and other materials that, though they are not paint, are quite similar to it.

 

D. C.: OK, those paintings really are paintings, but they also seem to evoke a certain repulsion regarding the image... So in a sense you are emptying the painting, so that the viewer can come along and fill it back up.

I. A.: It's like circling around something that is there and that you would like to get into, to enter, but you don't know how. You go round and round until you find little ways of getting closer. There is a work that I think explains this incapacity or difficulty. It's title is Malgastar, Waste, and to make it I bought a lot of paint from the industry and from artists' paint shops, then let it go dry in the tin without doing anything with it. On the one hand I wanted to explain the negative or incorrect use of material, in the same way that Georges Bataille explains it with his term dépense ("malgasto", waste). On the other, though, this work also indicates that the paint has dried whilst I am thinking about what to do with it. I work very slowly, it is hard for me to produce new works because I think so much about things before I decide they are valid.

 

 

D. C.: Literally, you made it by quitting mid-process.

I. A.: And in the end the paint is unusable because while I'm thinking and thinking, it has dried. This is a personal admission of my incapacity to face this, to face paint. What could I say? That it's over. But at the same time it interests me and I continue my search to find those other possibilities that, for me, in a way, mean continuation, a way out. The idea of difficulty, as I mentioned before, is also present in this work: the difficulty of going on, of finding the right idea and the right way of representing it. The series of photographs I took at a paint factory, entitled Laboratory - Factory, is another example of this distant view of paint. In it, "laboratory" and "factory" act as metaphors of the artist's work, which necessarily includes a process of exploration and research and a process of production.

 

D. C.: In your work, traditional features like texture and light are now pretty much set aside. But I feel an affinity with the work of On Kawara, who of course is a Conceptual artist, but also a painter at the same time, and his art is about formalizing that tension between the two.

I. A.: On Kawara is an artist I am interested in, and for various reasons: his method, and how he uses and represents time. Also, his work is inseparable from his biography, from his personal experience, which we are shown through small, apparently unimportant events, things he does during the day. The pictures with the date are just another activity he carries out during the day, and I do not think that the fact that he does them with paint is irrelevant, because he could do them in another way but chooses to paint them. In my opinion, on the one hand he paints because it keeps him busy all day, the day he paints the picture with the date, a job that takes up the whole working day, eight or ten hours... And on the other we should not forget that this is painting, which clearly links him to the history of art. I feel that he wants that part of his work to be understood as part of a certain tradition, and that he uses all of its characteristics, though at times he contradicts them. All On Kawara's paintings, all his pictures, are the same; there is no difference between the ones he does these days and those from thirty years ago, except in the date that appears on them. There is no stylistic or formal evolution in them.

 

D. C.: There's another aspect to your work that fascinates me, which is the expanded dimension of the everyday. It's something I've always admired in Brossa's work as well, his ability to take something ordinary and deflect our perception of it, so that a glass of water is both what it is, and something totally contradictory at the same moment.

I. A.: In some cases I establish a relation with this attitude before the work, and I also think that the artist is precisely someone able to put forward new points of view about reality, to link things that appear disconnected at first glance, connecting them and giving them new meaning. This is very clear in Brossa, for instance. His work creates visual impact: we suddenly see reality in a different way, from a viewpoint which is sometimes more poetic, at other times more critical. Though using very simple elements that we can all find around ourselves, Brossa can look at them from a completely new point of view.

 

D. C.: Why do you select materials that are part of your surroundings? Like newspapers... It's something you encounter, something quite humble, that you then change to something else...

I. A.: What I am interested in is looking at reality from a different viewpoint, changing it. Any everyday act can be useful for reinterpreting reality. I feel that it is a question of being highly receptive, of paying plenty of attention to everything around us, as reality can provide a very rich base to work on. It is very important to see how the everyday is interpreted by theory, criticism or philosophy, but I also try to pay attention to what is around me, what is close to me, situations that we often do not perceive precisely for that reason, that they are so close or immediate.

 

D. C.: Because of their proximity.

I. A.: Yes, because of their proximity. Georges Perec, a writer I feel very close to and whose writing has served as the basis for some of my projects, said that what fascinated him was the background noise, the murmur of the everyday, that which we never perceive but which, when we do pay attention to it, turns out to be very interesting and complex. I fully subscribe to this theory, which is also close to Duchamp's idea of inframince ("infrathin").

In the studio where I work, a 19th-century industrial building, dust is a constant presence. If you leave a piece of paper on the desk, in three or four days it is covered with a thin layer of dust. When I realised this I had to face the dilemma of either moving, going to a cleaner studio, or using dust as a material in my work. And I chose the second option. Because of this I realised that dust was, in many ways, a very complex material.

 

D. C.: So instead of struggling with something that you will never change, you get close to it and incorporate it into your activity...

I. A.: That's true, I never thought of it. It may seem a conformist attitude, but it isn't. In the case of the dust, I saw that it was a material with lots of possibilities. When I started to see this, when I started thinking about it, studying it, I reached the conclusion that it had a lot of possibilities. Dust is a material of synthesis, a mixture of everything that becomes eroded in the world. It is also a terminal, annoying, residual material that we don't want. I needed to use it in a subtle way, taking its characteristics, particularly its fragility, into account. I felt it might be interesting to reuse it, give it new meaning.

I also make works using remains of clothes that are left in the clothes-dryer filter. Every time I finish drying the washing, I find a kind of cotton ball in the filter, which I keep. When I have enough material - about every two years - I use these remains to produce a work. In this case, these are pieces that work parallel to all the others, in a rather mechanical way, and which I do not work on every day. I just collect the material and, when I have enough, I frame it in a cabinet.

 

D. C.: So for you, has the death of painting been more of a tragedy or a comedy?

I. A.: I think it is more of a comedy. Perhaps because painting is not as dead as it is made out to be, or it's playing dead, pretending, but it's still there. It is an objective fact that enormous numbers of paintings are still produced, painting forms part of today's world. What is painted, and what validity and meaning painted has, is another question. The vitality of painting is cyclical, something particularly true over the last fifty years: at times it disappears and then it suddenly reappears again. Its death is, in my opinion, more a question of speculation than a real dynamic. When the latest tendencies seem to become exhausted, painting comes to the fore again, it is resuscitated, though, in my view, it never escapes from a state of permanent crisis.

 

D. C.: Perhaps in the case of painting death simply has another meaning.

I. A.: I have not been so concerned about my work being associated with painting for the last two or three years now. My works are more distant from those that really questioned its possibilities - though I did not want to give it up - and in which I was looking for a way out from this death. In a piece I am writing at the moment, I say that painting was practically the only form of expression, or at least the most important, for hundreds of years, until the mid-20th century, and that over all that time artists developed, studied and explored all kinds of techniques, forms and languages, leading us to the conclusion that it is not easy to continue, that certain difficulties exist. Because we feel that we have seen everything that is being done today before, it is very difficult to propose new solutions... And, as Catherine Millet says, one cannot carry on painting as if Duchamp, Kosuth and Weiner had never existed.

 

D. C.: Painting paintings.

I. A.: On the one hand, we have reached the formal exhaustion of expressive discourses, and, on the other, I believe that it is more difficult for painting to communicate with the contemporary. In a way, my impression is that it is ending up as a resource for subjectivity.

I shall try to explain this: we can say, in my opinion, that it is the technique best suited for talking about oneself, what we call the "inner world", the one most clearly related to expression compared to other more recent, colder, more reflexive techniques that create a distance between the artist and the work; that refer, above all, to the external world, and whose formalisation generally needs mechanical media. These are proposals that are addressed more at the view, at the external world. They do not reflect the artist's internal conflicts; they talk about the world and its problems. This explains two ways of understanding artistic practice: that which is addressed at the subjective level and that which is addressed at the collective.

 

D. C.: I sense that this is more of a problem with post-modernity in general.

I. A.: I think that the vocabulary of today, made up of terms like "social", "political" or "commitment", does not work well with painting; in my opinion this is a problematic relationship. Other, more technical, contemporary techniques are more useful, techniques that, as I have said, establish a distance between the artist and the work, and that exclude direct intervention and, therefore, the presence of gesture. Techniques that express rational, reflexive attitudes better than more intuitive approaches. I have seen this in my own creative process, but, obviously, you can't generalise about these questions, because we could find perfectly valid examples of just the opposite.

 

D. C.: Today a viewer can literally read your work, but without necessarily making the connection between the formation of the subject, like with the work taken from newspapers...

I. A.: With the series of work I generically entitled Llistats [Lists], I began, in a way, as I had begun with other materials, to use newspapers as an everyday object. The newspaper passes through my hands every day, and I thought that before throwing it away I could use parts of it. I thought about what content would help me best to represent reality without making it specific, without it losing its objectivity, without limiting it to a time, a specific day. I began to cut out the statistical quantities of all kinds that appeared in the news and then arranged them in groups: for example, numbers of people, of dead, wounded or lost, by period of time, according to sums of money, etc. When I had enough examples of a word or a group, I made collages from the cuttings. The collage acts like a negative in photography. By scanning it, I obtain a digital image, a photographic image.

 

D. C.: You also use percentages.

I. A.: That's true, I use percentages, words and subjects that, of course, appear in the newspaper almost every day.

 

D. C.: And they are a reality.

I. A.: That is precisely one of the aspects that interest me most: their relation to reality. They are not made-up figures, they correspond to real situations, and we can link them all to events that have, for whatever reason, been in the news.

 

D. C.: But the way you manipulate them speaks of something other than reality.

I. A.: Yes, what I do is to isolate the figures.

I collect them every day, then I reorder them.

A very important change both visually and conceptually takes place during this reordering process. An image in which numbers of dead appear without any reference is an abstraction on death. If it is amounts of money, then it becomes an abstraction on economics. If the figures are percentages, it is an abstraction on statistics as something that really conditions everything we do... and so on with all the other classifications. For me, they are fragments of reality extracted from an element which reflects reality - the newspaper.

 

D. C.: Decontextualized elements.

I. A.: That's right, the fragments are taken out of their context and presented in a different one.

 

D. C.: The list of people who have died, for example: I think of the habit that many people have of starting their day by learning who has died the day before. Curious, no?

I. A.: I am very interested in this subject because it forms part of the everyday, of the most unpleasant reality, of its most negative aspect, death. Especially if we think that when death appears in the newspaper it is because some violent, negative act has taken place, whether a war, murder, accident or natural disaster. The number of victims is seen to be the most significant part of the information, as it enables us to gauge the magnitude of the catastrophe, whether natural or manmade. The importance of an event is measured by a figure, by a kind of measurement that does not form part of normal ways of measuring; it's not in the metric system. However, the figure gives us an idea of the magnitude of whatever has happened. These works - the Llistats - are a way of quantifying reality.

 

D. C.: But it's a reality that only matters for us if among the dead are family, or friends, or someone famous.

I. A.: Yes, the dead they count are only those close to our own reality.

 

D. C.: So it's a kind of hyperreality...

I. A.: Yes, in the end, generalised death becomes a fiction, even if it is the consequence of a real, everyday event. One day it's a war, another day it's a tsunami, yet another day an explosion or an accident. We end up taking a neutral attitude to it all and it no longer affects us in a personal way, especially if the news refers to distant events we are not directly involved in. Every day we learn how many people have died in all the disasters there are in the world, and I do not say it is right to protect ourselves against it, but it is true that we do so unconsciously. And one way of doing this is to distance ourselves, to relativise events. The routine deactivates them and anaesthetises us against generalised disasters.

 

D. C.: Even the notion that we are reading a newspaper in order to reconstruct our own reality is a bit distorted - it's almost as if our prime impulse is to remind ourselves that we're still alive.

I. A.: I couldn't agree more with your point of view about this. You mean we are consoled by the fact that we are not included in the statistic that confirms that many will not be able to buy the newspaper any more, that, despite all these disasters, the most important thing is to stay alive. We can't sit around thinking all day that we are going to die. We don't know how or when we will die, and we prefer to think about something else.

I can tell you, though, that when I started working on the list of the dead, I was struck by a horrible, anguished feeling as I was gluing those tiny newspaper cuttings and thinking: "It's incredible, I'm handling all these numbers and they are figures about real deaths."

 

D. C.: Yes, deaths that correspond to real disasters or tragedies.

I. A.: If I ever imagined the images the cuttings represent, if I turned the sum total of the figures into a visual image, it would be a huge, monstrous image of death, devastating me. This also shows the suggestive capacity of the textual, when text becomes image and vice versa. The relation between image and text is very important in newspapers.

 

D. C.: So when you and I die, art will continue, and this could also be another way of protesting against that inconvenient reality, by not throwing away the newspaper after you read it, but retaining something, hanging onto something.

I. A.: Yes, I am becoming more and more interested in aspects of the newspaper as a way of synthesising, of concentrating reality. At first I just cut out figures of all kinds, but then I started concentrating on other things. For example, one of my latest works is a calendar - Calendari 2003 [Calendar 2003] - in which, throughout the year, I replaced each date with the front page photograph in one particular newspaper, in this case El País. The work brings together the three hundred and sixty-five images from a whole year, ordered chronologically and arranged like a calendar, by months and weeks. This is my way of explaining a year, a specific period of time, through images that we may remember or not, through which we can build up certain events with which we have a very superficial relationship because of what you were saying: we use the newspaper and throw it away every day.

We have a very one-off relationship with it, with the front-page photo, which usually refers to the most important event of each day: a paper lasts twenty-four hours, and then it disappears. My intention in this work is to see whether the images can last longer, whether an image seen two or three years after being published continues to be topical.

 

D. C.: But always out of context.

I. A.: The photographs are also, partly, out of context, because I do not include the texts that accompany them in these works. As I was saying, in 2004 I did the same as I did in 2003 and I am doing it again now, in 2005, and I realise that the images that have appeared over these three years resemble each other very much. Many of them are repetitive, like the subjects they illustrate, and form a kind of loop tape that is repeated over and over again, even though they purport to be different.

I think it is very interesting to analyse how a current event that seems very important to us has a corresponding event in the previous year and will have another next year and the one after. This shows that we are immersed in a continuum in which situations greatly resemble one another and progress can only be seen in the longer term. We would need much longer to notice differences or to judge whether evolution is really taking place.

 

D. C.: Well, Picasso used collages of newspapers in the early 20th century, but in such a way that they became absorbed into the surroundings, so to speak.

I. A.: My intention is to provoke or create uneasiness in the viewers, making them face reality in a way they do not normally do, but which in these works they are forced to do by the accumulation, decontextualisation and repetition of the elements. In the works in which Picasso used newspapers - his Cubist collages in the early 20th century - he put them straight into his pictures as just another art material, in the same way as he might use colour or a piece of wood. It is interesting to note that in a lot of his works, the real element - the newspaper cutting - is placed directly into the work, and is not represented. In my case that is not exactly the case, because the final image is not the original collage made up of all the cuttings.

 

D. C.: So it isn't a painting at all.

I. A.: No, it is an amplified photograph of the collage, which is transformed into something else. I like the fact that the final aspect of the work is a photographic image, because this eliminates the manual, material aspect implicit in a collage. As I say, the collage is a substitute for the photographic negative, from which the image can be amplified.

 

D. C.: A correlation of numbers...

I. A.: Exactly. That is all there is, there are no other elements. When the word accompanying the figure is always the same and is repeated throughout the image, when it refers to dead people, injured, immigrants, etc, the figure is never repeated, because I don't want it to be associated with the same thing twice, as they are always different situations. This makes the feeling even worse: the number of conflicts or situations represented in these works increases.

 

D. C.: So if 16 people die in Egypt and 16 in Norway, you have to choose.

I. A.: I choose the number sixteen, independently of the place and situation in which these deaths occurred, but after that I don't use the number again. As the context in which the situation occurred is not explained in the work, we cannot know whether it is the sixteen in Norway or those in Egypt. That is why I prefer not to repeat the numbers, because in this way one number of people, of dead or injured, is always separated from any other.

 

D. C.: So I want to ask about your own personal activity in making the work, and how your processes relate to the condition of obsession.

I. A.: I think that many - if not all - artists have an obsessive component that enables them to continue developing their work. With so many difficulties, if you don't feel a kind of obsession and a passion to do it, you don't, because everything is against you. And this constant, obsessive component is also vital to do these works. It is true that there is a slightly irrational impulse that makes me cut out everything that interests me in the newspaper before I throw it away. It is almost a mechanical act that helps me stay in constant contact with the projects I am working on. Another artist would perhaps make sketches or drawings to do the same thing, but I have established a series of routines, things I do every day and that allow me to structure my work and continue to give it meaning. Obviously, the work of an artist is not the same as that of other professionals or workers who really produce something we qualify as useful every day, and go home having saved a life, defended an accused person or constructed a building...

 

D. C.: Or having made shoes.

I. A.: Yes, having made some shoes, and lots of other things. All this is much more tangible, clearly, than some of the things we so-called artists produce. So that series of little actions or routines I was telling you about help me to maintain a connection over time with the more complex works that, based on these little details, I end up making. Starting by patiently, every day, collecting cuttings from the newspaper, dust, sunlight, clothing remnants in the dryer filter... in the end you can really produce something. Some of my projects start out from a highly precise initial idea that is developed over what may be a very long period of time - sometimes years - during which this initial idea does not change in the slightest. When, before the end of the year 2002, I decided to keep the photo on the front page of the newspaper throughout 2003 so as to make Calendari, the project structure was already decided, and it did not change at all until the end. The process was identical when I decided to repeat the initiative in 2004 and 2005, and the same is true of other projects.

 

D. C.: So you're really not just receiving this information, but changing it into something completely different.

I. A.: Yes, you're right. I can tell you that my obsession has reached such an extreme that, at times, I have cut out a number without being aware of the news item it appeared in.

I mean, I saw what I was interested in rather than the news item. When I read the newspaper I am practically hoping to find certain figures, looking to see what's going to appear today or what photograph will be on the front page. Some photos seem very attractive to me, whilst others I find detestable, I don't like them at all, but this doesn't matter, it is not something I evaluate. What I am interested in is appropriating the image to help me carry out my project.

I suppose I make a reading which is biased towards my own interests - or, better, let's say conditioned by the work that will follow.

 

D. C.: I'm very interested in how a certain melancholic dimension in your work seems related to the loss of painting, and the corresponding need to carry on, to keep making art.

I. A.: I think that my work has been structured for some time now by concepts that are sometimes opposites and sometimes complementary. The opposites include absence and presence, disappearance and appearance, the immaterial and the material, invisibility and visibility, action and contemplation. Some of the complementary aspects are the ephemeral and the permanent, transparency and opacity, appropriation and creation, the collective and the subjective, reality and fiction.

Amongst my works there is a group that has some relation with earlier projects and whose conception includes the idea of fiction. These are the projects I have done on subjects such as the cinema - the film posters based on texts by Georges Perec - and other works I have done based on aspects that I have later transformed. In the case of Perec, I carried out a process of investigation to construct a fiction that enabled me to relate my work to his and generate a hybrid, which is something directly constructed by me, though it includes real elements I found during the documentation stage. The series entitled Sinopsis [Synopsis] also belongs to this group of works. It is based on film synopses published in newspaper listings, which I used in a project to create a fiction about the cinema and its narrative component: what stories do films tell, what do they talk about, what are they trying to communicate?

There is also another direction in my work, when I take elements from reality without altering their original characteristics or adding anything new. These are the works I built up from newspaper clippings, the Inventari, [Inventory], long, exhaustive lists of different aspects of reality such as languages, philosophical movements, professions, religions, currencies, medicines, etc.

I feel that these two types of work interrelate and complement each other very well. Although they have different characteristics, there are points of communication between them, so much so that I consider them two similar attitudes or ways of working. You can see this double methodology in the exhibitions at the Museo d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, the Ikon Gallery (Birmingham) and the Museu de Serralves (Porto). On the one hand, a project like Sinopsis, a reflection on the cinema that - as in the case of Desapariciones [Disappearances] based on Georges Perec's collaboration with the cinema - fictionalises reality. The exhibition also includes a video in which, in a photographic laboratory, photographs were filmed as they emerged continuously from a developing machine. These are photos by other people, anonymous, and you can see hundreds, thousands of photographs for hours, but each one for less than half a second. The process of producing this work is very simple: you just stand by the machine, turn the camera on and record the images as they go past. This work presents a synthesis between film and photography, and is another project forming part of the second group, those showing aspects of reality with practically no intervention.

The same is true of the video 0 - 24 h, which shows the interior of MACBA at night, when it is closed to the public, based on security camera recordings. This piece allows me to work on my aim of making films using the minimum necessary technical tools, sometimes without even a camera, using existing situations and materials, which are generally not those of the cinema.

 

D. C.: It's forming a context in which reality does not function like reality.

I. A.: It is giving the established a slight twist, forcing the situation a little. Turning these photos by other people, which I hadn't seen before, as they were those brought into the laboratory the day I decided to take my camera in, into a film. What is interesting to me are not the photos from an aesthetic or technical viewpoint, but the idea of using them, turning them into moving images. It is the same process as when I cut out an image I find on the front page of the newspaper or, in the video Desaparición [Disappearance] - which I made from a script by Georges Perec - when I reused images from the newspaper that did not show people's faces.

 

D. C.: So the photos are converted into cinema, cinema is converted into posters, and the newspapers into pictures...

I. A.: I believe that interesting things can emerge from this apparent confusion... This mixture of techniques and media is found frequently today, it occurs in the practice of many artists. In it, there is confusion or, better, the limits of the old disciplines are dissolved. In every case, those used are those that best explain the ideas being expressed, and not only in the art world, but also in science, literature, philosophy and many other spheres of knowledge.