La Prospettiva is sucking reality
Every gesture has its consequences. A gesture does not include its consequences, it obviously precedes them, creating a complex geometry of possibilities.
Duchamp's “Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas” is one of the most important gestures of modern art. For, in its magnificent performativity, it may even contradict any possibility of modernity, being new and anachronical at the same time.
“Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas” was meant to be seen only after Duchamp’s death. This gives it a particular importance in Duchamp’s oeuvre. And it may be seen as a statement on what his legacy is about. Or on what Duchamp, himself, understands his legacy is about.
It’s quite eloquent on Duchamp’s understanding on how intelligence works.
Given what you see, what you’re offered to see, your mind is set on a journey, a kind of experience you’re probably used to call aesthetic.
And it’s quite interesting how Duchamp, who refused a retinal approach to art, so often dealt with sight, sight playing such a central role in many of his works.
Sight is an important data in his work. And in “Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas” there is even a hole for each eye, a way of materializing sight and stereoscopic vision in, probably, the most complex trompe l’oeil in art history.
And there is nothing more to see than what you see. Everything is cut to fit what your eyes reach and goes no further.
There’s nothing more of the female body or the landscape, or of anything you see through the holes than what you see, precisely cut, having the same boundaries as your sight. There is no more of the things you see beyond what you see, literally. As though sight could cut reality, sharply. As though images were something that had material existence, objective and tactile if only you were allowed to touch them.
Given that magnificent artificial sight your mind wonders, trying to solve a problem that Duchamp, intentionally, just started to enunciate: “Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas”…
It’s by following this idea, this duchampian idea of art or this duchampian awareness of what art is about, art as a construction of starting points, stimuli to mind, that I start by making what will probably be the first article of a series, where I reflect on my own work as an artist, or where my artistic work plays a central role on my seek for the understanding of the mechanisms of art and mind.
“La Prospettiva is sucking reality” (a series if paintings, a video and a song I made in 2010) crosses the boundaries, back and forth, between representation and reality. Probably till we realize it’s impossible to determine where one ends and the other starts.
“La Prospettiva is sucking reality” is clearly a statement before it is a title. And a statement as a performative thing, something that is meant to be a starting point for action, intellectually and physically. For here, dealing with images, they are treated as things, things that can be sucked, eventually, to vanish or to go somewhere else.
The following texts are intentionally redundant to what’s already in the paintings, song or video. But in this process, as often happens, redundancy generates other meanings, or reveals meanings that wouldn’t be revealed if we were avoiding the obvious. Obvious is what we see. The awareness of the obvious generates an undetermined world that exists beyond the obvious, but needs the obvious to exist.
The text about each painting is preceded by the word "Given" before each title, and though, each title as a gesture, a starting point for the mind to wonder, even if it wonders in a way complexity does not dismiss the idea of precision if we are able to admit there can be a place for precision in a multidirectional mind..