Since the 90s, the work of Carlos Schwartz has been developed with the same objective: to give everyday objects a transcendent aura using light while looking for a theatrical arrangement in space. The evolution of his work, from his paintings of the 1990s to the reused objects in the 2000s, is gradually penetrating into an increasingly dense conceptual symbolism. The light generates a “logic of estrangement”, highlights the dialectic of the permanent and the evanescent, the fixed and the changing, brightness and darkness. A game of opposites that creates levels of meaning in which the work shows its narrative and symbolic potential.
The exhibition, as its title indicates, consists of four parts. The projects are: Atlas de la Memoria (Sin Imágenes), T L- P Morse, Antifluorescentes (After Dan Flavin) and an installation in the gallery’s entrance hall.
Atlas de la Memoria (Sin Imágenes): This work is framed within a project based on the “Mnemosyne Atlas” by Aby Warburg. The “Mnemosyne Atlas” is a set of 62 photographic panels, that, in the words of its author, “want to be primarily an inventory of models that influenced the representation of life in movement and determined artistic style at the time of the Renaissance”. A corpus of images and artistic forms that demanded from the Renaissance artists either the detachment of, or the assimilation of that two-faced imaginary: Apollo-Dionysus.
Each panel is an image into whose geometry is set another image. When copying the panels, retaining only the white rectangles of photographs, Schwartz has tried to unravel the geometric order of the panels, at the same time that raises a memory exercise: What did the images that are missing look like? Which are the ones I can remember?
As the Atlas of Warburg is a catalog of images that describe the transformation of pagan forms into Christians gestures, to delete the images allows us to make another transformation, Christian Renaissance gestures become actual pathos. To replace the images of the Renaissance with images that come from our personal background allows us to reconstruct the atlas using our gaze, and gestures and situations from the present. In short, to re-imagine the atlas with our memory.
T L-P morse. This project consists of the translation to morse language of “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” by Ludwig Wittgenstein. This work is one of the cultural landmarks of the twentieth century. To translate it to the morse language is an attempt to turn it into a “luminous object”. The rigid structure of the text and its formulation in strictly numbered and grouped aphorisms, becomes clear and bright. The light becomes the sign representing the Tractatus, to the extent that it can not be enunciated, but it can be displayed.
The project will be developed in three parts:
– A video projection with the work translated to morse language and transmitted with light.
– The transfer to A4 graph paper of each individual aphorism from the German edition.
– The edition of a book in morse language.
“Antifluorecentes (After Dan Flavin)”. This project aims to counterpose Dan Flavin’s “Fluorescents” to its photographic negatives. To transform the transparency and brightness of the lamps in opacity and shadow, in order to “materialise” the fluorescents, configure their position in space and indicate the work’s presence as an object, showing that which light does not let us see.