The constant movement and development that comes with the mysterious world of expression. What is the device that creates circles of affinity out of differences? What is it that moves within us and brings us to things that we may not have thought about nor even wanted to say? What is all this about “I just can’t resist it? Is creation an unknown language? Do we become the transmission note that validates a collaboration? Where are the others who live within us?
I did not want to limit myself to codes that could easily label a large number of connections with the languages that are more than known to us within the fields of abstraction and informalism… Creative identity is a complex phenomenon because everything – including life, circumstances, what surrounds us at every moment, the contours and infinite abysses of our own intuition – moves within a constant process. In short, what I propose is to generate complicities through resonances, acts of intuition, the silences that possess us and which allow us – as spectators – to create a dialogue with the author.
She (Teresa Vall Palou) is not an author who likes to speak about and specify aspects of her work; she always tries to distance herself from anything that could perpetuate a cliché. However, she does let us see how she works: in an open way, and in accordance with the fluency of a circulation which never ceases. She does not want to give away clues that would confuse the clear view of the pieces (we do not find titles, but rather compositions) and – above all else – she values the difference that allows us to come out from a comfortable interior, which is too well accustomed to routines, in order to immerse ourselves in everything that may be unknown to us. She never emphasizes what she would like to say about her own work, as so often occurs with the desire to project limits and with the fears that prevent us from advancing. Instead, she wants us to move around freely and to open dialogues in which each of us can enter and share her world and then leave it again, with our own experience. She wants us to read from our own intimate perception and for us to be the ones who throw ourselves freely into our interpretation.
Even so, there is also an inevitable trace which, in some way, marks us all and I am very interested to discover re-readings of her own work. It is as if she has written over what had previously been written after erasing it. In fact, it is a kind of palimpsest that is associated with the idea of the creative process, in which both the ideas and the concepts appear in a different way over time and are rewritten in a new context. Many times, I have asked myself about this transversal reading of days and years. In the end, I realize that my (your, our) journey through life is like a grattage, which needs to be erased (but never completely!) in order to be rewritten.
This facility with which we reduce a person to a few items of data because “a person is a multitude of fragments, their life is not a story but a map – or, better still, a reticule, or even a rhizome – that offers various itineraries, each of which would lead, if we were to follow them, to us building a history different from others” is something that has also attracted the attention of the poet and essayist Chantal Maillard (1). It is an approach that I share and which has made me advance in my own way of understanding the human being, including everything that derives from the combination of art and life; this is very much in line with the attitude promoted by Vall Palou. The metaphor of the snail’s drool, used by Maillard in her essay title, leads us to the integrating expression of writing poetry.
As I walk through her workshop, observing works from different periods, looking at objects, ceramics and sculptures, I see another decisive point in her process: working from an object that was found and establishing interactions involving ideas, perceptions, intuitions … And, as I continue to advance through this labyrinth in her company, I once again hear whispered, in a low voice, the murmur of another time… one experienced at the beginning of my journeys along the paths of art, the world understood via intuition, which I had discovered in the visual and literary concepts of Italo Calvino. Now that we are in the millennium that corresponds to them, rather than in the midst of a prediction, the validity of those proposals that he foresaw as an essential part of another way of perceiving the world are again manifested in this “everything is possible” that we are given by the combination and multiplicity of creative languages. This is existence! Existence is an open structure that needs to breathe so as not to be drowned in what is concrete, and work – both that which is already a physical result and that which is still in process – can be assembled and disassembled as many times as you like, breaking away from the I am (2) which – for many – is just a form of false solidity to cling on to and where they can feel at ease with any affirmation embedded in time.
This expository proposal to which an art historian and a poet have been invited, seems very interesting to me because of the different versions and interpretations that can be made of a work each time it is visited. And yes, I just can`t resist it, because art is part of this process of discovering ourselves which – with the right tools to provoke and surprise us – places us in each of the spaces along the way, as if it were a circle of affinities that unfolds in a synthesis-antithesis, unpacking the difference in registers in Vall Palou’s work. It is an open process in which generating contrasts is most evident as a visual set and – at the same time – as an individual composition that is always located between expressive rhythms which overwhelm any world prescribed for us to inhabit.
Light, matter, colour, transparency (what can be glimpsed from beneath each composition), opacity, gesture, space, time (the palimpsest of accumulated registers in the plot of an infinite discourse), chance …, an accumulation of references which would not be present without emptiness and absence. Although we find that the majority of these works have been produced recently, they also include some that make it possible to open the arc of time as if it were a conversation in course: a constant renewal of intimate perception.
The need to open paths in a network in order to escape from what she would never want – in other words, to be included within a cliché – leads us to the naked sculpture, the white walls with the white of a few volumes in which it is necessary to value not only the forms, but each accident of matter; the scraped and rewritten painting, like a palimpsest of liquid transparencies where the plots are diluted with the pieces of white ceramic; the dialogue of the most austere pictorial imprint with the volumetric lines that transit, between two rooms, to take us to the gesturing of a painting that coexists with writing; the recovered fabric, with its own imprint, and which has been transformed with the insertion of letters that open and close calligraphic alphabets, finds the other object in which to reflect itself: an old mirror frame that welcomes its most convulsive world of line; and now, finally, the paper with all the qualities, again the whiteness that opened the way for us in the first space, with drawings, engravings, the plan for the target book that brings together all the poetry.
The paper, and especially the engraving, take us to a magnificent exhibition, organised by this Foundation. Gènesi 2015, from the careful hands of Josep-Maria Sala-Valldaura, clearly places us within the affinity that is produced between the white sheet of the author and the artist’s canvas, the complicity that allows us to establish connections when it comes to advancing along paths that are unknown to us. And D´això, no me´n sé estar, because it is multiple questions that allow us to form the question without an answer or to become, what Clarice Lispector called, a parenthesis that never closes. Movement, transit, life … What is it like to exist other than to become and to be created?
Translated from catalan by: Malcom Hayes
(1) Chantal Maillard, La baba del caracol. Madrid/México, Vaso Roto, 2014, p. 69.
(2) Glòria Bosch, Qui sóc? Museu d´Art de Girona/Llibreria Sala Blanquerna de Madrid/Sala Ibere Camargo. Usina del Gasómetro de Porto Alegre, 1999.