The Fabulous Adventures of a Trampoline in the reading room
The reading room ti is actually a showroom, in Dallas, and those were, at the time, my coworkers, that happened to be reading. Therefore, if they are reading in a room, should this be a reading room?
I have been told, people don’t read anymore, I certainly don’t read as much as I used to, but how can it be possible to live without reading? Read an ad., read the news, read an invention on social media masquerading as news, read a novel, read a book about topics others know more than you, so you get to be “learned” or because the teacher tells you to read, I don’t know, I thought reading was pretty obvious. I always find it rare to enter a house with no books, none at all, even more when on every table you can find gossip magazines talking about people you have no idea who they are, but they seem to be a lot more important than you, because they are wearing an expensive outfit in a magazine, they live their lives to entertain you, like a monkey in times less “civilized” and respectful to animals (sorry monkeys), but they make a lot more money. Anyways, I thought the only ones that buy those magazines were hairdressers and your dentist, so she or he can start torturing you in the waiting room.
This show is a book presentation, it has lots of pretty images (you can buy them as limited editions, all of them or the one you like) and it is about perception and discovery.
My work is about blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy in order to explore the construction of beliefs, truths, and other myths based on background and education. I am interested in how the mind edits what we see and what we want to see, I am interested in why right or wrong is relative to not just the subject, but the one taking the action.
Now, a bit of background: I grew up in Spain but was born in Uruguay, (Uruguay is a very small country in South America, meeting an Uruguayan is as rare as finding a unicorn, only less magical) spent my childhood listening to my parents talking about a faraway land I knew nothing about, except my parents’ accent. At age 12, I moved to this nostalgic land to find the histories I was told and the reality were very far apart, possibly because if you remove the experience and the memories, the place becomes just a pile of bricks (and other materials) organized to create architectural and engineering forms. And from then on, I had a long line of discoveries after reading, that created all sorts of emotions. So, that is how I move around, describing emotions and discrepancies after experiencing a place I know something about, but at the time you actually visit, the discovery is different, (except for Las Vegas which is pretty much how you see it in the pictures).
I have lived life as a foreigner, I have felt perpetually like an outsider. I am a cultural
anthropologist, trying to understand the modus operandi of each place.
There are cities and countries that build powerful marketing around their originality, selling music, movies, unique lifestyles to be envied, iconic buildings, uniqueness… Some are pretty accurate when you arrive, making you feel like in a history book at times, in a movie in others, in a video clip or in Las Vegas.
On the other side, the side where we all look alike in order to represent a universal idea, are the common places where we move as “fish in the water”. I once ended up in a conference room in Istanbul Turkey, I was not part of the team as I already give up my corporate career, but ended up there (it was quite the “adventure” especially when everyone was giving away very serious business cards and mine was light blue and had some funny characters), it was a tall building and inside the conference room was like any other I have seen, in Montevideo, Dallas, NYC, London, in Tokyo (and others, I don’t think I need to name, you get the point) and now in Istanbul I was in the same place, speaking English, another black hole, like a Casino, like a Shopping center (even more now that all the brands are the same), those places where you get lost in time and space, where there is no meaningful nationality or character. I guess some of those common places and business places need to be the same, the way a train station works or an underground or a stop sign in traffic in order to allow everyone to understand and be familiar with the space and the language and can conduct themselves like at home. In Istanbul they have nicer snacks, different olives, and cheese, and water and some alcohol, nothing like those industrial cookies in North America.
But this is all the point, right? There is an international style, an international way of doing business and an international design to host it. Any city that wants to look successful, business oriented, will look like New York, nothing says business like a nice phallic-shaped curtain walled building.
Last time I was in Montevideo (google maps has it) my friends took me to a place that looked like Austin TX, even the food in offer was the same TexMex, and served in plastic plates, only difference you could drink the beer outside and there were no refills for your soft drink. You can’t get it all. Even the marginal* economy of Uruguay, is now starting to feel like everywhere else.
Oh dear, if you make it this far you must like reading. I used to love it, but now I got to pseudo intellectual and I read “important” books, currently, “the price of inequality” (Joseph Stiglitz) and they are so well written by someone who knows a lot about the topic, you cannot read many pages at once and you really need to give it time, not to digest it, just to control the fury, or when Naomi Klein keeps explaining to us the form of exploitation that citizens of the world are suffering at the hands of a small bunch, the same bunch who keeps trying to convince us that the ones who are to blame for their despair, have nationality. Just go on a road trip around the “first world” like the US and take a look at how people live outside the main centers. They practice with the ones that are closer first, and later expand to “conquer” the world and repeat the treatment.
Oh yes, the introduction, about the show:
The show came along after visiting the East of London, but as you can read above, it is not just a London phenomenon, there are many places where displacement of one group in favor of another is happening, where the unique is replaced by an international corporation. It is a political topic, it is a point of view and the idea is just to open dialogue, to hear others’ views on the topic, to point it out to whom hasn’t noticed it. The language is innocent and friendly and happy, at times. It takes the idea from the way people under oppressive dictatorship have been able to sing their discontent through a children’s song, it will look innocent and meaningless to the small brain of the oppressor and it will be understood by the oppressed and others not oppressed but against it and with a fully functional brain to know despotism is not good and the world is a better place when everyone is happy.
In this wall you can read this introduction and look into the reading room image, in the next one you can see the images of what is now a buyable book or limited editions nicely printed lovely collages, all together look great, but if you have one favorite I could consider it.
In opposite wall, images that look like chaotic but it is exactly that, it is the representation (mine) of a dynamic system (humanity) that even if we know all the variables the result is always unpredictable, (except for a few things that we seem to have badly broken like the environment, so we better start taking measures NOW), these images are (some of) the variables I used to create this work, and are there to explain to you why I ended up doing this book and lovely limited edition prints, for your amusement.
So, even if we know all the variables, there is always an unpredictable future, so it is up to you, to build the one you want.
Lots of love, I know I look grumpy but I am quite a romantic, but do not yet believe in Unicorns, so, as Natalia Ferber will say “nothing is written in stone, it is up to you to believe it, it is up to you to change it, protest against it, buy it or not, reflect and think about it, mix with people of other backgrounds and ages, read books, especially this lovely one that has lots of drawings and little text”
The Fabulous Adventures of a Trampoline in The Reading Room