Madera. 180 x 175 x 40 cms.
Fotografía en blanco y negro.
Poliptico 9 x (50 x 60 cms. c/u.). Edición 3.
Solo show at Almagro Fúcares Gallery.
From March 11 to May 6, 2006.
Fúcares Gallery presents in Almagro an individual exhibition by José María Guijarro (Torre de Juan Abad, 1953), an assorted work in diverse formats — photos of bricklayers, a subjective-camera video made up of a series of hundreds of fast photographs that make the viewer run endlessly all the way round, a wooden sculpture representing a pair of very long walking legs, and a super-8 film where one can follow a permanent shot of some feet being cleaned an idea underlies, an exodus, a seasonal migration, maybe caused by the interminable wave of African immigration that continues being news, mostly since the events in Melilla.
-JMG: Does your work have anything to do with the world around you, or do you think that art should be grown in a glass case in quest of beauty?
-José María Guijarro: I don’t know whether my work echoes the world where I live; I’d like to think it does, for the idea of growing beauty while being safe from the world and from life makes me grimace, and it bores me. Certainly, all the news concerning the movement of Africans to Europe is heart breaking in many ways, and not just for the events in Melilla. I suppose that something in all of this may be seen in my work. It is true that this is the topic that has been obsessing me for a few months now. But I must say that I have never intended to make political art; I feel that in today’s world of art, to make proclamations and political demands is the most ineffectual and elitist means of all. Not even as a visual revulsion for the viewer do I find it effective: apart from the images on the news, I believe the most provoking images of current art are like papier mâché. What I would like is to attain a bit of the old poetry in my work, nothing more.
-JMG: Yes, but in the choice of topics, is there not a purpose of meddling in world affairs, which are political?
-José María Guijarro: I don’t choose topics; rather, topics choose me, if anything. And I suspect that the artist, in fact, doesn’t know what he is doing when he is making art.
-JMG: Well, that might be your problem, but you can’t say that a real artist doesn’t know what he is doing.
-José María Guijarro: You’re right, it’s my problem. But it’s not just an occasional problem, but a rooted one: whenever I have insisted on adjusting the result to a planned idea and to its justification, the result is dull and insipid, unemotional. On the contrary, when I let myself go, and at the end of the working process a bit of poetry has appeared, I never know how this comes about, and in my opinion it’s here where the mystery of art lies for the artist — or at least for me.
-JMG: Well then, thanks a lot.
-José María Guijarro: Thanks to you.
Torre de Juan Abad, 28th February 2006.