"J´EST UN JE" ( FIN? ).
Solo show at Madrid Fúcares Gallery.
From January 08 to February 07, 2004.
I hope that the viewer understands that the "end" of the "J'est un je" painting series announced in the exhibition card is merely of rhetorical content. The painting series will not end till I finish with the archive images that I keep of the Balkan wars. But to considered the end of the series is nevertheless relevant.
Because, has it any interest to paint about some events that seem buried in the deepest part of our unconscious collective memory?
Our politicians talk about them as if the fact that they happened in the past century don't let them to be away from us just a few years, and that their effects are still awaiting the verdict, from History as much as from Justice.
And the press talk about the youngsters who live in the Balkans as tired with so much talk about the war and more interested in their own affairs than in the remembering.
What is the meaning then of keeping painting, here in Spain where it's people will be even less able to remember, about such subject matter?
Now it has more sense than ever. Not only because the war times that we live in make completely actual the need to oppose against the violence that the despise of the other (by the nationalism, the imperialism, the fanaticism.) generate. Also because as the pressure upon the event from the media dies away, it becomes more susceptible of being in turned towers the slower gaze of painting. The painter can take the concrete image towards a calmer contemplation, cleaned now of the heavy ideologies with which they are weight in times of urgency.
Nobody can say now that painting tries to compete with the media. Neither can anybody keep painting from depicting reality.
The paintings that form this exhibition are the result of four years of work (a big painting is missing) and they emphasise the process initiated in the previous exhibition in this gallery: the paintings get closer to the TV image, to the pixel and the deformations that it produces. In the process they become slow paintings, and the painter a distanced handler of paint. Strategies these that allow to keep painting such terrible images and, also, increase the emotional intensity of the picture produced.
Without renouncing to the qualities proper to the traditional painting: the handicraft, the beauty, but without imitating its gestures and its styles.
The exhibition includes also an etching portfolio with 24 plates, printed in 2002 but etched at the beginning of the series, when it was not decided the form that the images where supposed to take.
Simeón Sáiz Ruiz.