In March this year, dust from the Sahara stained the snow in the Pyrenees. The wind pushed crumbled earth from one side of the Mediterranean to the other: the earth, in its lightest form -closer to nothing-, on top of the water that has exchanged its usual lightness for the hardness of rock. Brown pigment on white pigment on green canvas. Unexpected traffic between territories, opposed and inhospitable. As if Pere Noguera had drenched the Pyrenees with mud, or as if he had lifted the mat, the snow skin, to make us see what lies beneath. The world - all mud: the sum of earth and water - passes over itself, decomposes, while the human being - all blood, flesh and bones - strives to cross a frontier. Yet another revelation on a planet which, far from the perfect sphere projected by human thought, is more like an oblate spheroid: a formless sphere with a mass of approximately 5.98 × 1024 kg. An insomniac sphere, on the other hand: it rotates 366.26 times on its own axis before completing an orbit around the sun; it never sleeps. Màrius Sampere claims that being is perhaps his own: "We exist / according to the ultimate probability / undemonstrable. We float. We float and that is all. We float / on the Surface that’s been given to us." It is speculated that the planet will still be able to rotate and have life for at least 500 million years.
The Páramo de Berlín, in the Colombian Andes, was so named by a German traveller who was reminded of Berlin's long winters by its low temperatures. It is one of the most difficult points to cross for travellers entering Colombia from Venezuela via Cúcuta and heading to Bogotá. Some of these migrants continue on foot through Ecuador and Peru to Santiago de Chile. Before arriving, some of them stop in the Atacama desert, at an illegal dump that accumulates some 100,000 tonnes of clothing. These are used clothes and above all new clothes produced in Asian countries which, after passing through shops in the United States and Europe, arrive at the free port of Iquique (Chile), where they select what can still be sold and what is considered no longer valuable on the market. It is these "useless clothes" that end up in this large illegal dump in the Atacama Desert and is given use as a spare part for the walkers: under the sun's glare, the clothes create dunes and hills that grow out of control and which, from time to time, are reduced but never eliminated by a large fire. Ironies of life: the dunes are the only landscape that walks.
At the top of the dome of the Pantheon in Rome there is a hole or oculus that lets in sunlight. Once a year, the beam of light that passes through the building illuminates the entrance door. It is precisely on the 21st of April, the day Rome is supposed to have been born: the light welcomes the Romans, invites them in. And the same light, in fact, supports the structure: not only is it a temple of light - the beam of light moves throughout the year due to the movements of the planet around the sun - but without the entrance of light, the hole in the oculus, the dome would not stand up; the dome cannot be completely covered, it needs the absence to support itself. But this does not prevent the Pantheon from simply wanting to be an ideal sphere: if we follow the lines of the dome, we can draw one that fits perfectly into the orthogonal structure of the building. On the outside, right angles, columns, triangles and squares - the world of men; on the inside, the sphere and light - the divine world. It was not until 1928 that someone managed to realise the human dream of making a truly spherical building. Peter Birkenholz's Kugelhaus was a ball-shaped house building erected in Dresden on the Exhibition Grounds between exhibition palace and Hercules Avenue. In dialogue with the baroque surroundings of the garden, the Kugelhaus was built for an industrial fair - human affairs - and stood for ten years: it could not withstand the "return" to classicism imposed by the Nazi regime and was demolished in 1938. The return to the straight line. Also the impossibility of inhabiting an ideal sphere that goes beyond the common home that is this formless sphere of ours, wounded and condemned by human dreams.
In December 2020 a 13-metre articulated lorry transported - despite pandemic difficulties - Broomberg & Chanarin's wooden boxes from the UK to Barcelona: they contained all their works, their archive, contact sheets, undeveloped negatives and projects that were not realised during the years of the artistic duo's existence. Far from doing, the act consisted of tidying up and passing the baton. And that is what this exhibition is about: connecting witnesses, transferring pigments from one side to the other, overlapping signs on the same canvas, decomposing light. It is Pere Noguera, senior mud covering artist, who opens the constellation with the choice of two artists, who in turn choose another, until the end of the project. Earth, water, air and art. To pile up, to make matter move between states, to observe and do nothing. To look, to see and to perceive the dust that covers the objects that are no longer in use, the dust that covers our small existences, the dust that covers the mountains. The world is already written, it is a text to be read. And the world is also action, movement, decomposition, emptiness on its own. And human text, in turn, is one more form of architecture, as is also voice - architecture of air -: they occupy space, they create meaning; sometimes, however, they cut through this formless sphere to which art tries to give reason.
- Eduard Escoffet