Sobre el nivell de blanc
[Above white level]
Site-specific installation at the Maristany Art Center of Sant Cugat.
From 15th October to 19th November, 2016.

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There is a way of measuring altitude by reference to ordinary sea level that counts the meters of elevation above it. This measure standardizes the geography and establishes a reference point on which to build emergency. Although the word "emergency" in Spanish has a double meaning and places us in the ambivalence of a term that refers both to the risk of survival and the action of standing out. It refers both to the elevation of the earth above the surface of the sea when it forms an islet; and to the other hand, when an urgency calls us to react to the imminence of the danger, and positions us in front of the priorities of survival. It is these priorities, which all too often vanish before our eyes, precisely because they are so close.

In a state of calm and certainty we distance ourselves from the immanent core of being. While, in the emergency, all the most instinctive resources of survival are activated, since they maintain the focus on the urgency, but also on the true importance of the essential, directed to the significant, to the transcendent.

In the same way, poetry, literature, art, culture in general, allow the state of emergency to be transferred to the unlocalized realm of the transcendent.

«Life is in itself and always a wreck. To be wrecked is not to be drowned. The poor human, feeling that he is sinking into the abyss, waves his arms to stay afloat. That agitation of arms with which he reacts to his own doom, is culture –a swimming movement.»
José Ortega y Gasset

Sobre el nivell de blanc. Instalación video, sonido y nivel láser. 2016.

Beyond the haste of life, there is that which rises and lifts us above its ordinary level: above the sea or above the blank sheet of paper, waiting to welcome our interiority on it. We could say that above the level of white there is a threshold. As Gilles Deleuze says: «All consciousness is a threshold».

The whiteness of a sheet is also a suspended space of thought and silence, waiting to welcome the word or gesture that emerges in its many islets to chain an archipelago of meaning. Words raise their body of poem above the level of the white sea of the page. They rise, wavering, to the depths of an open sky.

The poem is both a path and a footprint. Nina Berbèrova, in her autobiographical story "The italics are mine", indicates her precocious inclination to pour out in words «by overloading the soul»; for all that she cannot contain and that she pours out on the target, emerging from the fleeting moment of revelation. Inscribed at every moment, the conscience of the present moment wants to record life, detail by detail. To write on the inscription —to make it white on the register— is a chain of crops and living cultures.

«Fixation is always momentary. It is a balance, at a precarious and perfect time, that lasts for an instant...»
Octavio Paz

Poetry is the foundation of great unprovable truths. Chantal Maillard is a master of this unusual skill: «lucidity is fragile». So, in a state of permanent fragility, does lucidity become survival?

The concept of survival needs a new approach to raise the expectations of living. To survive, then -to survive above the standard level, would already be an attempt to expand aspirations beyond pure contingency. To live "above" is already a collection of agitations, worries and tremors accentuated by the unleashed wind that charges against the hesitant soul, arched to such an extent by gusts of wind that they seem to bring it down.

«If I don't ask you for anything.

Or I do:
that you leave my openness untouched»
Jesus Aguado

What is it that sustains us standing, fragile and malleable at the same time, in the midst of the storm? What is it that, like a lit beacon, the resistant interiority maintains the horizon as a reference?

«... they wanted to straighten out the shadow to crooked things.»
Joan Brossa

A level is used to straighten out crooked things. This laser level, located in the middle of the room, projects a trembling horizon line that marks an effort above which poetry seems to flutter. The task of straightening the twists is enormous, unmanageable, and in this way the installation remains with its accessory tooling to highlight the moment of imperfection, of eventuality, of unfinished matters.