fr es en

Tenet, Morphism 6, Telas Sueltas series

paintings 2023

Tenet Park

This morning I went for the occasional jog in the nearby park. In the early morning there was another man running but backwards. I wondered If that person realized he was running inside a closed loop trapped in a palindrome named TENET.

I suspect there is more to it than the name suggests. No matter which way I run along the short 600m path of the closed loop either clockwise or counter clockwise the end always leads me to the beginning. Loosing track of direction, space and time. Not knowing were It begins nor it ends. Going round in a circle seems to me what the painting practice is all about. It’s a mind boggling task trying to achieve the unachievable.

It was no surprise to me that some details of this complex scenery ended up painted on the canvas. I didn’t notice it at first, just days after when the painting was nearly completed that I saw similarities with the actual park. For instance the odd shaped castle is no more than a cone sitting on a rectangle, on the painting the bottom became a black concrete slab surmounted by a cobalt blue cone resembling a sword. An arrow, a tree, a hole in the wall, a wall in a hole, all coming together entangled, intertwined in the canvas fabric.

When someone walks backwards it looks awkward. The tricks used by Christopher Nolan in his hard to follow movie fools no one. When shooting (in 35mm and IMAX 70mm),  the main character walks backwards so that when the scene is reversed he is the only one walking in the right direction and everything else moves backwards. More impressive is the movie score written by the Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson that sounds the same played backwards. Artists like challenges. This palindromic nonsense makes me think about an image or art piece that could be palindromic in essence. I think about the street name “Rue d’Odeur” hand painted on an enamel plate evocative of the real plates found in the streets of Paris by the artist Patrick Hospital, I also think about the Rorschach stains and deck of cards that can be read upside down.

Could it be that we read paintings sideways too? Bottom up, or top down, all together all at once? In my Diplopia series I experimented putting side by side two nearly identical paintings. Mirroring a painting on the same canvas could make a statement. A tautological, self referential trick. A copy, half finished, half begun. A midway point, where no return is possible.