Video documental about the collaboration with Mar Juan Tortosa, Mario Montoya, and Panamá Díaz performance showed at IVAM (Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno in Spain)
A text by Mar Juan
For years that Carlos Sebastiá and I saw in our work certain parallels that we thought interesting. Carlos Sebastiá is a multidisciplinary artist, he began his artistic production with painting, but his constant movement (València, Beijing, London, etc.) led him to change the brush for the camera. The incorporation of this tool allowed him and allows him to continue expressing through an imaginary, that part of the real, a whole discourse that collects his inner world and projects to the outside world through these captures. Let's say that in the end, it offers us a pictorial vision where papers and graphics, architecture, objects or people coexist through the accumulation of layers, captured by the objective. As if it were a glaze, altered manually or not, you can see the torn paper, a studied composition, the development of your own universe and matter, from the look of the 21st century, with all the means that this entails.
This last year we began to make a series of meet-ups through video calls where we explained and discussed our lines of work and interests. At a certain moment, it was seen that there is a strong common ground with which we could start working together in order to carry out an international collaborative project.
This type of language that Sebastiá puts on the table moves away, formally speaking, from the kind of language that can be seen in my work. Where the object and its relationship with the body, are the main elements, although these themselves, drag a whole series of studies where you touch the photography, graphics, paper, plaster, metal, etc. Let's say that your imaginary focuses on the space created and the relationship of people with it, and mine with the object either from an intangible plane through its absence, from the body itself as an object or from an external plane point that we find in these conversations are the layers and the relationships that exist between them. In the work and research of Carlos Sebastiá, we see a line of work that starts from the memory, the memory and the creation itself. In his work, layers are materialized through the accumulation of images through superposition, in its original format and other interventions. There, the same memories are drawn and blurred, because of that superposition of layers, transparent or not, that vanish or hybridize images, experiences, perceptions and sensations.
One of the topics that can be seen in my research is habitats. On the one hand, there is the intangible habitat or being, the body or body habitat and the outer habitat or space. These three habitats, at the same time, can be structured as superimposed layers where some contain the others as they expand and generate a living entity, the being, able to relate to itself and to everything that surrounds it means of perceptions.
This theme was the trigger of a series of four objects that interact with the body, altering its perceptive mode and questioning the closed patterns that we have when moving and putting the senses into operation. These extensions are a succession of layers that refer to the last layer of the skin, about 20 scales of lifeless skin. From this series of objects or body extensions called HYBRIDS, I specifically selected one for collaboration. This object is characterized because it unites two parts of the body altering its independence of movement and allowing the discovery of other perceptual realities
With this collaborative project, we have worked with layers, layers that revolve around the construction of being, either through their inner world (memory) or from their more tangible world (corporeality and object). Layers that articulate, from different plastic fields, a language composed of a succession of planes, strata or levels that try to respond, capture or question certain questions that concern the being and its construction, by means of perceptions.
The techniques that have been used in the different works that make up the project are those that we were already working on our personal projects. On the part of Carlos Sebastiá, the video installation, through projections of live recordings and other collected, together with refractory materials such as the mirror or methacrylate to fractionate, reflect or project the same images projected by the projectors in space. The techniques that I used to create the object that has been used in the collaboration and in the entire series HYBRIDS come from jewellery. I have adapted some systems of articulation with which a series of mobile scales that expand our physical and perceptive capacity through a limitation or corporal extension. Through these pieces (both the video installation and the object), you can find different ways to relate to different habitats (the being, the body and space). Therefore, in a tangible way, through the HYBRIDS, and intangibly, through video installations, we have worked on the concept of layers, of analysis of reality and the construction of being in its intangible, corporal part and external.
In Valencia, we had the participation of the performer Mario Montoya and with a space donated by the Universitat Politècnica de València, at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Sant Carles. There we saw and experienced for the first time how they relate and speak three types of works that come from different fields (video installation, performance, and once we have reached this point, we studied how to carry out the project. The needs that arose were the participation of a person who worked in the field of performance and who would be interested in the topics discussed: layers, memory, experience, perceptions, construction of being. And an exhibition space in which to develop the project) but come to a common port with their own space, body, and object.
It was seen that these three languages are able to articulate and to continue talking about those issues that address our studies. How do we inhabit the body? What are the internal structures that generate the inner and outer world? Etc.
We did not want this project to be left alone in Valencia, so we saw the possibility of expanding it to London. This was possible thanks to the collaboration of Panama Díaz at the head of performance and of Marie L. Gerard as project coordinator.
In this city, despite the fact that the dynamics of the video installation and the object were the same, the result was completely different. The space we worked with was the Morgue room, at Chelsea College of Arts, a space that was not homogeneous at all, completely different from the one in Valencia. This room was a challenge given its strong character: a floor with a pronounced slope, pillars and arches that structure the space and offer different sub-rooms, high ceiling, etc. There we also had to work with the language of the space itself, an aspect that greatly enriched the project.
Another factor that offered the project another branch of the investigation was the performer Panama Díaz. Mario Montoya worked on the material itself, be it that of the body and that of the object, like other elements that he introduced, such as flour and ink, which were present in his personal investigations. With Panama Díaz, relations were worked between the different elements that make up or give physical entity to the person or being, such as the body itself and the extension generated by the object with the exterior.
Both space and the performer are vital points that enrich the project exponentially since with each space, with each performer, the project takes a different direction, a perspective from another plane that makes us approach the work from nuances before never exposed.
We believe in collaborative work as an experience that enriches knowledge and as a tool that builds a whole network, which makes possible coexistence between different worlds, whether internal and/or personal or external among other people and cultures, so necessary in this reality that drags us to a path of research and growth alone. CAPAS is a project that started in Valencia, from the cultural origins, base or port of both Carlos Sebastiá and mine. And that little by little it will grow and enrich itself of all those spaces or territories that are added, and of all those performers that contribute a different approach from their personal research. CAPAS is a collaborative project that appeals to the senses and is projected into the corporeal, which is born from the personal and is projected to the collective.