'paper homes' is not a realistic representation of a house. Using handmade paper, a noble though fragile material, it means to express the feelings that tie us to our home, a place of intimate experiences rather than a physical space. Delicate and potentially precarious, like paper.
Each piece of the series focuses on the subtle structures of the relationships that grow with and within our home. Relationships that are sometimes broken or maintain an unstable balance. The loss of our home is the loss of a vital point of reference, that place where we can always go back to. In the distance that separates us from our lost home nestle the uncertainties and the anxieties of the emigrants, the refugees and the evicted.
Successive layers of paper, memories and time. Blocked windows, holes that fail to sustain an order, stitches escaping from the seams. The white paper like a blinding sun -or an absence. What remains is the silent mark of the home that was, held in place with string or with thin twigs. Some photographs deconstructed by oblivion and a loose thread of home-sickness deep inside, where all to often we don't want to look.
The time has finally come! I can now show you my works for the 'paper homes' exhibition that opened on Wednesday 8 May at 7pm.
home number 1
On Monday 6 May I went to Zaragoza to set up the exhibition. Luckily, I had very little to do in this department, just decide the placement and the order of the works. All the drilling and actual hanging were done by a whistling and efficient worker. It was almost time for me to start relaxing.
home number 2
This is the one that was used on the poster, as some of you may have read on a previous post. I thought it would be number 1 but it definitely wanted to be number 2 on the wall.
home number 3
The golden splashes are gold leaf applied in a deliberately grungy manner. They represent the preciousness and fragility of our feelings for home.
home number 4
I think no description of the technique is generally necessary, the materials and procedures are obvious.
home number 5
I was in two minds about using rust and finally couldn't resist the temptation. This one is the only rusted paper in the series. As you can see if you click for the large-size view, there are two pieces of pearced tracing paper below the strips of twine.
home number 6
Who says brochette sticks can't be used for artistic purposes? Τhey look a bit like wooden stakes and that was the idea. Some homes can be hostile.
home number 7
This is actually my very first paper home -and the most puzzling. The finished work stood there for weeks while I tried to sort through my doubts. Intimately I knew it was finished but my mind didn't dare accept it as it was: an all-white, simple artwork. I'm glad I finally refrained from adding anything more to it.
home number 8
In case you can't tell, there are two persons in that deconstructed photograph: my father and I (age five).
home number 10
Ok, the series of numbers goes a bit whimsical here. The Centre had printed self-adhesive labels with the titles, sizes, etc. but some of them just refused to peel off their backing. So I decided to just skip them. Home number 9 is missing but why should I follow a strict numbering order? This is art, after all, it's supposed to defy order?
home number 11
home number 15
A square! My favourite format, probably, and yet almost completely missing from my homes. There must be something about the idea of a living space that ties it to verticallity in my mind. Oh, and of course more rebellious labels were discarded.
This is an older work some of you may remember. I decided to include it in the 'paper homes' series because it is really based on the same idea. The loss of home and growing new roots some place else. It is also the only work that has a title.
I originally meant to create 20 works for the exhibition but I wasn't able to. A book translation came my way at the same time (you know how jobs have a habbit of getting in the way) and it took up many, many hours of my time. And then of course I had to deal with the difficulties of the work itself. It was a tough excercise on stripping things down to the essential, leaving out things that bordered the essential but didn't quite make it inside, allowing the paper to play the leading role in every instance. Those empty white areas represent the absence, the silence, the yearning and the loss.
I'll write another entry on the opening itself, to avoid making this one too long. I really felt like sharing my work with you first. After the opening I went down with a bad cold, that I probably caught because I was so tired and nervous. I didn't take any pictures at the opening, a friend did, so I'll post them as soon as she sends them to me. Because I think I can now safely say that my presence online will go back to normal again.