El equipo de la Lechuza (JM Guijarro)

José Guerrero – La Mancha

 

Fúcares Gallery, Almagro, Spain

Solo show: 13th April - 9th June, 2013

 

In Caspar David Friedriech’s painting El paseante sobre el mar de nubes (“The Walker Over the Sea of Clouds”) we can see the meditative figure of a man with his back to us at the top of a mountain, surrounded by alpine peaks that appear among the clouds like a reef in the tempestuous sea. “I must surrender” – says this painter of the sublime – “to what surrounds me, unite myself with the clouds and the rocks to be what I am. I need the solitude to communicate with Nature”, to feel it, we could say, as a mystic passion of the senses.

In contrast with this romantic vision, the distance and emptiness of the landscape on the plain of La Mancha invite the photographer Jose Guerrero to deprive the image of every feeling, to bring it closer to the concept, the idea, the chimera that lies beneath in the series of photographs that are presented to us: two opposing visions, the sky and the earth, united – separated by a line.

 

The repetition and minimalist series formation make the texture of the earth disappear, the colour of the seasons and the apparent shapes of life in each picture like the foam of the sea, brief and insignificant. The crucial point here is only the limit of the horizon, a line where everything begins and ends. The same line along which the author walks, a tightrope between the poetic nature and the analytical drift of his particular sight. The sensitive, material paint dissolves and the drawing stands, the geometry of the scenes at each side of the line; the abstraction of the general landscape, a fateful twist of metaphysical landscape, still and longlasting, motionless, beautiful?

 

Paul Cezanne got closer every day to the “motif”, to study nature and discover its internal and geometrical structure, analysing every texture, every colourful scene, every shape, and composing a full copy of geometrical shapes with a Cartesian flavour. Thus, cubism.

 

However, in the work that Jose Guerrero presents to us there is a void, a reciprocal distance between the sight and the motif, and as a reflection, between the spectator and the landscape. There is a distance between the objective and the object, like that between the object and the idea, between the word and the object. It could be said that Guerrero’s view of the rural landscape is urban and profoundly modern, “without any human and trivial trace” – as Ortega y Gasset used to say - a certain order in a certain game.

 

Hopefully these subjective reflections will serve as an invitation to forget any previous thought when one observes the photographs of La Mancha. Enjoy the silent exhibition and listen carefully to the echo in yourselves. Do not forget that there is no story about a work of art that can replace it, and that the discourse is always superficial: it may reach the foam of the tempestuous sea.