WEAVING THE REMAINS OF THE SHIPWRECK

In this exhibition, Linarejos Moreno presents a series of pieces which she has come to call “Tejiendo los Restos del Naufragio”. In these pieces, a series of large format prints on burlap and memory-laden objects come together to become sculptural objects that speak of absence.

The energy and narrative power of time mingles in these pieces with an imaginary interior space. This space, in turn, seeks to carry the meaning of the social, or the collective. A symbolic system charged with the industrial, the mechanical, and the mathematical, turns to this space again and again. It is not for nothing that Linarejos grew up among industrial ships and factories that closed and transformed over time as Spain suffered economic changes. Perhaps this is the source of her longing for memory. 

The function of these photography-based sculptures is not only documentary. Instead, Linarejos also creates new meanings from the objects and documents involved. The video “Arqueología Industrial Ficticia” (Fictitious Industrial Archeology), created in 1998 and presents in this exhibition, gives spectators the key to understanding how she works. In the manner of a playful archeologist, the artist entertains herself constructing false histories on the basis of the industrial photographs she has encountered. 

In the pieces collected in “Weaving the Remains of the Shipwreck”, the large-format impressions on hand-crafted burlap transform the photographic image into one among many sculptural-pictorial materials, disrupting the line between image and object. These sculptures also have another element in common, the thread. Linarejos uses this thread – a sculptural expression of the line – to construct perspectives, intersections, an entire architectonic universe with which to build upon “remains,” in the manner of a reverse Romanticism. 

Her work continues to construct and build from the basis of destruction, like an instinct to survival. This exercise gives her work an immense strength, a way to “inhabit” territories forbidden to her by time and economic cycles. 

This is a powerful language in which the boundaries between photography, painting, sculpture, drawing, fiction, and reality are left completely obscured.

LINAREJOS MORENO, 2012

A SITE OF PROMETHEAN ARCHEOLOGY.

____________________________

VIRGINIA DE LA CRUZ LICHET

To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing. [1] [Marcel Duchamp]

 

When Marcel Duchamp gave the lecture “The Creative Act” to the American Federation of Arts in Houston in 1957, he defended the meaning of the work of art, and he defined the creative act as a process that begins in the artist but that does not end until a process of transmutation has been established between the artwork and the spectator.  

In Weaving the Remains of the Shipwreck, Linarejos Moreno (Madrid, 1974) reflects upon the memory of places as well as on their new meanings, a topic the artist has been contemplating for some time. It is not surprising that the work she has developed in the last few years is very closely related to Spain’s social and economic reality. Spain is a country that first experienced processes of territorial transformation when large factories and industrial zones were created. These were later dismantled during a real estate boom, but the economic crisis paralyzed this process, and those spaces that were to be converted into housing blocks were simply left as abandoned factories. It is this spatial-temporal point upon which the artist reflects. There is no doubt that her family ties to the industrial and factory world have determined the direction of her contemplation. Duchamp has stated that in the creative act, the artist “goes from intent to realization through a chain of totally subjective reactions [in which] the struggle toward realization is a series of efforts, pains, satisfactions, refusals, decisions, which also cannot and must not be fully self-conscious, at least on the esthetic plane”[2]. 

Now then, in this creative process the desire for recovering spaces that have acquired a dysfunctional status is combined with the permanence of an emotional interconnection with the artist. In this mourning process, the installations – which have become the focus of the artist’s latest work – are constructed as ritualistic performances for her, but also as spatial explorations and visual perceptions on the part of the spectator. 

In these pieces, the image is always present – photographs impressed upon burlap, videos on small screens – as if it were a Pandora’s Box, revealing and unveiling. The work speaks of the processes of destruction, construction, and reconstruction, but with a cyclical perspective. That is, they are processes that link up together, one after the other, and then begin again. This continuum, and this cyclical conception of her world, brings us to an understanding of her first pieces, with their focus on a phase of archeological recovery. This is the source of her first video, Arqueología Industrial Ficticia (Fictitious Industrial Archeology) from 1998, which put her on a path from that period of searching toward her current work. In this video, the artist compiles, inventories, and preserves different objects – among which we find old photographs from the golden age of the factory –illuminating for us through this taxonomic and ludic process, her manner of working.                                                          

The arc as a constructive system and the ellipsis as design in this construction are constants in this work. The use of the thread as a sculptural line that penetrates the territory of the spectator and also creates a spatial projection leads us from one piece to another, as Ariadne’s thread led Theseus. This fictional narrative is a history reconstructed by the artist for us. Each [industrial] object, recovered and distributed in the expository space, becomes a discovery of the vestiges of that industrial archeology, not only for the artist, but also for the spectator.  

The aura that surrounds such works brings to mind the first decades of the History of Photography. The use of this new medium as a tool for recording and taxonimizing everything that was discovered on scientific voyages and expeditions filled eighteenth-century Europe with images that were fantastical, but real. Luna 594 unavoidably recalls the first photograph of the moon taken by Draper in 1840 and presented to the Academy of Sciences of New York. But above all, Linarejos succeeds in using such reversal of the scale of stereoscopic pairs to transform image into reality, two dimensions into three, and flatness into volume.  

There is no doubt that the image of the moon – but also of the eclipse – is a manner of revealing a reality that is present but not visible. This is the quality Duchamp called inframince, that which is so subtle that we can perceive it even as it remains hidden. Because of this, some of the pieces present themselves as mechanisms of unveiling in some cases, and of concealment in others. The intrigue felt by the spectator, the suspense created in the videos, the uncertainty upon discovering these remains through an initiatory exploration, instantly transforms it into a site of Promethean archeology. As it is for the scientist making observations through a microscope – or a telescope – a new cosmos is presented to us, filled with constructive structures but also with mechanized organisms. The entire trajectory is a great unit of conveyance between a fictitious past and our present.  

However, these mechanisms are made up of two elements: heavy, robust molds - tough and masculine; and other more feminine components, fragile, organic, sensual, and systemic. So that we inevitably think of some of the tactile work done by Eva Hesse, or the mechanisms of Rebecca Horn with her High Moon and other moons to which she always turns like closed circuits, or even some of Rosemarie Trockel’s pieces. However, all of these pieces, including those of Linarejos Moreno, are closely related to Marcel Duchamp. His The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even is a process of construction (1915-1923) in which chance – the piece’s partial deterioration – finished the work. Here, Linarejos Moreno displays for us a Duchamp-like ritual of mechanical seduction, but also the sensuality and the infralight that surrounds the pieces and balances these extremes. In so doing, the work creates a poetics of mechanism founded on this duality. Duchamp himself speaks about such duality when he defines the personal artistic coefficient as a mathematical relationship between what is unexpressed but intended, and what is expressed without intention.  

© Virginia de la Cruz Lichet. 2012

[1] Marcel DUCHAMP: El Acto Creativo. Ed. Elba. Barcelona, 2010. (Col. El Taller de Elba, 4). P. 63.

[2] Ibid, p. 65.

WEAVING THE REMAINS OF THE SHIPWRECK first works

But with the arrival of the crisis, the hasty conversion of the industrial area remained paralyzed. The workers went to work in other factories and the wreck remained forgotten in a sea of uncertainty. Afterwards, these abandoned objects, these "widows of the living" were gathered to be used to build a monument. The marks found in the remains were enlarged, and the result was then photographed in order to later include it in the sculpture itself in a speculative exercise.

LINAREJOS MORENO, 2012