María Belén Sáez de Ibarra - Galería El Museo
Archetypes of desire. Thoughts portrayed in images of the utopian world that we would like to build, where we are less confined to the boundaries of a world governed by reason. An imaginary creation or an abyss falling into space. The utopia of what we have not become as living beings, striving against the heaviness of the body and matter versus the lightness of the spirit that could find fulfillment in the poetic idea of a psychic construction, closely related to literature. An architecture of desire that some artists dare to sketch. Jaime Franco builds on the ancient archetypes of Judaic scriptures, founded on the beliefs and traditions of a people ruled by one God, to whom their land had been promised and who should not wish for more than the piece of land in which they lived. Ancient beliefs that precede Christianity and which are mocked and disdained by a people acting disobediently, as recorded in the Tower of Babel. Such distorted traditions that are dwelled upon as well thousands of years later by Fritz Lang in his film Metropolis, the futuristic city dominated by the mean intelligence of a world at the service of industrial production. An image also alluded to by Bernd and Hilla Becher in their photographical records of industrial water towers. Solomon’s Temple becomes this site, erected as a promise of adoration to one God but which is never fulfilled.
Franco’s Wind Towers allude to the idea of falling from the most ethereal of thoughts into a deeper and more misguided space. Through an analysis of form, structure and architecture, Franco dwells on these ancient or founding beliefs, remnants of the architecture of illusion. He studies these forms of architecture available to us through images such as drawings, models, the designs for such structures, films and photography. His images are reminiscent of all this material that encompasses the cultural heritage of the West, having its founding traditions on ancient Judaism and Christianity. Franco analyzes these forms by measuring distances, studying the designs for such structures, choosing different perspectives for the images and thinking how to give a material quality to them. He thinks of the composition in such way to finally come up with an organic drawing where all of this has been decomposed into a knowledgeable and studied painting in mud. Here he creates a new set of perspectives, simultaneously buried under new layers of paint.
The Tower of Babel, Solomon’s Temple and its reinterpretation through the Renaissance, Fritz Lang’s Tower, Piranesi’s Prisons and the Water Towers are Franco’s leitmotif for this poetical exercise of his. Duchamp’s Bottle Dryer could as well fall into the appropriations for his fantasy exercise.
One of the most poetic pieces in this exhibition is Franco’s mud intervention, depicted on the walls at the Galeria El Museo. By an optical and pictorial illusion, the space takes the form a cube that falsely appears to be three-dimensional. A type of construction that has come about as a result of a non-fulfilled and unattainable illusion, but which seeks to create a reality pushing beyond the boundaries of a promised land governed by an authoritative and punishing God. For our well being or our non-well being. Maybe for both.