The inmutable disquiet or the tense calm. The double discourse as a break with the empyrean condition of the work of art

Ángel Calvo Ulloa




The eyes of Melancholy gaze at the realm of the invisible with the same intensity as with which she holds the imperceptible.


Saturno y la melancolía, R. Klibansky, E. Panofsky, F. Saxl.






To face discourse as a work of art, the work of art as a perfect excuse to elaborate the discourse and the exhibition as a culmination of all of this. This is how the two curatorial essays that Nacho Martin Silva and Dai K.S have created around the same space and the same works are presented. This is how they have sensed, separately, the joint effect of their work.

It was not about adapting to space, they have not played gallery as a preestablished site, as an insurmountable imposition, but instead they have transformed it into a tool in their homily. Searching around the corners, they have linked their works to the space, and that kind of dependency that bonds the works to the place blossomed.

Their exercise is placed in between the fine line that grants the curator the role of an indispensable figure in all this or the one of the insufferable charlatan that sometimes pretends to make us see what does not really exist. The creation of two different discourses with the help of the same works and by playing only with space, inevitably forces us to refer to Rosalind Krauss, to the expansion of artistic territory to which art - that we keep considering contemporary but that in many cases is twice our age - has been seen leaning over to.

Andrei Tarkovsky would say that a book that has been read a thousand times is a thousand different books ( Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculptor in Time, Rialp, Madrid, 2004.) and in that way, a work that has been resignified through a double discourse generates two different stories whose starting point is the same.


Nacho Martín Silva sets Jarosita, the polyhedron that Dai K.S has extracted from Melancolia I by Albrecht Durer, as the main piece. The possibility of it being conceived by Durer as an alum stone and its use, among others, in the elaboration during centuries of paper, makes us discern a clear intentionality that leads the two artists to literally and systematically transform their theoretical references into pigment and support -the paper is the support for engraving, the engraving represents the indispensable mineral for its elaboration and the polyhedron ends up made out of paper- In this line of thought, Nacho Martín holds on to the idea of the quote as the origin of his work and he opens the exhibition with a phrase by Walter Benjamin that is transformed into a work of art, with a watery stroke that underlines the fluidness of thought, its lightness.


Êvolo plays again with presentation and the format of the work of art. In a display case we find what we might suspect to be the content of the artist's studio waste paper basket and above it, on the wall, the drawings representing each and every one of these crumpled and rejected papers. Once again before the trial and error and once again the work is showing its origin in the faulty exercise that generates a sort of diary whose visible exterior holds an impassable secret, an idea which Galder Reguera refers to in La cara oculta de la luna (The hidden face of the moon), to the meaning of the work hidden somewhere inside that remains isolated. Nacho Martín grants Êvolo the role of a guide within his discourse and this way, trimurti established, the discourse develops and ends in that melancholic state provoked by a profound meditation that the works reflect and constantly lean the artist out over the abyss.

We are witnessing a mere theoretical setting, directly opposed to the one proposed by Dai K.S, who chooses to strip each and every one of the works from their initial spatial conception, starting with the splitting of the pieces Jarosita and Gang bang, fixing them on the wall as an adjustable object and eliminating the dimensionality that a few days earlier transformed them into key pieces in the discourse. Here we see a firm move towards a break with the empyrean condition of the work of art, opposed to its untouchable condition. Transmutation inevitably refers to alchemy, to the transformation of one chemical element into another, to a cuasi magical process that in this case does not stop at reshaping the discourse through the reorganisation of the pieces, but that allows it self to modify them at whim, hiding them, modifying their size, rejecting the surplus material or tearing them to pieces and suppressing their initial sobriety.


It's not usual to see an artist shaking around his works, placing it in different ways trying to fill the missing space. It is a labour more common to curators and both of them have succeeded in doing this. They have developed two discourses; they have played with their works succeeding in the creation of different sensations. It is not usual to use a gallery as a testing ground, especially not in these times, where the exhibition period is turned into prime time and where even the most irreverent creations display the take me with you sign. Nacho Martín and Dai K.S have made a high bid and they have probably been right, or probably it is not about being right or not. Juan Hidalgo would say that the artist is like a poor child that wants to play but who has to make his own toys ( .José María Parreño, "Juan Hidalgo", Arte y Parte nº 9, 1997 ) , and here the space has been more of a groundskeeper than a gallery, and therefore much more revealing and fun. Going through their notes once again, going back to the images of the two settings, it is possible that they might not have told so very different things and that their discourse might have had a more palindromic intention to it, just as its groundskeeper. Good.