Yo sé de un laberinto griego que es una línea única, recta.
[I know of a Greek labyrinth, which is a single straight line.]
Jorge Luis Borges, La muerte y la brújula, 1944
An important aspect of the work of Dora Garcia (1965, Valladolid, lives in Barcelona) has always been her deep-rooted interest in literature and language; literature as a precondition for her own scenarios, language as possibility to create communities and relationships, as structure of the subconscious, as access code to secret societies, as poetry. Many of her relatively recent works – as for example The Beggar’s Opera (Skulptur-Projekte Münster, 2007), The Inadequate (Spanish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennial, 2011), Die Klau Mich Show (Documenta 13, Kassel, 2012), her recent film The Joycean Society
(XLVème Prix International d’Art Contemporain, Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco, 2013), or the complex work EXILE (2012, in progress) – are dealing with the question of representation, translation and contextualization of literature (Bertolt Brecht, Antonin Artaud, James Joyce, Jacques Lacan, Ricardo Piglia, Philip K. Dick).
The exhibition at the gallery presents in an associative way four groups of works that are circling around one of Garcia’s main topics, the Mad Marginal figure- marginality as an artistic position.
The Mad Marginal Charts (#1, 2014) are a collection of 200 drawings, a large reservoir of diagrams that are the source of site-specific blackboard installations, revealing a complex network of personalities, theories and thoughts.
The sculpture Sinthome (2014) is an inscription on a displaced backdoor of the gallery, referring to Jacques Lacan’s famous XXIII seminar, “Le Sinthome”. Sinthome, an old Greek spelling of symptom, presents Joyce’s writing as the rope holding together a broken subjectivity, an efficient system albeit in a permanent state of precarity.
The three sculptures titled Mezuzah (2014), two doorposts and an in-situ work, include each one book: “Books are the best things”, an anthology of ancient Hebrew writings, “Publikumsbeschimpfung (Insulting the audience)” by Peter Handke, and “Sur le theatre de marionettes (On the puppet Theater)” by Heinrich von Kleist. The positioning of these books on the right side of a threshold refers to the Jewish tradition of the Mezuzah: writing as protection and as identity.
The central work, Exile (2012-in progress, Tel Aviv, Vilnius, Buenos Aires, Madrid) is a collection of the most varied postal sendings (letters, postcards, clippings, photographs and documents, all of them dealing with the manifold meaning of the word Exile) that a group of artists has been sending to the different institutions presenting the work. It is therefore a real-time piece (it is constructed while being exhibited) and a collective effort initiated by Garcia, her inspirator Aldo Piromalli and her collaborators, Giulia Girardello, Mattia Pellegrini, Darius Miksys, Luciana Kaplun, Michal Bar-Or, Alma Itzhaky, Robertas Narkus, Runo Lagomarsino, Marie Orensanz, Magdalena Jitrik, Santiago García Navarro.
“At the origin, there is always a crime. This crime has not been exposed and it is therefore a secret. It is a secret within a secret and besides it is irrelevant. Letters – literature and narration of facts – have been written to conceal the crime: Finnegans Wake is a letter, The Purloined Letter (Poe) is a letter, and the Bible is also a letter. Letters from Rodez by Artaud are also letters, written to cover a crime. The crime of reading is followed by the crime of writing. The natural state of the writer and the artist is exile – which needs not be equivalent to banishment. Roberto Artl in its many professions, Franz Kafka in his own family and Georg Trakl in his pharmacy knew exile. The exile does not recognize himself in the mirror, understands his language as strange, and has nowhere to go back to (even if he never moved). What is to be done? Send letters and read them.”
(Dora García, 2014)
Galería juana de aizpuru. barquillo 44, 28004 madrid. España. T: 34-913105561; fax: 34-913195286. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org