What is needed
25/06/2020 - 10/09/2020
What is needed is mainly composed of two series. The first of white Carrara marble, made between 2010 and 2012, in the midst of the crisis and before the end of the Mayan world, which somehow sought to be idols, each of the pieces embodying an aspect of our culture, a portrait of the times, of a consumer society and faltering information. The second series are pieces of basalt, volcanic stone, and are replicas of scientific measurement objects. They are in turn embodiments of the prevailing faith in the society of knowledge and science as doctrine, all closely linked to the medical field, which in turn lives convulsive times.
Likewise, what initially attracts us to these objects is not so much what they are intended to measure but the human behind the object; that need to solve something that translates into an object or prosthesis, as an extension of oneself. First to the outside world and then to oneself, first as a species and then as a subject.
In fact, the first measuring objects that Baños made were a telescope and a microscope -looking outside, to the sky / looking inside, the earth and the body- a nod to both pre-Columbian and Egyptian sculpture, hence the use of basalt for the “divine” dimension with which the material has been charged ever since. These series capture that uniquely human aspect of the yearning for knowledge, which ends up being translated into an object.
On the other hand, the kitsch aspect of the marble pieces is there, both because of centuries of exploitation of the material itself and because of the objects themselves, which are much more mundane. Their current use also makes them much more absurd as soon as they lose their purpose. Compared to the basalt ones, these marble ones have a very end-of-something point. I don’t know about the beginning, although seen well they are at the origin of everything that came later.
Lluc Baños presents What is Needed as a retro-introspective exercise that looks back, but also inside. These are not easy times for anyone, and that is why it has become inevitable to think about the meaning that certain past gestures will take on when we place them on a stage that seems to have been completely transformed.
Perhaps now that the virtual has ceased to be one tool among many, to become the only possible medium, Lo necesario can be understood as a return to objects, and these will take on a more symbolic character than the one they already harbor per se. Regarding some small sculptures that Baños made with the birdseed of a bird that had escaped from him, he comments:
“I was interested above all in that symbolic character of the material, the birdseed as the food of that which rises.”
I have had this phrase in front of me for weeks, and only now have I understood that it defines in a resounding way what Lluc Baños is looking for.
Ángel Calvo Ulloa, independent curator and writer