Lluc Baños proposes me to continue together a conversation started months ago. A debate not exclusively between him and me, but between a larger group of which we were both part, and which took as its starting point a question with which the writer Richard Sennet started, in his essay The Craftsman, a chapter about something he has called material consciousness.
Is our consciousness of things independent of things themselves? He asked himself, and then went on to point out that if anything makes an object interesting, it is the field of consciousness itself – that of the artisan in that case – and that
All your efforts to achieve good quality work depend on your curiosity for the material you have in your hands. Far from that space in which the first appreciations took place, with which both Lluc and the rest of the artists present, were little by little wielding a narrative, this conversation now arises which, as in the case of the exhibition it accompanies, is articulated from the need.
Among the different types of artists, if there are two alike, I have always been more interested in the persevering ones than in those who try at all costs to feed the image of the genius, those whose work seeks to appear to be the fruit of a state of grace. Lluc tells me some of the reasons that have led him in recent years to work on a couple of series of stone sculptures, and I decipher that there is a lot of love for the craft, but also a lot of giving in to a routine. So I understand that his way of working is halfway between the figure of the artist and that of the craftsman, not that of the artist who uses the specialized hand of the craftsman, but that of the artist who at many levels works like this. This is why he does not deny the decisions that have to be taken by the Lluc artist, nor does he avoid speaking or operating at certain moments in the way that the other Lluc does, who arrives at the workshop like the stonemason who carves ornaments, and operates to a great extent as he would. That is, based on a knowledge of the technique, and on a desire to improve it, but avoiding, of course, falling into empty flourishes.
Regarding some small sculptures that Lluc made with the birdseed of a bird that had escaped him, he comments:
“I was interested above all in the symbolic character of the material, the birdseed as the food of that which rises.
I’ve 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.
Angel Calvo Ulloa