WHAT IS NEEDED
Lluc Baños Aixalà
25.06.20 – 10.09.20
What is needed is mainly made up of two series. The first one in white Carrara marble, made between 2010 and 2012, in the middle of the crisis and before the end of the Mayan world, which in some way sought to be idols, each of the pieces embodying an aspect of our culture, a portrait of the times, of a consumer society and of the shaky information. The second series are pieces of basalt, volcanic stone, and are replicas of scientific measurement objects. They are in turn incarnations of the prevailing faith in the society of knowledge and science as a doctrine, all of which are closely linked to the medical field, which in turn is experiencing turbulent times.
Likewise, what attracts these objects at first is not so much what one tries to measure but the human behind the object; that need to solve something that translates into object or prosthesis, as an extension of oneself. First to the outside world and then to oneself, as a species first and as a subject later.
In fact, the first measuring objects that Banos made were a telescope and a microscope – looking out, at the sky / looking in, at the earth and the body – a nod to both pre-Columbian and Egyptian sculpture, hence the use of basalt for the “divine” dimension with the one that’s been loaded ever since. These series reflect that uniquely human aspect of the desire to know, 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 basalt, these marble pieces have a very end point of something. I don’t know if they are at the beginning, although I see that they are at the origin of everything that came later.
Lluc Baños poses What is needed as a retro-introspective exercise, looking back, but also inside. These are not easy times for anyone, which 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 a tool among many, to become the only possible means, the necessary can be understood as a return to the objects, and these take on a more symbolic character than the one they already have per se. He comments on some small sculptures that Lluc made with the birdseed of a bird that had escaped him:
“I was especially interested in the symbolic character of the material, the birdseed as the food of that which rises.”
I’ve had this sentence 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