Buenos Aires, Argentina
October 10, 2020 – February 6, 2021
A fable circulated long time ago and turned bears into supposed symbols of Russia. It was a hoax. One of the main tasks of the bears was to carry out executions. A convict was sewn into a bearskin and thrown to the dogs, which ended up ripping the skin of the disguise-bear and biting the real-man on it. The bear’s skin was a decoy. It hid something else. An agalma in a gory Russian version. Why to adorn oneself? Maybe because the works are shown to be praised, and it is in that way that they make the other intervene. The shine is a trap to enchant, a catch for the eyes, and at the same time it makes us wonder ourselves what it is hiding from us.
Objects are altered by being fetishized by the luminous surface, and we suspect that they hide something behind where the opacity is difficult to grasp. Like a kind of spell of which we can only see the shiny layer of an envelope. We cannot take our eyes off it.
In the opaque dimension things appear confusing, and some dark feelings wake the monsters up. While what shines keeps the charm attached to the eyes as if it was glue, opacity—without wasting time—takes advantage of the carelessness to take the walls. Now, can we be sure of what we see?
The murky feelings advance until they cover the entire surface like a blanket. Below I can hear the choir of monsters singing ♫ ♪ “I was happier when it went wrong for you than when it went well for me”♪ ♫.
What can we see from the eyes of the envious? If envy took a material form, I imagine it as an insect. In a science fiction book I found the representation of envy in an insect; a kind of “Centipede God, with the centipede’s body, poisonous fangs sprouting from the neck glands and a translucent man’s head in which the brain glows red hot behind faceted red eyes. Its bite causes death with a terrible agony. The victim is roasted alive”1. And who does not feel a mortal heat every time we see someone having a brilliant idea? A centipede that runs through our guts goes up to get into our eyes, and then nothing is what it seems. Every real thing becomes a trap, and the signals to get out are within ourselves, in whom we can no longer trust. Like some kind of poisonous trompe l’oeil that prevents us from seeing where some parts of our own body are located.
Murky area of misunderstandings. Matryoshka doll of senses. The same question can find multiple answers, and one innocent word can turn into an insult.
We arrive at a place where the opaque and the shiny coexist. The material is a language, and in the field of language there are only contradictions and misunderstandings. As certain as someone may be of what they said, they can never know what the other heard. But there is something even worse: what is your ghost whispering in your ear?
Martin pretends to be naive to fool us all.
I wish you the best.
—Text by Klara Walczak
Burroughs, William S., Las tierras occidentales, El cuenco de plata, 2020.