Guillermo Rubí

05 July - 06 September, 2019


Let’s, for a moment, put ourselves in place of the fabric: there we are, rolled or folded,
piled up on some shelf. Waiting for someone to have mercy on us and give us the chance
to leave our velvet prison. May they do whatever they want with me! Cut me, sew me,
make me into a curtain… surely, hanging from the ceiling I’ll get to spend the day
watching people walk by on the street. They could also make a dress or elegant jacket
for a special dinner. Use me as a patch or knee pad, although due to the low cost fashion,
not that many people fix their pants now. They could also use me to make a tablecloth, a
carnival costume, a superhero cape or some shorts for summer. I imagined a life that for
better or worse changed the day the clerk firmly gripped my roll to serve it on the table
and cut a big piece. From there to the counter, I heard coins tinkling on the cash register,
which made me wonder what my price might be. I learned what color I was and the
material I was made of. Moreover, I learned of the existence of wide width fabrics: the
world of fabrics is very complex.


I travelled in the trunk of a car. A strange sensation went over me, I knew I wasn’t being
kidnapped, but I did not know the intentions of that man. We got to a house surrounded
by great green fields where some dogs ran. I was starting to like this, the dream of
becoming a curtain seemed very likely. Would that be my destiny? He took me out of the
bag, cut me in a rectangle and carefully ironed me over the table of a workshop. It looked
like an artist’s workshop and the views were amazing. I spent a lot of time out in the sun.
I was feeling better than ever, specially after the last few months on that dark shelf,
holding the weight of other rolls of cloth on my head.


Several quiet weeks went by like that until one day they put me in an infernal machine: a
metallic basket of some kind, covered in tiny holes. Soap, cold water, then hot water,
more soap, turning and turning. After that my color had changed slightly. I don’t know
how many times I went through that process of washing and sun-drying. I also didn’t
understand why it was necessary to repeat it at all. It all looked to be part of some
experiment but, what kind of experiment? I started to comprehend the day Guillermo
came up to me with a white marker… if this was an artist’s workshop, I might be destined
to become a work of art. He methodically drew some letters and stamped in immaculate
white a word in another language: PRESENCE. For the first time, two very different colors
coexisted on my surface: was I a white zebra with black stripes, or a black zebra with
white stripes?


The text transformed my nearly pure image into something blurred by the marks left by
the sun and the effects of the washing machine. Doubts of whether I was already a work
of art or not started to assail me. Despite that confusion, life in the artist’s workshop was
pleasant. Music played early in the morning until nightfall, sometimes Guillermo would
turn up the volume and I would hear him humming a melody.


Óscar Florit