We never finish anything 1
“The plot of land isn’t being used for productive purposes at the moment, other than generating vegetation. We could speak of more than a thousand cables of varying weight, that unwrap themselves to various rhythms and intensities. A characteristic only attributable to the wind. They are the plot’s visible face: its owners. Such a precedent doesn’t subtract from the fact that the terrain has been delimited, or rather, fenced in, by trash. The latter, a reductionist term to refer to the infinite. In plain sight, the trash seems more varied than the vegetation, although it has a more fatigued and depressed look, in some cases, haggard and rank. This doesn’t exclude that both the vegetation and the trash are participants of gravity, which treats us all as equal, and they rest on the ground alongside the weight of the dust that has endured the very same dust.” This is how Alejandro Leonhardt describes the lot that, in a period of two months, has been transformed in his hunting grounds first and in his workshop second. This lot is 341 steps away from the gallery that now accommodates his exhibit.
Trash is a mass whose content no longer has proper nouns. A heterogeneous and random accumulation of objects that have lost the names they used to have and are no longer possible to separate from one another. And this is because “in the trash every- thing gets lost, made from discarded remains, like what one sweeps in their home and in the streets or what ferments in dumps until it constitutes a confusing mass. What has no name can only be trash, and before that, it must lose its name”2.
How to differentiate once more the objects that hide within the trash? How to go to the rescue of what’s been discarded, of something without a name nor value? Maybe through a view that continually moves and allows itself to be razed by a whirlwind of patterns and their meanings. Or maybe through a series of slow operations to which it seemed to be excluded.
Alejandro Leonhardt proceeds by detaining on the waste and, with intense care, tries to rename what has lost its name forever. His method is to turn his back on the tale of the victors to pay attention to the tradition of the oppressed, the nobodies, the homeless, the undocumented and so many others that I ignore…3.
Where his journeys have taken him, there is silent vegetation which sprouts, following the rhythm of the seasons. Describing this place, the artist mentions “it could’ve been a shop, a factory, a cellar. I don’t know, and the people I’ve asked don’t know either. The plot has been abandoned for over 20 years, they say. Now it’s a terrain on sale with a big green sign, with white capital letters that say: EN VENTA SOL- (PLOT FOR SALE). The letters A and R are covered by another sign, of red and white colors, from a real estate company with the slogan: Where your future lives”.
Leonhardt focuses on a place where only oblivion seemed to live, covered by vegetation and trash. In his associations he resorts to an affective sensibility to pamper what has no name nor value and, work with it. The effort of his practice is centered in rediscovering and amplifying the potentiality of the materials, both plastically and conceptually. His interventions about what’s discarded consists in displacements, from pure indefiniteness to a condition of exceptional ‘objects’. Successively, he gathers them in the exhibition space as a result of abstraction essays. One must understand said abstraction as a form of resistance; it will never be possible to take advantage of them for their function or utility. An infinite potentiality must not be reduced in pursuit of a productive future. These pieces only allow others to look at and interrogate them. They are enjoyed via a non-capitalized experience, whose value is impossible to set. Because it’s about a “piece always at work”4, continually changing, rehearsing and proposing processes that pretend to reach the core of the matter. But, what is the core of this exhibit?