Eating a vegan sandwich on the train while listening to country music
This title suffers from an acute case of infodumping. It is a clear example of information overload. Too many details that leave little room for the readers and prevent them from staging, in their own way, what awaits them next. Although, undoubtedly, the combination of the sandwich with country music and the train conveys a wholesome, even pleasant dimension, it would have been perhaps the same thing to title this project: Eating a doner kebab on the subway while listening to classical music or even, Eating a smoked salmon bagel on the airplane while listening to punk music. It is not so much a matter of accumulating details, but of articulating proposals: relevant and meaningful variations to move forward.
The exhibition to which the title refers, is the fourth in a series of a cycle of five exhibitions that aim to celebrate the ten years of L21 Gallery. In this case, works by 20 artists, whose names are listed below, are presented:
Renata de Bonis
Lucía C. Pino
Julia de Ruvo
Gabriele de Santis
This is the essential and most relevant information. Actually, it is a pity to have to set up only one show. With these artists and their works, we would love to present a new project every week! As a result of the works that have been arriving at L21 Lab in Palma de Mallorca, we have articulated an exhibition: its installation, illumination, paths, texts, communication, mediation, comments. We also hope (and above all) that the project will be joined by the enjoyment of the public through the experience of the visit, in order to continue this celebration that has been going on since last November.
“We’re going to be okay, aren’t we Papa?
Yes. We are.
And nothing bad is going to happen to us.
Because we’re carrying the fire.
Yes. Because we’re carrying the fire”.
Cormac McCarthy’s writing in The Road is the opposite of infodumping. The American author devotes the minimum number of functional signs to describe the efforts of a father and son to survive after an unspecified Apocalypse in an inhospitable, depleted, exhausted world. Gray ash and a road to travel south. In his story there is no information, not a single word, that exceeds what is strictly necessary to the development of the text; as if he wanted to ‘go to the bone’, to show us only the essential. “I just keep going”.
Will the day come when we will finally be able to think with our knee? This joint allows us to walk, to be in motion, to go on despite everything. We function, perhaps in our best moments, like a knee. It is then that we activate a mechanism – complex, strange, imaginative – that allows us to articulate things, actions, thoughts. “Be that as it may, I think with my knee,” admitted Joseph Beuys.
“Evoke the forms. Where you’ve nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them”; it is a well-known human need to give meaning, even by means of elaborate processes of ritualization, even if there is nothing to signify. It is the need to feed the fire that, while it burns, builds. An ashen gray landscape, a road, walking, living. An infinitely repeated essay of which ‘all variations are valid, including this one’ as Esther Ferrer points out. Among them all, we yearn to find that paradoxical subversion that manages to transform the real into something more bearable, endurable.
McCarthy’s writing in this novel has been aptly compared to that of Samuel Beckett. Here we are interested in highlighting his extreme economy of words and repetition. The combination of a few elements develops the story that advances step by step and accompanies the protagonists in their journey; a limitation that brings the reading closer to a prayer, with an almost mystical rhythm, like a kind of ritual.
Some Beckett scholars speak of endlessly repeated reenactment. Elizabeth Drew and Mads Haahr consider that in Beckett’s Lessness, the author explores a non-linear reading process, using random permutations to order the sentences. The version he published in 1969 contains two possibilities out of 8.3 x 1081 possible versions for ordering the sixty sentences that make up the text. Then, the researchers have developed a computer program to generate the remaining possible permutations of the work.
In our continuous displacement and interrogation of the works of the 20 artists in the exhibition Eating a vegan sandwich on the train while listening to country music, we have moved on as if we were a knee because we want to take decisions like a knee. Thinking through continuous movement, like an articulation that allows us to bend, stretch, rotate, and pivot. The exhibition that now occupies the space of L21 LAB is just one among countless possibilities of routes, installations, distances, heights, texts and conversations. A deep and pleasant breath that artists give us because, despite everything, we are still on the road.