Funambuls

Casal Solleric
Passeig del Born 27, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
April 2018

Curated by Jordi Pallarès

Mouldings:

Palma is full of architectural and decorative elements as interesting as they are peculiar. The artist select some of them to reproduced the space they generate cutting the three-dimensional negative space of these geometric fragments. They are shapes that one could easily touch and perfectly recognize with his finger. Wooden mouldings that the artist makes us locate and fit in while we discover others. A different look on the city aesthetic.

Rub:

One of the smallest street in the city has been intervened by the artist. Blue, red and green. The participants have to find it, rub their black backpacks on it and impregnate them with these colors. A dust that they will release immediately on the exhibition space walls with another body rub. A loading and downloading exercise where the contact of the body with the wall connects us with the city activity and leave some traces that talk about our presence in it. A subtle collective “pollination” that, beyond the possible accidents, wants to eliminate borders between indoor and outdoor while it gives back respect to the others and towards what’s on our back.

Random Itineraries:

By throwing a dice you can randomly stroll around the city. Randomness leads us into streets that we don’t usualy know while we’re playing and tracing the generated itinerary on a map. Absurd and persistent, open or closed, these broken lines show our activity when we act as funambulist. Geometric and irregular routes that, magnifying their scale, are reassigned and reinterpreted by the artist in the exhibition space.

Petrogliphs:

Following clues, the idea is to find images or signs that others carved in the walls’ stones. A calcareous stone typical from the Balearic Islands that register every type of interventions and erosion of the passing time. Walls where suggestive anonymous traces are detected and reproduced on paper. An activity that gives the opportunity to discover incisions as footprints accumulated by those that coincided in the same place transcending (beyond) time.

Chalk Line:

This activity consists in the making of a collective, generative and random mural drawing full of uncertain straight lines. Using the chalk line as a classic tool used in construction work, each participant marks a line that is the result of joining the coordinates of two points. Dice randomness choose the length and inclination of each line while the whip of the historic blue pigment marks the wall. The same pigment that is used to whitened clothes. Personalized distances that are traced with tension and liable to be returned to the street.

Exhibition view:

Pictures: Jordi Pallarès, Yago Marqués and Eltono
Graphic design: Javier Siquier

 

 

Palma Residency

Palma Festival
Le Pavillon, Caen, France
March 2018

www.palmafestival.com

15 days residency at the Pavillon on the tip of the Caen Peninsula.

Tourbillons:

Crossing the Orne river one day using the Orne-Boom (a boom built in 1908 that is used to regulate the tide) I realized that in font of each door, on the downstream side, the water was forming very powerful whirlpools. The next time I crossed the bridge I saw that the debris that had been floating the day before was still turning around in the same place. I understood that the whirlpools were so strong that any objects caught in them could barely escape. So, I decided to throw some art in one of the strongest whirlpools and see what would happen. After 5 days I decided to get them back and, after quite a lot of trouble, I managed to fish them all out of the water and bring them back to the exhibition space.

Random routes:

 

“Le Pavillon”, the venue where my residency took place and where I showed the results of my experiments in the street, is situated on the tip of the Caen Peninsula. It’s a very interesting area because it is surrounded by water (the St. Pierre Bassin, the Caen à la Mer Canal, the Orne river and the Victor Hugo canal) and currently it’s in the middle of a huge urban transformation. Modern constructions, old factories, abandoned buildings, designed green areas and waste land are all mixed together. This makes it an open space, well defined and perfect for aleatory wandering.
 
For this exercise, I defined 23 points at key spots around the area (building angles, crossroads and corners). The goal was to walk from one point to another choosing at random the next point. The route started at point n.º1, had to go through 10 points and finished again at point n.º1. The result of each stroll generated a design that was then converted into a wood sculpture using a laser at the local Dôme Fablab. Finally, I painted and exhibited them at the Pavillon. I traced 11 routes myself and 6 were traced by the participants of a workshop with the Fablab. Each sculpture represents a 30 to 40 minutes stroll on a distance from 2 to 3 km.
 

 

Anomalías

SET Espai d’Art
Plaza Miracle del mocadoret 4, Valencia, Spain
September 15th – November 11th 2017

www.setespaidart.com

I’m always looking for new systems to make the city part of my creative process. Each experiment I do is a series and, to be able to compare the results, I carry out these experiments very rigorously and methodically. In the process, I often find myself in strange situations, off-key from the reality that surrounds me. In the city’s routine, my actions can be perceived like anomalies. The generated artworks act as testimonies of the experience lived between the artist and the city.

6 aros (6 hoops)

This project started with a map of Valencia. I looked for itineraries with the most circular shape possible. I found six. I created a wooden sculpture from each itinerary. Subsequently, I walked each sculpture in the city on the very path it represents. Each walk varied from 1 to 6 km. I presented the sculptures as they were at the end of each walk.

Piedras pintadas (painted rocks)

I looked for rocks in the streets around the gallery. I found 14. For each one, I noted down the exact place where it was found. I brought the rocks to the studio and I painted them with 3 coats of 3 different colors. Then, I brought each one of them back to the place where I found it and from this point, I kicked it through the street until it entered by the gallery door.

Dibujos en la EMT (drawings in the bus)

Running away from the comfort and the security of the studio, I drew pictures while sitting inside the urban buses of the city of Valencia. I drew the same composition 12 times during 12 journeys on different bus lines. Every imperfection on the drawings are the result of the annoyance and discomfort produced by the movement of the trip. I not only had no absolute control over my drawings but I also had no control on where the bus was bringing me; at the end of each drawing, when I raised my head, most of the time I was totally lost.

Crossroad #3

Doppelgaenger Gallery
Via Verrone 8, Bari, Italy
Double solo show with Italian artists Sten&lex
May 4th – September 20th 2017

www.doppelgaenger.it

I showed three different bodies of work:

Percorsi Aleatori, three collages on paper representing three 10 minutes random itineraries that I executed in the streets of Bari Veccia using a dice in my pocket.

Esculture Casuali, a random sculpture experiment where the length and angle of each segment composing the sculpture were decided at random.

Morceaux Choisis, eight randomly generated woodcuts following the rules of generative mural Modo n.º7.

Fluctuación

Antonia Puyó Gallery
Calle Madre Sacramento 31, Zaragoza, Spain
September 29th – November 19th 2016

This new series of works is built on the itineraries generated by wandering randomly in the streets of Zaragoza. The exercise consisted in walking half an hour in the city using a dice at each intersection to determine where to go next. The artist and more than 60 participants performed the experiment and the results were translated to different medias: a wall painting in the Delicias Park, three sculptures, three collages, five paper cut-outs and a video.

Pictures by Daniel Pérez

Modo n.º11 – generative and participative painting:
4 days and over 60 participants – project curated by Antonia Puyó Gallery for Asalto Festival.

Pictures by Antonia Puyó Gallery and Asalto Festival

Text by Estela Rojo (in Spanish):

TRANSITAR Entre DELICIAS (Y GALERIAS)

Explorar, experimentar, observar, participar o deambular son términos ya habituales en el trabajo de Eltono. Artista del espacio público, como él se define, crece artísticamente desde la práctica vinculada al graffiti más puro, para evolucionar en la búsqueda de soportes y lenguajes que no sólo actúen en el espacio público sino que lo activen, generando líneas de reflexión sobre nuestra forma de relacionarnos y mirar nuestro entorno inmediato.
Sus acciones se han revelado la mayoría de las veces a través de la geometría y los colores planos, generando un código muy personal cargado de simbologías cercanas a lo caligráfico que interactuan con el espacio y hacen partícipe al contexto arquitectónico. El azar es uno de los condicionantes importantes que marca la dirección de su ir, introduciendo la aleatoriedad y el juego en sus procesos. Aparecen componentes lúdicos que tienen que ver con esa idea del disfrute, de la libertad del salir a vivir la calle y dejarse llevar por elementos que ella misma le proporciona, a veces de forma imprevisible, otras marcada por formulas autoimpuestas. Eltono pinta, arrastra, pega, clava, mide, genera nuevas experiencias desde la exploración y la deriva. Un sinfín de posibilidades, combinaciones y experimentos que van renovando su propia investigación formal.

Nacido en Francia su transitar vital le ha llevado a dejar una fuerte huella en España donde ha vivido durante más de una década formando parte de colectivos como Equipo Plástico, Noviciado 9 o trabajando junto a artistas como Nuria Mora, Momo y Luce entre otros. De esta forma su trabajo ha ido constituyéndose como uno de los referentes en el arte urbano español desde inicios de los noventa, en plena efervescencia del movimiento, hasta nuestros días. “De Madrid al cielo” dicen, en su caso Pekín, Londres, México, Varsovia etc… son numerosas las ciudades que recogen la huella de su “deambular” por las calles, a veces de forma clandestina y en otras bajo proyectos amparados por galerías e instituciones.
Este es el contexto en el que hoy nos encontramos: el espacio privado, un reto al que ya se ha enfrentado en numerosas ocasiones y que aborda como una más de las “tensiones” que un artista urbano afronta. En su caso este conflicto de “territorio a combatir” lo resuelve apropiándose de ese lugar como si se tratara de un mero contenedor de experimentos, una base logística o un escaparate más. Disuelve las fronteras convirtiendo la galería en un espacio para la invitación, donde romper barreras que separan al artista de aquel que ¿no lo es? proponiéndole, eso sí, sus propias reglas del juego. Genera dinámicas cercanas al espectador y formas colaborativas de producción ya que el propio visitante puede compartir mediante un dibujo su propia exploración del recorrido y colocarlo junto a las piezas de Eltono estableciendo innumerables diálogos.
El resultado de sus acciones en el Barrio de las Delicias, durante el festival ASALTO y en el entorno de la galería, se recogen en la sala de forma abierta, proponiendo enlaces con la experiencia directa del territorio urbano. Pasear por lugares conocidos y compartir esos recorridos por los que el propio artista se ha dejado llevar en un proceso de descubrimiento, hace que el concepto de transitar o recorrer el mismo espacio tome gran importancia en la configuración de la psicogeografía del barrio.
El artista reivindica a través de sus acciones y sus piezas un arte de contexto, incidiendo en su dimensión social. Nos hace conscientes del poder transformador del trabajo artístico en nuestra propia percepción de los lugares cotidianos, mediante un gesto tan sencillo y revelador como… caminar.

www.antoniapuyo.com
www.festivalasalto.com

Lugares Comunes

Luce + Eltono
SET Espai d’Art

Plaza Miracle del mocadoret 4, Valencia, Spain
November 13th 2015 – January 12th 2016

lugars-comunes-luce-eltono

“Lugares Comunes” was my first collaboration with Spanish artist Luce. We worked during three weeks on four installations based on observations and experiences we had around the city of Valencia.

1 – Escalera Butrón (break-in ladder):

This piece is about making holes in abandoned plot walls so we can facilitate the access to their interior. The holes were punched following a zig-zag pattern so that they could be used as a ladder. We used hammers and chisels and the holes came out irregular because they were made quickly and illegally. The size had to be big enough so a foot could fit in it. In the gallery, we showed five full scale “break-in ladders” made of wood. They were exact life size replicas and included the same shape, dimensions and arrangement for each hole. Reproducing the holes in wood had to be done rigorously and required precision and accuracy, which was a direct contrast to the way the holes were randomly produced on the street with a hammer and a lot of adrenaline.

2 – Periscopio (periscope):

This is a hollow omega shaped structure we build to be placed on top of deserted plot walls. Inside, a set of mirrors allowed us to literally see through the wall. We attached wheels so the artifact could be moved horizontally offering the viewer a proper exploration of the inside of the plots. In the gallery, we built a wall to support the periscope and showed a video of how people used it to see through different walls around the city.

3 – Asientos Acondicionados (seat conditioner):

All around the city, we observed a lot of unused L shaped brackets on places where an air conditioning unit used to be installed. We decided to exploit them to install a seat. The seat and the backrest leaned on the L squares mounted on the facade of the buildings. For the exhibition, we installed L brackets to set-up one chair and we showed four photographs of one of us sitting on it. These self-portraits served as a witnesses to the performances in the street as well as an opportunity for the public to see the artists enjoying the devices as they contemplate the city from a novel point of view.

4 – Compas (compass):

We used eight wood sticks of different lengths with a hole drilled on one side and a wax crayon attached to the other. In the street, we looked for unused screws coming out of the walls to hang them. These screws became center points to draw curves playing with the restrictions imposed by the position of the screw, the size of the stick and the surrounding elements. Inside the gallery, we reproduced a real situation that we observed in the street formed by eight screws and used the sticks to draw lines on one of the gallery walls. We made eight small scale drawings on paper that serve as a proof of the completion of the mural.

Extras:

Additional actions we did during the preparation of the show. Experimentations that we didn’t show in the exhibition but that were part of the process.

 

Pictures of the show:

Aléas

Delimbo
C/Pérez Galdós nº 1 Acc., Seville, Spain
October 8th 2015 – January 12 2016

Eltono-aleas-6

6 Lienzos (6 canvases):

Interested in using the street as a workshop, I created a printing system that takes advantage of the passage of cars to generate works on canvas.

U.V.:

In this experiment, I take advantage of sunlight to produce prints. The procedure involves placing a cardboard template on a painted fluorescent color paper and leaving it in the sun for a certain period of time.

7 lines passing through 4 points:

Random painting exercise – I painted 7 lines each one built by linking 4 points together. The coordinates of the points and the order of the colors are chosen at random.

Punto de encuentro (meeting point):

Wooden planks found in the streets of Seville during the trips I made between my hotel and the gallery. Each table is modified making a cut that reproduces the route that I took, the table under my arm, between the place where I found the wood and the gallery.

Collages:

Each collage is comprised of the combination of 3 different templates, 3 colors and background paper (yellow). I tried different combinations by changing the order of the designs and colors making unique collages where no two combinations are alike.

Verso:

This exercise is a non-exhaustive comparison of how different pens react to different papers. Depending on the weight of the paper, the drawing appears more or less defined on the back of the sheet. I drew 91 versions of a modular drawing and displayed them showing the back side of each paper.

Exhibitions view:

Text (in Spanish) by Guillermo López Gallego:

Eltono: lo que hay debajo de la playa

Paso largos periodos fuera de Madrid. La última vez que volví, sentí una penetrante melancolía ante las piezas plateadas de la M-30, las puertas cubiertas de tags, las letras redondeadas. Sentí como dolor lo que ya sabía: el graffiti es una conversación en cada ciudad, y yo me estaba perdiendo la de la mía.
Como una marca con ínfulas, he visto piezas en Abijan, Berlín, Bogotá, Bruselas, Buenos Aires, Zaragoza, Conakry, Freetown, Hamburgo, Monrovia, Nueva York, París, Panamá, Portland, Santander, San Petersburgo, Seattle, Sevilla, Tallin, Riga, Vilna… Pero no he seguido esas conversaciones.
Y eso es lo primero que me viene a la cabeza al pensar en la obra de Eltono.

*

Parece que hay dos maneras de escribir sobre Eltono y su obra.
Hay quien opta por el enfoque histórico. Este se puede encontrar en otros sitios, y de la mano del propio Eltono en la publicación Line & Surface. Es sabido: Otone, GAP (crew a la que Eltono todavía mencionó en 2009), los trenes parisinos; cómo llegó a Madrid en 1999 y cómo reaccionó a la saturación del centro, es decir, la aparición de Eltono, la adopción de un icono que ha ido refinándose, adoptando una estética minimalista, limpia, sencilla, y una técnica depurada y sin aerosol.
Luego están los relatos sobre la experiencia de conocer la obra de Eltono en las calles de Madrid. Entiendo el aire de epifanía que tienen aquellos, porque recuerdo pasar el verano de 2001 buscando a Eltono en las puertas y rejas de Lavapiés. Me acuerdo de una pieza en los cuarteles de Daoíz y Velarde en 2006, la primera que vi con tres colores; otra envejecida al final de Cuatro Caminos, en 2009. Hace dos años, descubrí una obra antigua en la calle Infantas, cerca de Colmenares, que reaparece periódicamente bajo los carteles que anuncian conciertos y fiestas.
He podido apreciar, como muchos otros, la importancia que el contexto tiene en la obra de Eltono, su forma de señalar texturas en la ciudad y de ennoblecer y recuperar espacios. Y no creo que se pueda acusar a Eltono de contribuir a la gentrificación de los lugares donde trabaja; conociendo su respetuosa reivindicación de la artesanía y la forma en que trabaja con las comunidades, seguro que ha pensado en ello.
He observado también, siguiendo su trabajo en museos y galerías, la inteligencia con la que ha sabido llevar a esos contextos la esencia del trabajo de calle. Cualquiera que haya visto las obras de taller de Blade sabe que la transición de la calle al circuito comercial no es fácil.
Eltono (y aquí empieza mi intento de ir más allá de las dos maneras de escribir que acabo de mencionar) ha sabido inducir los principios generales del trabajo de calle, y trasladarlos al taller. Ha sabido encontrar, creo, dos claves del graffiti que le permiten crear arte urbano fuera de la calle. Quizá porque Eltono es francés, siempre las imagino en términos franceses.
En primer lugar, ha extraído y refinado la idea de contrainte, de restricción, propia del Oulipo. La obra de taller de Blade, como la de Seen y Lee y otras leyendas del graffiti, tiene algo kitsch, porque se limita a usar los aerosoles sobre el lienzo en vez del vagón, y no sabe incorporar la forma en que la calle determina el graffiti, el peso de tener el tiempo contado, la interacción con el público y la intemperie: su pintura no es obra sino reproducción.
Eltono, en cambio, ha identificado algunos elementos del graffiti que le permiten crear en el taller obras de calle: la aleatoriedad y la intervención acelerada del paso del tiempo, por ejemplo. Y lo hace, como él mismo dice, de manera casi científica: «imagino un protocolo, decido unas reglas, las ejecuto y observo los resultados». Es decir, a la manera de Pérec y Queneau.
En segundo lugar, Eltono ha ahondado la raíz situacionista del graffiti. No hablo de las banales pintadas inspiradas en la obra de Debord y Vaneigem, desde mayo del 68 hasta hoy. Me refiero al enfoque situacionista, de nuevo casi científico, del paseo, y el uso que de él hace Eltono, por ejemplo, en obras desarrolladas en Vitoria y Pekín.
(Y al détournement, también situacionista: la subversión de la publicidad de cerrajeros y pintores de brocha gorda, que también habla de su conocimiento de la ciudad.)
Es posible que haya contradicción en someter la artesanía del paseo situacionista al rigor de la contrainte del Oulipo. Pero Eltono parece resolver ese problema por la vía de la inmanencia, como podría decir François Julien: contrainte y deriva no se aniquilan, sino que crean.

*

Oulipo y situacionismo. Recuerdo también que Javier Abarca, cuyos estudios de la obra de Eltono son brillantes, habla de Daniel Buren y Space Invader en algunos de ellos. Quizá Eltono es más francés de lo que nos gusta pensar. Pero es parte de nuestra conversación.

Guillermo López Gallego