Nothing will be lost Sister, do not be afraid

Daniela Libertad . 2014

 

I start with things that take time: with actions that are carried out without knowing exactly why or what for, but with time they unravel and become clear all by themselves. In countless occasions over months and years I have tried to move closer to that fleeting moment of understanding, yet it is incomplete, always incomplete.

*

I keep company with sharpened graphite pencils from 9H to 9B, always remembering what my drawing teachers used to say: from the moment you sharpen your pencil you are drawing. And so I go along always sharpening my pencils.

*

Solitude is necessary, even essential, to one’s work. I am always surprised by how this solitude doubles back on itself and becomes a presence . . . this presence is necessary, even essential, to one’s work.

*

For underlining: We will loose even the memory of our meeting. . . nonetheless we will meet in order to part and meet again where dead men meet: on the lips of the living. Samuel Butler, Sonnet XIV, Life After Death, 1918

*

I carry with me the performances of those, who in the seventies, were already my age. They were from Amsterdam, what was at one time Yugoslavia, the USA, and Germany. I learned by studying them in black and white photographs, in their long and extremely long videos, by reading their writings and interviews, by listening to my teachers talk about them. Bodies—long, skinny, naked, pressed, sweaty, cut, fallen, pushed—artist’s bodies.

 

*

There is a space between knowing and making that is nourished by doubt. There, in between one line and another, between each and every step, the silence sneaks in.

*

My videos are full of semicircles traced in front and behind the camera. Inside of them are objects glanced at time and again—objects that are smashed, sucked up and transformed into moving images. Time is locked up, running, running at different speeds. There are people living inside my videos in separate apartments, sometimes they greet each other in the hallway. There are things they do like walk, eat stones, bake cakes, offer oranges to the river or offer milk to the woods. Usually I don’t understand why they do it, but when I am invited to be present I like to go along accompanying them in silence.

*

I am fascinated by the fact that the Spanish word for sculpture (escultura) is feminine. I imagine her with black hair and strong legs made for walking but not running. I imagine her with a strong and clear voice, similar to how I remember my mother’s voice when I was little. Volume, space, weight and balance are all masculine in Spanish. Tension is feminine.

*

I have faith in words. I touch them while pronouncing them in speech or in lines and things move, people materialize, letters arrive, change presses in, paths open.