Turno de noche: Nano4814 | Delimbo Madrid

17 February - 1 April 2018
Installation Views

Attempting to go through any work by Nano 4814 (Vigo, 1978) involves delving into a hole-like shape- a space appearing laconically before us and dragging us toward the joys of synesthesia, where we know full well that one or another of our senses may undergo a fracturing, a transmutation, or some kind of quiet upheaval. Once inside, enticed by the journey through the work's transparent traps, there appears a sort of twinkle, heavy with a routineness we believe we digest every day but will positively rethink on the way out.


This twinkle mutates suddenly into a squad of tough-guy ghosts offering an array of experiences: experiencing for the first time the smell of broken bones, hearing the explosion of a bunch of concrete balloons, or kissing a knife's edge as sharp as a rainbow.


After this momentary lapse, everything becomes blurred-balance becomes gas; skeletons become walls; and colours become fate. As John Berger wrote in Steps toward a Small Theory of the Visible: "When a colour acquires substance and becomes a thing, it ceases to be a colour. It loses its innocence, and describing it is no longer such a simple matter; it now has the weight of the irremediable, for all that one might call it a blue sky. The blue ceases to be a colour you have chosen and instead becomes fate. A fate from which there is no escape [from the Spanish edition]."


We could argue that this "constant attempt to slip away" is what binds the Galician artist's oeuvre together. These escape strategies add up to a vast imaginary cosmos folding in on itself, layer upon dark tragic layer, woven with brightly neon thread. Speaking of layers, I am reminded of a line from the opening of Eva Fernández del Campo's essay La infancia como patria [Childhood as Motherland]: "We have all been sick children, and it is probably because we have all been submerged in the endless folds of sheets, blankets, and bedspreads that later on, as shivering adults, we are able to explore the intricate system of folds of which painting consists." Interestingly, another of the pillars of the artist's oeuvre arises from this quote: namely, play. In this case, the overarching importance of homo ludens can be seen in the explosive vindication of juvenile mischief-but with all one's responsibilities laid out on the game board for the adults to see.


In this exhibition, NIGHT SHIFT, the artist offers up several zigs and zags through two-dimensional paintings, their spatial context, and a series of installations closely related to play-always rooted in concepts having to do with imbalance, defacement, or slyness.

On the one hand, his paintings still have the plastic rigour of a tense painted object. Like a reliquary from the Italian Duecento, its two-dimensionality remains untouched and headstrong. There is no room for optical fugues, only for allegorical ones. These paintings might seem like windows into a hidden world, but they are in fact a map with which to traverse-even inhabit-a hallucination.


But it is also important to keep in mind that in Nano 4814, as in all good city-dwelling flâneurs, three-dimensional space has the most important role to play: without this habitat, so to speak, none of the other puzzle pieces can become signs.


In order to navigate these zigs and zags with relative ease, it is helpful to keep in mind the Aberrations series, made up of several "distorting mirrors" of the kind we find in funhouses, where the image of the viewer morphs as he moves and gestures. The artist adds a new layer of interpretation to these mirrors-already altered in both form and function-by superimposing on ourselves fragments of black wire fence or traces of paint half scrubbed away (by a rag unable to wipe completely away). Upon our reflections, too, bubble pieces of flying femurs, handfuls of confetti in midair . . .


We know that the party has begun inside the hole, but we don't know which of the elements now eclipsing our anomalous reflection symbolizes the opening toast.


Text by Daniel Muñoz