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A new sublime

Iñaki Volante

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It is March 3, 2022. I am in the middle of the renovation of the house-academy in Balaguer. My home. My laboratory.
Faced with the anguish that the war in Ukraine has produced in me, I propose to demolish an area of the house that, knowing that it was not urgent to do, will give me aesthetic relief and in passing will make me reflect on war, destruction, pain and its implications in territories that are supposed to be at peace. Nothing can be the ultimate empire of peace than my own home.

However, times are turbulent, with a pandemic that seems to be over but is only an illusion. In this context I move continent, country and city and seek a new form of personal exploration. 
A senseless war breaks out, transmitted and re-transmitted by the images of the big data that sees everything, knows everything, dominates everything.

I set out to do the impossible: to demolish an entire area of the house, eliminating the succession of existing fondas that do not allow me to see the space in its true dimension. I do it with my son who helps me, asking me all the time "why?" And within three hours there is only rubble and runes everywhere.

That's when, looking at those destroyed billets that had to be bagged, I reflect on how quick and easy it is to destroy and how difficult it is to build. What can I build with those scraps? 

I build the foundations of an idea: with the ordered scraps, like someone putting together a jigsaw puzzle, I structure a base of pieces and parts. And I realise that even though the material can be destroyed, that same material also changes and builds something new. Those remains reminded me of the fallen, the bluish and amber atmosphere of the enclosure at sunset makes me think of the symbols that are everywhere. That day I realised that the house-academy is a place of exploration, a laboratory. And that in that instant of chaos and order of three hours I was founding the solid foundations of the artistic residency in the house-academy. It was a foundational act, urgent, to try to understand horror.

As we know: only beauty can save us from horror.

Not as a new beauty.

More precisely, as A New Sublime.


Winner of the third prize in the A-Place : MAPPING contest "Share your experiences of domestic places" 2022

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