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pedestal has led to a radical decision to get rid of it altogether. They have decided to remove any physical barrier that would keep the work away from any observer who wants or needs to discover it, step by step and little by little. And so Mestre has rejected the base, traditionally used to mount sculptures and give them a certain auratic, transcendental quality. His works, like architectures for the eye, have their own “ground line.” This is what serves as a defining foundation, whether they are placed directly on the floor, whether they float —suspended in the air— mounted on the wall, or whether they are displayed on daises, tables or individual or shared plinths, depending on the exhibition setup. This is more important than one might think at first, in terms of how the surrounding sculptural spaces are arranged, as the setup determines the context for the pieces’ presentation. It has often been said that it is the highlycharacteristic forms of his sculptures —painstakingly calculated, cut and assembled panels— that serve as the foundation of their “poetics”; of their constructive program. Certainly, Enric Mestre has produced, year after year, an entire repertoire of formal elements. Elements whose combined articulations, based on detailed codes, have managed to generate ascetic spaces, linked internally and externally, perhaps dictated by an imagination that is also kept in check by calculation and rational options. To inspect, unhurriedly, the crowded shelves of his spacious studio where his many models are arranged, made based on preliminary drawings, is an intense, rich learning experience for the eye that seeks to understand the types of forms used. By studying these examples we learn, as Gulliver did when he explored the mysterious land of the little people, a timely formal lesson. I even remember one particular work of his, conceived as shelves with different models sitting on it. We shall cite here a paradigmatic example, made between 1998 and 1999, “Maquetas en gres” (“Models in stoneware”), featuring a series of models each measuring 4 x 7 x 4 cms. arranged on wall shelves. Let us be very clear that this is not the place to discuss strictly mimetic appeals to specific architectural

works. It would be a mistake to encourage a biased denotative reading of these pieces vis-à-vis the urban environment. What really matters, if we perhaps wish to go beyond pure forms and volumes so as to enter a realm of connotative suggestions, is the articulation of a personal universe, loaded with independent connotations and symbols. Because it is always their internal syntax that prevails; a syntax that generates forms, volumes and spaces. And if our gaze —overwhelmed by the games of perception and imagination that Mestre’s works inspire— also incites reflection, we should step back and make room for the spectacle of this inner world of the piece, making the leap from image to symbol, from the appreciable to the ordering of relations, from the discovery of physical qualities to rational surprise. Is there any better rationalizing strategy, through which the presence of material is shown to us more effectively, not only in its intense and rich perceptible facet, but also in its multiple formally constructive ties? In fact, when in the presence of one of Enric Mestre’s works, we fall under the spell of a sensuality that is always contained by the guidelines of geometry. At the same time, we are also aware of being drawn in by the power of the constructive images / metaphors that his repertoire proposes to us again and again. If the realm of the perceptible is defined precisely in this encounter between material and subject —in other words, between the material potentiality that is openly played out before our gaze and our touch— we must also consider that the resulting image, of that dialogue between forms, spaces and volumes, also has the dual, disturbing quality of an aesthetic reaction tainted by the long shadow of reason. Isn’t this the hybrid nature of these images, with their significant physicality that appeals to both perception and the generous experience of the imagination? Images which have also been conceived in an orderly fashion under the wing of calculation and geometry, in his sketchbooks and preliminary drawings? Who has not, on more than one occasion, tried to walk, in dreamy silence, around Enric Mestre’s sculptural spaces, between those rough and aesthetically inviting walls, ready and willing to ooze memory, between those

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Profile for Javier Mestre

Enric mestre; vint peçes per a un museu  

Catálogo de la exosición "Enric Mestre; vint peçes per a un museu" que tuvo lugar en las tres capitales de la Comunidad Valenciana; Valencia...

Enric mestre; vint peçes per a un museu  

Catálogo de la exosición "Enric Mestre; vint peçes per a un museu" que tuvo lugar en las tres capitales de la Comunidad Valenciana; Valencia...

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