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"I've been always a conceptual artist working on humanity, on people, on persons, sociological to psychological, from body to human's mind, but always wanted to do a series of landscapes, or to represent the space. An environmental space.
I've been even collecting weird and tacky posters of landscapes to get inspired, those nonsense anti-aesthetic ones.
I also remember some years ago that I edited a book with the work of the Mexican architect Luis Barragan, where he explains a bit of his concept of not only he doesn't destroy nature but he makes it part of his buildings. Or make the building part of the nature, not interfering, not trying to re-create it, but as a part of it. With new elements.
Nature has been always present in my work, with the elements, with plants, seeds and animals in Oneness. But never landscapes (without human presence), as I always found it so incredible "perfect" that I wouldn't dare to even try to represent or I would damage it.
Last summer I spent some time in a forest, at the house of a good friend and I couldn't resist giving a try. I did try different approaches and was never satisfied with them. They never made justice to what I see and felt. I tried to recreate with drawings attached, but even though...
Meanwhile, and parallel to this love for nature, I share a love for human's mind and body. And with body I mean the whole parts, skin, shape, bones structure and even the whole guts/organs and how they work together as part of nature of men.
After trying the multiple approaches to landscapes, one day out of the blues I found out a hospital light box, those old ones where doctors can stick the X-Rays to study them, which I now have as an unusual "lamp" at home. For several times I looked at it with its light on. For several times I used it as lamp to read, as I have it hanged up vertical on the wall, "waiting" for X-Rays sheets.
I realized then that when I'm looking or staring at it with its light on, I imagine things there. Since I know myself I hear that the biggest fear for writers and artists is a blank page, a blank wall, a blank canvas... on the opposite, a blank space for me is what challenges me the most, what makes me want to create even more. I love staring at blank spaces. And here I was staring at this light box for X-Rays... till I realized that I was imagining landscapes created on it. My own landscapes, created in my own mind projected into that blank and lighted space.
At that moment I was playing with a messy ball of wire and conscious on how it can be used to connect, and how it's used to conduct the energy. Energies. Immediately I took a bit of it and started looking at it as horizon lines, drawing with it "trees" and "mountains". I picked up then few more stuff I had close to me. Like chestnuts. And salt. And lavender flowers. And stones.
As a child with a new toy I was happy and forgot the whole world with all its majestic landscapes, to create new ones untouched by humans. I was creating a new concept of landscapes in my mind, or over the R-Rays' light box, for me to have them as islands in my own urban space. An escape. During the day or night.
An X-Ray's light box is used to see bones and organs, the interiors of people, but here I used to visualize the exteriors expanded in landscapes of the mind, visualizing islands - or inlands - to where we can run into.
With this in mind I created day and night vision on them, the negatives like the X-Ray sheets as night landscapes and the light connected ones as day islands.
WiredScapes is a series of photographs of landscapes with natural elements all connected with wire over light. The wire here plays the role of different kinds of horizons, which use to separate sky and sea/land, here becomes part and connects the natural elements like rocks, plants, salt.
On WiredScapes, the light is the main environment, playing as air, water and fire, where salt comes as earth. Metal connects and plays with them all and in several cultures is considered one of the natural elements among with fire, water, earth and air.
Transparencies and opacity connected and interfering with each other, the weights of the elements on a not natural context but co-existing and belonging to the light itself. On WiredScapes, light is light. But is also a wired light. Light weight on cosmic light.
The WiredScapes series came out as a need of silence of the mind in a urban landscape where everything tend to be noisy, using the electric light and not the natural as the author's uses for humans' portraits for example. Wire connects but is also a conductor of energy. And of energies. Natural ones.
For a free fall dive in your own mind, in a galaxy near you."
photographs and text ©Gonzalo Bénard
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