QUANDO VEMOS | Claudio Alvarez

In “The Book to Come”, Maurice Blanchot points out that "all things are spoken, made to be seen, and revealed with their true form and their secret measure, as soon as they are distanced, spaced out, subside, and finally spread out into the uncircumscribed and indeterminate void for which one of the keys is imagination.” For the writer, each work is an ever-renewed experimentation of time, transparency, and language, through which imagination transforms reality into an idea. But how can we have access to things in art if this access is only provided to us by the fact that things are out of reach and therefore far apart?

Claudio Alvarez's artistic research arises from this question. His work –situated in a space between the concrete and the emptiness, the palpable and the distant, the real and the virtual– instigates thinking, produces an imbalance in spectators’ mental habits and brings before the eye what seemed unreachable before. This is nothing but the activation of the imagination that shatters vision’s sensitivity and precision by expanding, magnifying and transcending all the possibilities of the physical world.

In the exhibition “When We See”, the artist creates a complex narrative in which he moves images away to “say them”; he keeps them suspended in a puzzle to clarify them. When contemplating his works, we are taken to a disquieting position, where visual perception does not appear as it usually does. This sensation is exemplified in “Quem está aí?” (Who's there): as Narcissus, we seek our image in the mirror but our eyes do not see us. We realize that it is within each work that the absolute outside is found, and it is precisely in this “not being” –in the emptiness that becomes whole– that the enchantment, the poetry space, arises.

By associating formal intelligence with optical mechanisms, from which infinite possibilities of reality derive, Claudio Alvarez awakens imagination by reserving us the undecided in the decision, preserving the unlimited together with the limit, and thus teaching us to see beyond the ordinary.

WHEN WE SEE | Claudio Alvarez

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