Photography has shown me how to be an observer of my own sculpture. It all began after the photographic series taken by Fachico after the summers from 1966 till 1970, and entirely devoted to my sculptor. He was a photographer friend of my sister Margara (who was also friend with Manolo Millares, César Manrique, Martín Chirino, etc.). Those personal and photographic depictions were a surprise to me, as they revealed new sculptures inside those I had made. With this lesson learned, I began trying to discover new perspectives and settings for my own works, and by means of photography.
The first space that embraces my figures is my small atelier which, converted into a theater of operations, at times shows itself to be a tragic battle field, at other times a comical scene, and at other times a tailor’s workshop, while it very infrequently remains indifferent. The first time I came to the realization that the sculptor’s principal work is his/her atelier was in 1965, when I visited the reconstruction of Brancusi’s workshop in Paris. This idea was reinforced a few decades later, when the photographic reflections that Brancusi made about his works at the atelier were shown.
Scenes at the atelier
To work surrounded by the bodies of my sculptures ends up creating a Pygmalion complex in me, which I redirect by turning myself into a “voyeur” of the activities of these characters and creating documentary evidence of their first scenes. Pagan altars, scenographies for storyless tales, fights of the defeated or theaters with beheaded puppets, are only few of the snapshots that comprise an immense photographic archive, captured by way of a diary for more than 40 years. However, when I exhibit my work, I try to give up on staging strategies. I don’t forget that my sculptures are the “bones”, which are responsible for having created each sculpture’s story, casting into oblivion the religious ritual of its installation.
Processes at the atelier
Thanks to photography, I’ve found a way of forgetting the “mermaids’ singing” embodied by the beauty of constructive stages. The pictures that represent half-way stages are numerous, and they fix in my memory the sculptures that don’t exist anymore, but that might have been. Only by recording theses processes by means of photography, can I encourage myself to keep on going with the finishing touches, although along the way the work might lose spectacularity and gain in intensity.