THE CATALOGUE.A project of Anastasia Nysten and Clara Carvajal.

THE CATALOGUE.A project of Anastasia Nysten and Clara Carvajal.

How far can the artist’s loneliness go?


TM, Sept. 20

The globalized world in which we live is forcing an experimentation of its opposites; from globalization to personal loneliness. For the artist this means being secluded in privacy with his work. The artist has not only lost, like so many people, that half of his face that was a fundamental part of his communication, but he has also lost access to his audience. And although he still trusts in his existence with the faith that gives him centuries of history, he no longer sees, touches or feels the energy that the warmth of his closedness brought him. With his public, the artist has also lost his market, the one that allowed him to transform creativity into a profession. And now, as a final test of endurance, some artists in Beirut have also lost their studio. The question that results from all this is; How far, then, can the artist’s loneliness reach without his fainting?

This catalog is a courageous proposal to lift the world that had collapsed again. Rebuild the demolished house starting with the roof. The more established, robust and well-built houses must start, they say, at the bottom. Its construction has to be done from the floor up, creating a powerful structure capable of withstanding time and the blows of nature. And yet, how little these robust constructions have lasted when what has struck was not only wind, fire, water, or earth tremors. When the plague that has reached us was a subtle immanence that, without a name, lurked in a curve of time for man to cast an excessive shadow of his passage through history. In what little time we have felt how the highest wall built did not serve to let us sleep peacefully at night and how the globalized world was outlawed while insurmountable distances grew between places and between people, with the unthinkable speed of the unexpected. Distances that have pushed the artists to their total loneliness with their work.

For this reason, starting the reconstruction on the roof is a way to ensure that the highest point does not rest on quicksand but flows, glimpsing the horizon and putting it within easy reach. A catalog was until recently, before everything that happened, the artist’s final link with his audience. Final because it came after everything else. The direct physical contact, the exposure, the exciting sensation of physical presence. The catalog was the image that the public took after a visit, long or hasty, to an exhibition. The memory that then allowed him to relive the memory of the artworks he had before him.

This, on the other hand, is a catalog not at the end but at the beginning. A beginning that shares the same weightlessness as the house started by the roof and that operates as a passport against new evils that may assail us. Remembrance and memory of the exhibitions that have not been, in which that physical presence has not occurred. The exhibitions closed or prohibited, those that have not come to be born in these times out of time, but that do not have to renounce all their rights. To also have their catalog. That which could have been and which comes to break the loneliness of the artist and his work.