Carlos Pazos’ (Barcelona, 1949) exhibition ironically traces over thirty years of an artist’s career whose work is inserted within the frame of aesthetics, silence and emptiness. This reality is included in Pazos’ work as emptiness, there is no reference of art and the object always refers to fiction; for this reason the tension between collage and the representation of emptiness is one of the most interesting contributions of this artist. Facing the failure of modern utopia and the questioning of any system of representation, Pazos chooses to hide behind the mask of Narcissus, escaping in the accumulation of objects and merging with the abject.
Pazos’ work, which won the National Arts Award 2004, is in a kind of no man's land between the two main lines of force in the Spanish art of the second half of the twentieth century: Informalism and Conceptualism. His work begins under the imprint of European Pop Art and develops towards the language of the object, assembly and the association of meanings, with a strong relationship with Arte Povera, which gives prominence to the everyday item and its iconographic codes, and is also related to Neo-dadas, Surrealism and the aesthetics of silence by Duchamp, Warhol and Broodthaers.
Collectionism is the basis of Pazos’ artistic production. His work does not evolve with formal or thematic parameters and it is difficult to distinguish a chronological, biographical or evolutionary sequence in it. In this way the exhibition does not follow a linear or formal process, it rebuilds the different ecosystems of his work, offering a comprehensive overview and artistic creation.
The drive to accumulate; faced with the impossibility of accessing a system of universal and idealistic knowledge, replaces formal evolution. To Pazos, the evocative potential of objects refers to time that has been lived, hence the talk of souvenirs: "memory is what you have lost, you have the souvenir." The souvenir articulates an art of memory, but from a memory of nothing real or of a memory of artifice, it is a weapon to bear the weight of time. The exhibition concludes with a film-collage: Mnemocine. Película recortable (2006-2007), conceived and performed by Pazos for this occasion as synthesis and 'audio-visual cataloguing' of his career.
MACBA, Barcelona (March 8 - May 6, 2007)