If the past looks against the grain, I look for the buried hairs.
If the past is thought against the grain, I look for the bald.
If the past is questioned against the grain, I look for dandruff among the bristles.
If the past is read against the grain, I look for fleas.
There is no guilt-free past, every second has brought us to this present of terror. –It’s just that it’s not a criticism of the past –said the photographer, –it’s the denial of time, of narrative, of the idea of the path, do you understand? You can’t cross the bridge without stepping on the drowned.
The flea is not a flea because of its ability to hide in the hair, but because it faces the adventure of jumping from one dog to another. Walter Benjamin says that history must be written against the grain, which calls for recognizing the discourses that adhere to “the hegemonic” in order to appeal to them from what breaks in, threatens or dislocates history. But the question that arises is: can you act from another paradigm? Not with or against, but outside.
Beyond proposing a critique of the present delving into the past, we propose a different conception of time and images, one exempt from the story. We intuit that, faced with the overflow of all paradigms or orders in our present, people –but particularly artists– are eager to find the edges of things. We see a constant consultation of the forms and images of the past that, in the eyes of the observer, can appear as nostalgia. Nostalgia for shapes? And the means that made them possible? So we propose to take a step back: in the face of nostalgia, look for other ways in which artists act before the story. Before the hairs and the counter-hairs: the fleas, before the nostalgia: the fleas.
Clemente Aguirre, Valentina Attolini, Sonia Bandura, Temoc Camacho, Erin Curry, Cristian Franco, Sofia Goscinski, Denise Julieta, Julián Madero, Jou Morales, Diego Orendain and Beatriz Zamora.
Victor Palacios and Raul Rueda