THE CRIME OF THE CHILD’S GAZE. Luis Ángel Abad
Memory is the territory where we discover that there is a crossroads in knowledge. The recollection of childhood is the moment when we glimpse that the passage towards the terrain of memory has brought us to the brink of an abyss. Knowledge rests on a projection that constructs us in a culpable fashion. Childhood, which can only be remembered, is the exceptional setting of a vertiginous sensation that reveals knowledge.
Art is capable of reminding us of this tragic consequence without consummating the possibility of the feeling of happiness. Instead, it offers happi¬ness precisely in the plethoric experience of ambivalence, of transition, of a change of state, by means of a chrematistic principle which constitutes sublima¬tion, in a strict sense, as a positive vital option.
But if remembering is always born from the breadth of ‘illusion,’ in a world that has lost its ‘illusion,’ Its optimism, to a tedium of images, this difficul¬ty occludes the possibility of childhood itself. When we cannot be children, everything is lost forever, for knowledge has closed its own perverse cycle.
Begona Egurbide's recent work seeks an escape route from this fatality, questioning it from its very roots. Seeing the expressive resources occlud¬ed from her own experience, the artist has found an unexpected path in photography. Unexpected because it seems to be a much-exploited medium and because it deals with a worn-out object, but especially because from the artistic sphere it makes use of a technique which redounds in an illusionist use of photography, transporting it to a receptive framework dominated by an apparently common, revitalised, tone that obliges the observer to adopt a mobile attitude.
With this recovery of the excitement of aesthetic experience, Begona Egurbide’s photographic constructions reveal their potential as a specific medi¬um: an open seam flowing from memory, with a convergence between means and ends. The reflection on memory stemming from a sequence of moving images facilitates the intuitive comprehension of a construction which is discontinuous, fragmentary, elusive and dominated by phantasmagorias. Lost on this stage, we discover a hazardous route towards the place where we file away our emotions, in an enclave that offers Itself to us like a Pandora’s box, since we can foresee nothing of the consequences entailed by learning to make a progressive access to our memories.
The image appears and disappears, the narration crumbles and hangs in suspension; and in this suspension it takes on a meaningful plenitude. What has been suspended is the scene we had commenced, and it plunges into crisis a model of narrative construction dominated by the culture of the cinema which projects us onto the construction of a suspended scene.
The notion of the ‘fade’ becomes central, losing its subordinate nature to postulate its fleetingness as a fundamental fact. On a territory which fails to fully take shape, the ends of a scene in progress evade each other, and this evasion prevents an intention of obviousness which conceals a moral backdrop The reflection is, then, in the movement itself, in the impulse of desire, in the existential projection of being, and this activates a deconstructive pedagogy from the narrative to (and beyond) the semiotic. The scene explodes in the meantime. The fuzzy moment between two frames causes a deflagration of the rational aspects of the narration. And this is where the scene collapses as moral narration, the semiotic fixing of the frame, the very stability of the presence of the image. The fascinating plus of what we are seeing is condensed, since now even the discovery of the punctum can no longer ensure more than a fleet¬ing presence.
We are witnessing a brief deconstructive apparatus. The final consequences of its regenerative power mark out an extensive range. What we see is a fissure opened in the very heart of the apparatus of contemporary narrative construction, and through it slip the presuppositions of the person, its masked cultural condition. The moral condition of the narration falls, and the desiderative drive of action surges forth. The corseted fixation of the sign falls and the voluptuousness of form and the intensive impression of colour surge forth. Ultimately, the adult falls and the child resurges. Creative capacity is renewed. And so, the reflection on memory and childhood becomes a recreation of memory and childhood. There is a loss of knowledge and the recollection of its original will.
The new regard that opens up in the uneasy contemplation of Childhood and Learning assassinates and redeems the image by calling to our mem¬ory from a state of narrative epilepsy. We can once again recreate ourselves in the re-collection of a childhood without which we felt insane. The recollection of childhood recreates us, and art again becomes a reason for hope. Knowledge redeems itself now that it is no longer its own object, and spreads out over the cosmos again, contained potentially and expansively, explosively, in the gaze of every child. Happiness depends on knowing how to look at a child in order to see like a child. Art consists in recognising and perpetrating this crime.