The three carving videos were created around 1987, TALLA 1 and TALLA 2 were shown in Fluo, a solo show I had with Ramis Barquet, which also was the last solo show I did during those years in Monterrey. TALLA 3 was part of the Femsa Biennial in 1998. The installation consisted of a table with books from my father’s library that had been wildly attacked by moths. I saw the insect’s path through the book pages as a negative form, which became evident when I browsed rapidly through the pages. The video of this action was reproduced on a monitor above the books. Just like Talla 1 and 2, Talla 3 speaks a little about a topic that has always interested me: the relationship between positive and negative spaces.
John Cage said that music was the result of the relationship between sound and silence. Just like silence, the volumes around us are defined by the relationship between solid and void. It is the balance of both what defines form in the real world. For the Chinese, a cup isn’t defined by it’s matter, but by it’s capacity to hold. Containers need emptiness to hold, hence, gaps and voids define form.
After WWII, when Europe was facing a tremendous loss of humanity, two artists were highly promoted; Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. A common characteristic in them were that holes went across their forms. These holes alluded to an interior, which in a way represented the soul. The soul was what everyone in those moments felt obliged to talk about.
In the specific case of my carving videos, which represent my first thoughts on this subject, seek in some way to create a similar feeling to the one caused by the Tibetan mandalas. In that way, the apparent nonsense of eliminating the object makes sense as the process is praised. Carving a piece of wood to the point where the objectives isn’t finding a shape inside the block, but a process of reduction that will end with the material. In the same way, the pencil sharpener devouring the pencil emphasizes the reductive process of carving, converting solid into void, while propping up the most important parts of art: the process, the experience, and just like mandalas, the present moment.