Palmström is the name of a fictional character created by the German writer Christian Morgensten (1871-1914) that’s also the title of a compilation of his poems. These humorous and absurd texts obtained a major success at the time, not only between the public and the critics but also in the Dada art scene that would crystallize later. This recognition coincided with the lack of interest in other literary texts by Morgensten, yet of greater depth. A situation that repeats itself in the biography of many other authors, whose most relevant work were overlapped by creations that the writer himself would consider minor.
The small oil paintings by Jorge Diezma (Madrid, 1973) we now present are part of a new and recent series. Other parts of his body of work refers to various pictural genres, such as baroque figuration, luminous abstraction or amateur paintings. Styles that share a common core: reviewing the commonplaces of painting. In the pieces in this exhibition the burden of tradition is reduced through minimizing the size of the canvases. Creating a line of work that, nevertheless, has become as important for the author’s aesthetic universe as the aforementioned ones.
Artistic creation, like any other vital activity, entails the incapacity felt by the artist to control the exact impact of his work – Or even to control in a decisive way the course of its evolution. Science has coined the term autopoiesis – defined by the Chilean philosophers Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, and very widespread in the artistic field – to designate the way in which biological systems generate themselves regardless of any control that one tries to established upon. Anyone who has been confronted to the production of a text, a painting or any creative expression would know that, at most, only a dialogue with that object can be established ; never an absolute control of its forms ; nor of its consequences ; nor of its perception or its transcendence in time.
This is where a deep and absolute beauty lies in, something we may call powerlessness. Or fear. Void or vertigo. The lack of control over a brushstroke, the ability of a phrase, the seductive potential of a kiss. The understanding that we can dominate almost nothing. And that the way we define ourselves as beings might be measured by our capacity to accept not only this fact but also to respect what we think belongs to us – But that is actually autonomous, alien. Give it its space with a borrowed humility. There’s an obvious melancholy in all this that might unchain resistances. A frustrating negativity. A dark shadow that also builds up the structure that conforms us. And whose paralysis can only be deactivated by looking directly into its eyes.
There are ephemeral emotions that crystallize in an endless hug. And others that are only evoked in the eternal breath that is no longer. We never know what will form the next moment, nor the course of a life, neither the end of a smile. Between our fingers leaks the possibility of foreseeing. Our desire to control every vital gesture becomes a tombstone. An eyelid that blinds us. We continue to long for that which escapes us, forgetting that we already had it. Denying what is real to the point where we disappear to become something else–the illusion which we desire but also hurts us. Letting go forces us to accept. And sometimes we consider the fruit of this act as a loss; wrongly interpret it as something small.
Palmstroem’s clock—a different kind—
Is mimosa-like designed.
All requests are Kindly heeded:
Many times the clock proceed
at the pace that folks were urging
—slowing up or forward surging
for one hour, or two, or three,
As impelled by sympathy.
Though a timepiece, it will never
Stick to petty rules, however.
Just a clockwork, slick and smart,
yet a clockwork with a heart.
— Mario Canal