I’m not a journalist and I don’t knowhow to write about such kind of things. Furthermore, I’m not even passionate about these thematics, where journalists tries to show being intellectual, so making boring something that often is already superfluous.
I don’t know the way to talk about it but I wanna do it, because I got out of it distraught and I find it interesting, so I’ll talk like to an old friend.
Today I’ve seen Palimpsest, an installation of Doris Salcedo at Palacio De Cristal in Madrid.
This “palace” has glass walls in second 19th century style, so from outside you can peep in. I could see it completely empty, but the people queuing outside so, out of curiosity, I queued as well. I wanted to know what felt to get in a big greenhous with the house and without the green, because at the end that’s what a “crystal palace” is – or maybe an expensive aviary.
Everyone weared some shoe covers, got in, walked meditatively, often got out quite serious and stop. No laughs, just thoughtful steps and silently out of the greenhouse. What the heck?
In thirty minutes I go my shoe covers and got in.
the first feeling has been confusion, i admit it: an empty pavement with names on the pavement. “Sure, we needed Doris Salcedo from Columbia to get another pavement with names on. Get a walk in Hollywood and you will get even the feets and hand prints.” But soon I have seen one disappearing, of those names, and It gave me the creeps. Something inside me gave a painful scream, I can swear it! I can’t tell you why but it suddenly hurted.
I’ve seen other names appearing from the void, expand on the pavements and disappear again in few minutes.
Doris names are made of water, they shape in the floor, let to be red, understood, let you portray the person that with that name has born and being named, and then relentlessly disappears and stop being. Someone around me went from the perplexed to the gloomy, I did too.
Only then I opened the pamphlet they gave me. The names are those of the countless victims of the sea, those souls we are now insensible to, lost trying to reach Europe. What I was watching at was much more than an exhibition: was teath and burying, the extreme action of giving back the dignity to people simply disappeared, one day, like the water that composed their names evaporated in the pavement.
Names are persons, to see them shaping and fading with the same silence can maybe remember us that those disappeared in the sea are more than numbers on a newspaper. think at how many words, art, monuments and squares are in our cities to those sons dead in the big wars we have a name about, how many to the people simply vanished, how many to the people was impossible to return a name. they were ours, we couldn’t accept that simply, one day, they could fade like they never existed. and may the key is exactly there: they we ours. These poor devils here, instead, evaporates and disappears, like never existed.
the Palacio di Cristal is inside Parque Del Retiro, in the center of Madrid, and will guest Palimpsest until April 2018. If you are have Beer and Tapas there around in the weekend, have a stroll in the beautiful park and seize the day to stare at a stupid empty wet floor, is for free.
People were wearing shoe covers, was entering, walking around thoughtful, usually was getting out more human.