I write these lines with a species of feeling fault for speaking about an artist and of his work, which I knew some time ago, and the present one to which this exhibition corresponds, because it gets used to speaking of the artistic object and of his creator to explain it, something that I believe in the bottom is totally unnecessary when there is experienced an intense and honest work of art.
In spite of this opposing feeling, nevertheless, I believe necessary these words to explain, with quiet, before that nobody to me itself, certain characteristics that exist in Juan Rivas’s plastic work, and especially in the exhibition “Light that never goes out” that generate a movement, which works as a lens that alters the breathing of the look. A controlled look, as the filling and emptying of a bottle, adjusted by the action of the artist who makes us see the world that surrounds us in a more complex way, and that generates a wealth-producing strangeness in his apprehension. This strangeness understood as tension added to the knowledge, is in addition a double and takes place because Juan Rivas proves to be to us on the one hand, a geography that does not reflect the obviedad of the exterior scene that it portrays, subverting the sense of the landscape found to turn it into an interior place, and for other one, re-places our look, putting mentally inside the picture, in an exterior that has turned of the reverse.
This way expressed, his creative action is a way of transcribing the nature as a “exterior servant” who does story from an opposite dialectics, between whom it is thinking about controlling the scene from out, the observer, and at the same time troubling for feeling re-placed to the interior of the observed. It is a question, since in the pictorial works that they inhale in a conscious way to the blemish, of a movement that comes from the interior of the picture, the being of the painting. A being that coming of inside, turns to look at exterior in an abstract adventure on the royal thing, in which it is important, and not, which exists ahead, a fundamental information that a real contemporary artist does of Juan Rivas
When Rivas works from out, in order that this being catches later our look, it demonstrates a great knowledge of the architecture, not of his representation or form (something that wanted to stop dominating years ago), but of the parameters fundacionales of this one and of the spatial situations that they have to see with the “architectural domain”, understood as what the things occupy in the world. It is to say the artist us can transcribe pictorially what is the being and to be, which they mean in the root of the architecture; control of the space to ours around, of the things of the environment in the distance created by a function to realizing, and not only, you mark and references given by the uses or circumstances practised in this case from one not place, the night, across the artificial light. Light localizadora that it does of reference and giving where sufficient energy is projected towards the exterior, in order that ultimately the form is born, us the dimension of the landscape. Domain in the architecture of the night scene, which is also for the artifice of the light, to look for site, to be located, to be located and to settle itself, and of equal form to distribute, to reorganize and to balance the nature artificializada by means of the action of the painting, not easy at all task.
The conflict of the artificial light in the night is this time, for Juan Rivas, the own architecture, the brand that indicates where they finish or begin other adjacent spaces, ensuing from the harmonization of this conflict, between “illuminated and the subdued thing”, between “what one sees and that remains hidden”, the nature of the picture. A reequilibrium of forces that organizes the settling of the spaces and the interstices that allow the steps and movements of the night inhabitants that we will be we.
I finish since I began, thanks to the tension of Juan Rivas’s exposition, with this feeling of certain guilt enriched for not being able to explain if I am spectator or inhabitant, if I walk externally or within of these night geografías that ensue from the subtle search of the balance to the problem of the opposing and antithetic thing, of to fill and to empty the landscape of the artificial day in the night. Something that alone can take place thanks to the artist rethinks the elementary beginning of the nature: empty bottle that begins to fill for below and full bottle that begins of emptying overhead, in order that ultimately, emptying or filling, the force of the authentic painting remains inalterable.
Luis Gil Pita, architecto
Santiago de Compostela, november 2015
Arquitecto por la ETSA de A Coruña en 1997, desde ese año colabora en el estudio de Manuel Gallego Jorreto hasta 1999. Becado de investigación en Holanda en 2000-1, con un estudio sobre lo fronterizo y liminar en arquitectura, por la Diputación de A Coruña, fue posteriormente Profesor invitado en el área de proyectos de la Facultad de Arquitectura de Guimaráes, Universidade do Minho, del 2001 hasta el 2007. Desde el inicio de su carrera ha publicado asíduamente artículos y ha participado como editor en diferentes publicaciones alrededor de la arquitectura.