• A Lifelong Question

    Date posted: April 6, 2010 Author: jolanta
    “A good question should avoid an answer at all costs.” is presented to us in gold letters, letting us know in advance that only open endings are allowed in this exhibition, histories with undefined limits as life itself. Dora García rescues the characters of a last paragraph so that they may live their own existence, so that they unveil narratives before us in which we may become involved. Where do they go when the story ends, when we close the book and the narrative stops in a non-existent ending. Answers are not to be found in the exhibition rooms, but rather more questions. The plot of a trial whose outcome depends, completely randomly, upon the dryness of an almond tree (Soy un juez [I, judge] 1997) or the 2,000 copies of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, with the text printed back to front, hence making it impossible to read such as fire itself. 

    Ana González Chouciño

    Dora García, A good question should avoid an answer at all costs. Gold leaf on wall. Photo credit: Mark Ritchie. Courtesy of Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea.

    “A good question should avoid an answer at all costs.” is presented to us in gold letters, letting us know in advance that only open endings are allowed in this exhibition, histories with undefined limits as life itself. Dora García rescues the characters of a last paragraph so that they may live their own existence, so that they unveil narratives before us in which we may become involved. Where do they go when the story ends, when we close the book and the narrative stops in a non-existent ending. Answers are not to be found in the exhibition rooms, but rather more questions.

    The plot of a trial whose outcome depends, completely randomly, upon the dryness of an almond tree (Soy un juez [I, judge] 1997) or the 2,000 copies of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, with the text printed back to front, hence making it impossible to read such as fire itself. This questions the legitimation of authority and established moral norms. There is, however, no critique, just an open question confronting norms presumably very well established and the slight chance of encountering Montag, the novel’s protagonist, whom manages to confront the established power when he understands what the burning of books implies.

    The search for stories continues, already hinting that no complete story will be found. The performance, Instant Narrative, highlights instability and lack of security when discovering that we, as spectators, are also part of the narrative. The performer types on a laptop; we do not know what is being written, but we go through the room, observe the rest of the works and at the end, projected upon a screen we realize we are the ones described: our looks, our behavior… we are already a part of it. Likewise, a book that asks to be stolen, Robe este libro, compels us to decide whether we break a norm of the museum, or whether we indulge the wish of the work itself.

    The authorship definitively dilutes or becomes stronger as we become creators as well as the rest of characters rescued by García: the objects of Charles Filch, the beggar in Bertolt Brecht’s work, whom strolls the streets of Münster classed as a sculpture (The Beggar’s Things). Or the conversations among real and imaginary characters on the double space footbridge of Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (¿Dónde van los personajes cuando la novela se acaba? 1&2, [Where do characters go when the story is over?], 2009), a place as instable as their conversations, mixing reality and fiction since, as stated in another gold statement, “Reality is a very persistent illusion.”

    The work of García opens possibilities. Her pieces do not commence nor finish at the museum; what is gathered at the exhibition is merely an instant of the process of a work which will continue to grow when this finishes, not knowing in which direction, as it will then have a life of its own.

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