Invisibles Palpables. Luis González Palma


Invisibles Palpables Otras series      





“Palpable Invisibles”

Generally speaking, I have undertaken to make this exhibition in order to venture into something that I would call “lyric abstraction”, a way to access a more complex and deep conscience, the search for a reality related to the void and the sacred space, creating images that represent meditative visual spaces, uncertain and loaded with a mysterious geography.    

The exhibition is divided in two parts, both of them have been realized from two photograph archives, one belonging to the Mesoamerican Regional Investigation Center (CIRMA for its initials in Spanish), in Antigua Guatemala, and the other to the Astronomical Observatory of Córdoba, Argentina.

I called the first part “Hesychia” (technical term in the history of monastic spirituality, which refers to the state of quietness and silence of the whole being, necessary to remain with God), where I went back to some photographic images created by Juan de Jesús Yas, one of the pioneers in Guatemalan photography by the end of the nineteenth century. I digitally removed the figurative register from these plates (portraits of priests and religious imagery), leaving only the information produced by irregularities in the application of silver, the traces of human touch, and the chemical reactions produced by changes in temperature and humidity.

 My intention is to show the visual content of an entire history that has remained recorded on these plates through the years, highlighting the remaining traces of their relation with the environment and the persons that were in contact with them.         

I think these images reflect and represent the idea of emptiness and time in a metaphysical sense. Images that make other types of register relevant: “the void” as spiritual search; a space that is inhabited by conscience; the random document of a past experience that is alien to the shot itself; the register of their existence through a time space of about a hundred years that allowed for remaining prints of a sum of fortuitous events that have affected its surface for different causes, human as well as natural, loading them with a visual alphabet full of a tense calm.       

The second part, which I called “Kōan” (the kōan, In Zen philosophy, is a question that has no logical solution; its goal is to break the standard patterns of thought and introduce itself into a sudden consciousness of illumination), allows me to make a visual reflection from astronomical photographs taken at the Astronomical Observatory of Córdoba, Argentina, the first astronomical observatory in the Southern Cone and, therefore, the place where the first images of outer space were registered from this part of the world. This series is divided into three parts. 1. “Astrophotography”, series of collages made of photographs of comets, the moon, and solar eclipses. 2. “Spectrum”, series in which I explore new forms of representation from the register of spectral lines (visible radiations of too low an intensity to be perceived by the human eye). 3. “Cosmic dust” (dust from outer space, made of particles smaller than 100 µm. This dust fills all the cosmos including the solar system; it comes from intergalactic, interstellar or interplanetary space), geometric drawings that I made from cosmic rays frames taken in Argentina between 1945 and 1948.          

Both projects are for me the search for an introspective space in which the use of abstraction helps me to represent inner experiences. I found it interesting to use the astronomical image as exploration of a reality that was unknown for me at that time and that helps me to reflect about the notion of infinite, mystery, and the search for an origin. The use of geometry in these series is bound to a graphical symbol about the sacred. I consider that the representation of some of these invisible elements is related to a divine order, since they seek to reveal the possible essences of the universe.