Fernando Gómez de la Cuesta
It is hardly a detail, a small fragment, a daily enigma, a hidden beauty, something that maintains its presence and can go unnoticed. Not everyone is capable of perceiving it, many of us only see it when someone points it out to us, teaches us, expressly tells us to look. Others, not even that. The unveiling of the extraordinary in the ordinary is a complex mechanism due to its own proximity, it is not so easy to find the disturbing aesthetics of the everyday, the uniqueness of what we have right next to us. It’s not about distance, it’s obvious. In fact, it is about having a special sensitivity to locate the element, the perspective, the frame, the material and spiritual discovery of that minimal but transcendental. The most difficult thing to see, almost always, is what we have in front of us.
Josep Tornero builds his story, his stories, through the intimate encounter of all those verses that his fine sensitivity is detecting. Free verses, single verses, expatriate, radicalized, reinterpreted, manipulated, intervened, localized and delocalized verses. Another way of making poetry, a very contemporary way of creating from the unfathomable heritage of everything that surrounds us. «The found verse», his proposal for the Shiras Gallery within the exhibition program of Abierto Valencia, is the result of a marked context, of a time of devastating and absolute crisis, of a violent and destructive moment. However, for the shard seeker, there is no more exhilarating and disturbing situation than one in which everything breaks, than one in which anything can be shattered.
The home has once again become a refuge from those invisible enemies of a war that we do not know how to win, it is also once again the scene of those dramas that, first, took to the streets, and then, the virtuality of the networks. Now it seems that everything is returning home. It is precisely from that place where we seek security, where we deposit our privacy and conserve what we love, from where Tornero starts this project, an investigation
slow, tireless and reflective of those fragments of the everyday that are the seed of a new story. Concerns and strangeness that approach us, that obsess us and that here are taking the form, through painting, of something concrete, of something that exists, of something that is.
Tornero says that these works serve to disperse restlessness and anxiety, that they are pieces that fluctuate between vibration, explosion and discretion, like that breath that words cannot reach. Dark, tempting, enigmatic, “The Found Verse” is located where the beautiful and the sinister have their point of collision and contagion, where Eugenio Trías places magic, mystery, fascination, suggestion and rapture, where the aesthetics reaches a sublime expression thanks to the phantasmagorical and the everyday, to the flesh and the spirit, a place that, in our memory, refers to latencies and possibilities, a space where to look for those visual connections necessary to construct
own symbols board, his own open narratives of inexhaustible readings, his reversible and interpretable stories.
But this unfathomable encyclopedia of Tornero images, of found verses that brings Mnemosyne de Aby Warburg o del Atlas by Richter, not only draws on the usual and the ordinary, but also on art and previous creation, specifically that subjected to a breaking point, a moment of maximum tension that ends up causing its fracture. Wounded art It generates concern for the violence that it summarizes, for the unease that this incomplete piece produces, for the uncertainty of knowing how that fragment was produced. Classic sculptures shattered by the brutality of war, attack, accident, natural disaster, anger, pieces devastated, bombed, sabotaged, from power, from counter-power, from will or chance.
However, this destruction of works of art is nothing more than the expression of their own importance, of what their presence and absence mean, of what their revision, reinterpretation, and reframing imply. Turner begins his path from a powerful and dismembered Hermes by Antonio Canova, vigorous even in his dismemberment, a sculpture that shows that the parts possess many of the characteristics that defined the whole before losing their integrity, which perfectly explains animal autotomy of art, that quality that some beings – and some works – have of detaching themselves from the elements that compose them to protect themselves from danger, to regenerate, to confuse or feed the predator.
A beautiful and disturbing metaphor that explains the suggestive diaspora of all those lost verses and sometimes found, intervened, recreated and re-contextualized. Some verses, some images, that make up that infinite and wonderful atlas that are Tornero’s projects, a visual board arranged in the form of a contemporary mosaic where the great History of Art meets the everyday, with the (extra) ordinary, with the usual. Julio Cortázar wrote that a narrative is significant when it breaks its own limits with an explosion of spiritual energy that abruptly illuminates something that goes far beyond the small and, at times, miserable anecdote that tells, an opening, a outbreak, which opens us to a much broader reality.
That is precisely what Josep Tornero does, build a new experience from the apparently insignificant, connecting reality with emotion, endowing images with a category that transits between the intimate and the public, the objective and the subjective, the memory and history, description and fable, striving to explore all the corners of what surrounds him, his study, his home, art, life, searching and sometimes finding beauty, mystery, science , the enigma, the restlessness, the magic, finding the last loose verse left by the poet, the one that will undoubtedly shape a new painting.
*Text from the catalog The Found Verse by Josep Tornero for the Shiras Gallery of Valencia. September 2020.