The Tranquil Labyrinth
"What was and what will be, the things that I have had and the things that I will have, all of this is waiting for us in this tranquil labyrinth."- Jorge Luis Borges
"Collage … is the most extraordinary event in the world."- J. Paulhan
Germinaciones, Semilleros, Chaosmos: The latest works by Daniel Orson Ybarra straight away reference nature and that which is dynamic about it: the process of growth, of engenderment, of inflorescence, which go from a withheld intensity (withheld from its potential, from the future), to a dilated, relaxed and spatialized expression in its form, liquids, fruits, flowers or leaves. These paintings, or rather these collages and collections are inscribed in the logic of the preceding paintings: plays on coloured shadows, on iridescent light across foliage that digital photography restores with a light blurriness upon which paint will be laid, as if to soften the naturalist reference and move it, slowly and attentively, within the realm of abstraction. Here is the beginning of a counter process that has just opposed itself to the natural model and deviated from its linear logic and opened itself to the transformative act which is art itself. The metaphor takes the place of the metamorphosis; the leaves on the tree which served as a point of departure for paintings become, in Germinaciones, wind-blown in the strictest sense of the word, a stack of transparent plastic films; each stratum is marked by an intervention, painting or drawing, on a part of its surface, in such a way that all of it together, once finished, lets the forms appear in a skilful game of hide and seek, within the context of restrained depth. The appeal of the infinite bottom, i.e. the bottomlessness of the depth, the crossing of planes which transparency allows, is accentuated and temporized by the different layers formed by the strata; the latter are at once moments in which the eye stops (each stratum has its form) and is redistributed: certain elements of each stratum enter into contact with the elements of the other strata situated above and below, indifferently. This is not a derelict indifference, rather a radical conversion of the art of painting which is without a doubt the greatest invention of the 20th century: the introduction, in the mode of production of the form, of devices for which the collage is the model, and which impose their own objective logic onto the subjective logic of the painter (...) Closer to dream-like images, the Germinaciones are contractions of that which is possible, of mixtures of affect, of the movement of the eye, determined by what little certainty and support the vertigo of depth offers and reassembles as it pleases. Germinaciones creates a metaphor out of natural metamorphosis,Semilleros shifts it to another place where we can qualify it, by seeking to employ figures of speech, synecdoche, the part for the whole (...)
As for the Semilleros, they seem to present themselves as the desire to take this moving labyrinth into their own hands, to travel around it, to punctuate it, to dilate it. The painted elements are individualized, cut out and distributed like so many independent touches are one to another. Then the drawing pins fix these pieces of painting onto the support, through overlapping in general, sometimes by juxtaposition. The temporary character of the drawing pin (one pins something in order to see, then affixes) gives at first a character of uncertainty to the whole thing, a playful and unfinished aspect. But we know from Picasso's pushpin collages suspended in space from the workshop beams, that this relates to the "greatest invention" in painting: to move from technique, device and material conditions to the form; readymade is neither more nor less than this, rather it is this; for readymade is but a moment in painting, passage, the pure and radical place where what serves to expose is in fact exposed, then immediately reversed in as much in the movement of the process as in its formation. Here, Daniel continues and deepens this gesture, he continues it from the past which is the Germinaciones to open it to the present, which is the Semilleros.
If transparency is maintained, it is now in the thrall of the pushpin, it has become itself an element, and no longer the condition of the distribution of the elements. This being the case, the condensed, withheld intensity, a condition of all of the possible layouts, and which represent that which is a painting, substitute an expanse which demands doing away with the frame, something which turns rather towards installation which is also one of the facets of Daniel's work.
Heads AND tails.
Text by Christian Bonnefoi