February 2020

Carmen Mora presents her first individual exhibition at Espacio Valverde, where she proposes an invasion of the most inextricable aspects of nature, the physical universe in its most archaic form which cannot be domesticated.


Island is an exhibition where the space of the gallery is traversed by time, the rock, and the mystery of a simulated nature with a unique technical complexity.


During the 17th century, the rugged mountains of the Alps caused sheer terror in the people of that age. The very same sights that today attract millions of tourists were then experienced as horrifying. Even courageous men would not venture into the ‘desolate and wayless wilderness of forests and mountains’ without necessity. In the reports of travellers to Italy who had crossed the Alps, we read how horror-stricken they were at the sight of gorges and cliffs.


A hundred years later the situation began to change as a result of Enlightenment. 


Jean Jacques Rousseau, the French philosopher, describes in his autobiography that he loved to walk to his favourite place in the Savoyan Alps, a path at the edge of a ravine, where, secured by a railing, he could look down into the gorge, with the purpose of ‘gagner des vertiges tout à mon aise’, in order to procure the feeling of dizziness for himself at his ease, and he adds, ‘I love this whirling, provided that I am at safety.’


Let’s examine this picture of Rousseau leaning on a railing and looking down at the ravine. What does the picture say? What has changed here so that the same ravine that may have horrified people of the 17th century has now turned into something exciting?


I say the same ravine. The Alps out there have certainly not changed. What has changed is the ontological framework where the same sight is seen and from which its nature, quality and ontological status are perceived.  In the first case, in the 17th century, the ravine was certainly as limited as in the time of Rousseau. However, it was not bound to be just that specific thing. Instead, it would open and allow you to see the abyss of being as such, the primordial void, the enormous abyss before creation, the cosmological Chaos. A ravine was like a window through which the all-encompassing wilderness was looking at you and your life, threatening to enter the insular human world of the day, hope and safety. You would look at that specific thing, the ravine, but what you would see was completely surrounding you, behind you and even in your heart. And so you were there, your safety was only the safety you would borrow from a small boat on the ocean of being. At that time, it would have been impossible to have a railing installed around the ravine, since, despite its limited quantitative size, it was vast, infinite and bottomless.’


Fragment of Saving the nuclear bomb / Wolfgang Giegerich



About Espacio Valverde


Espacio Valverde, an art gallery directed by Asela Pérez and Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, has become one of the key galleries to discover and promote new artists. Apart from carrying out unique projects in Spain, Espacio Valverde takes part in national (ARCO) and international art fairs (Miami, Hong Kong, London, Latin America, UAE, Paris, etc.).