THE EDGE OF THE WATER
27.October - 11. November 2023
I had come to the edge of the water / soothed by just looking / idling over it - Seamus Heaney
Who looks at the shape of the fish grow giant on the side of the bowl? - Chet Baker
Before a cliff, conspiracy theories denote the fortification of our disbelief for the bottom. A large sum of pieces become entangled when dealing with the notion of elementary physics. This way, we sustain being fortuitous entities that belong to an earthly order: if we step over, we fall. This happens with water too, except that delving into it may seem like a good idea. Unless it’s cold. Unless the water is not delightful. Unless we stand in front of a cliff of sea and rocks that strain our understanding. My thought around water is never rigid, because although water seems an illusion of stability, it also is ruled by the law of physics; it enamors, it portrays an identification of a place and allows life to happen, counter-intuitively to our deepest desire to escape its overwhelming power. Ancient Nordic-Germanic runes symbolized water as mistrust and danger.
The former city Sebastian Espejo lived in before moving to London two months ago was his native Viña del Mar, a coastal city in the central region of Chile. He moved back home after studying Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile. Once back an settled, he started the journey of his laborious diligence as a painter that foresees the results by interacting with the everyday fauna of his surroundings, encapsulating the methodical repetition of a sustained activity in time; the treadmill of the seductive playfulness that is routine. Standing before a cliff will be less dangerous if we stand upon it millions of times, like experts on the delusion of control. The edge of water represents not only a cusp in the materiality of air and lack of oxygen; it allows us to travel safely with the eyes into the landscape. If we plunge we cannot see it. Perspective, as such, is a bystander; a safeguard of the oculus.
Radiation of light is hostage to its environment. Living beings are to develop masterful skills to play by the rules of their species. A calamity is provoked by the clashing of elements that disturb the image. Fernando Pessoa said that literature is proof that life isn’t enough. When I see a painting by Sebastian Espejo, I start to see life through the brushstroke of his lens. Espejo brings to this exhibition the latest strokes of his meticulous lifestyle, allowing us to see bodies of water and edges through the cliffs of his understanding. We may or may not be subject to delusion; we may or may not be swirled and enamoured by its craft, but we see a landscape that transcends the optical view of the master.
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