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Galleries VII
Segovia Creation Centre

Espacio BOP

2015 + 2017
Voces en off

Gallery José Robles

Tres en Suma

Discreet appearances
espacio menosuno




Video, 16:9, stereo. Duration: 67 min.

Galerías VII - La Cárcel - Segovia Centro de Creación, Spain
27 September to 1 December 2019

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Galleries 2019, La Cárcel, Segovia Creation Centre

The video From banishment to banishment is a visual poem that evokes the essence of the spanish philosopher María Zambrano. The editing
process amalgamates reflection, intellectual intuition and sensitive intuition. The poetic and sublime atmosphere opens up an emotional space
that permeates practically all the senses.

María Zambrano and the exile
María Zambrano left Spain for exile on the same day as Antonio Machado - but across different borders, as she herself writes - Machado via Portbou and she via La Junquera. For María Zambrano the exile, which was to last 45 years - more than half her life - began in January 1939 at the age of 34 and became the existential axis of both her life and her philosophical thought. After a short stay in France she began his wanderings around the world: in the early years between Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico and from 1953 in Italy (Rome), France (La Pièce) and Switzerland, returning to Spain in 1984 when she was already 80 years old.

Reflecting from the first day of his expulsion from Spain in letters, writings and conferences on exile, the personal experience of exile infiltrates her being, making exile the definitive category of her life. In 1990, already in Spain for five years, she wrote: "I cannot conceive of my life without exile; it has been like my homeland or like a dimension of an unknown homeland".

Existentially installed in exile, María Zambrano opened up a range of reflections on this subject that went far beyond her personal experience to become a general reflection on the human condition as a cosmic exile. In the 1960s she forged the project for the book Desde el exilio (From Exile), which she would work on in the following years. This book was never published; but for thirty years she published parts or whole chapters; finally, in 1990, she published the chapter El exilio in the book Los bienaventurados (The Blessed), a year before his death, in Editorial Siruela.

María Zambrano and the poetic reason
Taking the human being as the centre of philosophy leads her to the conclusion that aspects excluded by pure reason must be integrated anew. In her analysis of Western philosophy she agrees with Ortega y Gasset that a system is constructed by the logos which in the end always reaches an irrational and inexplicable point and that philosophy only founded on the logos and in search of the logos becomes a violent system, contributing to and eliminating what Ortega y Gasset calls vital reason. María Zambrano goes a step further and also includes philosophical language in her critique. In order to apprehend the being of man, a language is needed which captures, or rather leaves room for the inexpressible, feeling, paradoxes, contradictions, the divine and love.

Already in 1944, in a letter to Rafael Dieste, she wrote: "Years ago, during the war, I felt that it was not new principles or a Reform of Reason, as Ortega had postulated in his last courses, that would save us, but something that is reason, but broader, something that also slides through the interiors, like a drop of oil that soothes and softens, a drop of happiness. Poetic reason... that's what I've been looking for. And it is not like the other; it has, it must have many forms, it will be the same in different genres".

María Zambrano and Forest Glades
In 1964 she went to live with her sister Araceli in La Pièce, a small farm in the middle of a forest in the French Jura. It was there, in this solitary and isolated place, that she began to write her emblematic book Claros del bosque (Forest Glades) which was published in 1977. It embodies par excellence what she calls Poetic Reason. Poetic in its style, it is very precise in its expression. In it she takes up again the figure of the mystic's guide, the method and the metaphors guiding through the reading to another state, another experience, another reception.

María Zambrano as guide
Fascinated for a long time by the texts and personality of María Zambrano, I wanted to create a tribute to this great Spanish philosopher, poet and mystic, evoking her spirit.

Maria Zambrano, as a guest in the village where I spend many seasons as isolated and solitary as La Pièce, guided me with her thoughts, her way of looking and observing, of listening, and I became deeply fused with her feelings. My reception and my sight became imbued with my surroundings: appearances, silence, reflections, light and shadow, consistent or evanescent, calm or moving, permanent or volatile, imagined or real. Little by little, reading transcends and becomes another way of feeling and receiving my surroundings with all my pores open.

still from the interview on television La 2 on the occasion of the exhibition Galerías 2019

cartel galerias


From banishment to banishment
The video From banishment to banishment is a tribute to María Zambrano through images, quotes from Claros del bosque (Forest Glades), La otra cara del exilio (The other face of exile) and a composition for flutes and voice.

The images
in the video are recordings in and around a small village in Guadalajara where I spend long periods of time. The gaze focused on small details, on changes of light, on minute movements maps the territory: the stones and their shapes, the earth and its colours, the sky and the mist. Focusing from unusual angles, ant's perspective or on found objects produces a visual abstraction that allows one to float in space. An extremely slow visual rhythm allows one to enter into observation and lose oneself in contemplation.

The soundtrack is a contemporary composition made by me for the video of flute and voice sounds scattered in the silence. Snippets of soft, slow-paced sounds with an intimate dynamic almost like a soliloquy, appearing and disappearing in long sequences of silence, sometimes overlapping but never accumulating. The composition adds a third dimension to the video, opening the space to an enveloping atmosphere as important as the image.

The quotes are chosen from Claros del bosque (Forest Glades), La otra cara del exilio (The other face of exile). Like the music, they appear at certain moments written in the video, remaining in view for a long time so that they can be read at calm. They are like a sign of a starting point, like brushstrokes, drops that infiltrate like hitches when one has lost one's way. They appear loose as intuitive hints - floating in the air. At the same moment they attract and free the intellect from reflection to make room again for feeling.

The video From banishment to banishment is a visual poem elaborated after a long process of preparation, amalgamating reflection, intellectual intuition and sensitive intuition. Surrendering myself to the environment, to the landscape, only reachable in time, with time, fusing myself with the environment, diluting myself in the immensity. It translates into a poetic and sublime atmosphere and sensibility that evokes the essence of María Zambrano, becoming a living-lived experience. This opens up a sensitive space that permeates and caresses practically all the senses.