Eugenio Ampudia

The truth is an excuse

Sep 12 - Nov 13, 2007

The truth is an excuse, Eugenio Ampudia's second solo exhibition at Max Estrella, broadens the motives and central themes of the artist's practice while activating different and specific modes of technical and disciplinary management.

Since 2003, the date of his previous exhibition in Madrid, Ampudia has searched to maximize one of the critical appraisals of his work: its linguistic complexity, closely linked to the impossibility of art to be transformed into something more than itself.

The truth is an excuse, like the piece to which it owes its name, talks about art, its transmitting language and the interlocutors who intervene in the discourse, but it also talks about issues that concern us outside of art itself, thus the identification with a concrete and determined identity, memory and its links with reality, the rhythm of failure … and the rhythmic and constant of a shipwreck.

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It does so by articulating classical disciplines –sculpture and drawing– with stipulations outside of these, contravening norms and regular uses, while participating in the field of installation and building it using current technologies. His ink or glue drawings respond more to a tradition of the new – Duchamp’s figure has been sleeping on its shelves since the last century – than to the vicissitudes of contemporaneity. They involve, once again, the viewer and, above all, the owner, who, as time goes by, will see the image of the drawing grow with dust, peeling skin and other extra-artistic adhesions.

At the door of the gallery Tonetty’s dog pees- he did it before on the facade of the Artium Museum in Vitoria – and marks his territory as the artist marks his place and marks his properties. Ampudia’s relationship with dogs is ancient. What’s more, the legend at the bottom of a sketch of a dog lying on a beach, dictates: The truth is an excuse.

The beach and the citizens who began to frequent the seashore for their solace and rest, are at the very origin of the pictorial modernity that Ampudia focuses on in his video-installation Impression, Soleil Levant. Indeed, the visitor steps on the sand of the beach and contemplates the sad wreck that the proto-avant-gardes lay in the sand: The origin of the world, by Courbet; the Olympia and The Country Lunch, by Manet; The Arles Room, by Van Gogh and Gauguin’s Arearea. Images that, even if they physically disappeared, would permanently reach the edge of our knowledge.

For Ampudia there is no incontrovertible truth and everything, both our belief system and the memory placed in the near or distant past, even the perception and observations that we make, respond to a conceptual deception: there is no truth, but a point of view, a location with respect to the real world. Hence, the truth changes with only an elementary change of the devices of reality.

The video The truth is an excuse through the simple mechanism of reversing the sense of the cinematographic projection “returns” the Spanish exiles of the Civil War to their own side of the border, makes them return home before our eyes and puts in evidence, greater and more bloody, the cruelty of this historical destiny and its parallel brotherhood with contemporary exiles. The walking backwards, the children drinking the tears from their eyes, the French guards recovering a fallen or overturned car and the passage of Le Perthus reintegrates to Spain Spaniards who never stopped being so.

On the ground, mechanical instruments, robots halfway between the pistol and the children’s car destory in the words of the artist, phrases from Hölderlin’s Hyperion –that boy devastated by war and human nature–: “The waves of the heart would not explode into such beautiful foams, nor would they become spirit, if they did not collide with fate, that old silent rock. “