“You can expect anything but the unexpected. I believe that uncertainty has been our greatest enemy during these times. Most people in the First world know what to expect in everyday life and what to expect from life. Some are more ambitious and some are more conformist, but each of us tends to have a hope scheme and a plan. This impact named COVID19 has left many of us mentally naked, with a lack of planning and apparently without freedom.
However, I believe that only now, many of us have understood what freedom or inner freedom really are. ‘...External circumstances can deprive us of everything, except for one: the freedom to choose how to respond to those circumstances…’ used to say the Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and philosopher Victor Frankl, after having passed through several Nazi concentration camps among which, in one of them, he managed to managed to write, the best he could, about what afterwards would be the origin of speech therapy.
It has been some time since I have been practicing meditation techniques and it is curious how my teacher, the author and public speaker, former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, always talks about not trying to change the emotions and thoughts that arise within us, but to work on how our relationship with them is. Do not shy away from them but to welcome them, relate to them and respond in a healthy way with full attention.
A year ago I finished reading Eduardo Chillida's recently edited book of writings. A phrase of his that stuck in my mind keeps accompanying me: ‘Planners, blinders of the future’. I do not believe in fate, I am a true defender of freedom, but I believe in the circumstances and how we can react freely. Every day when I get up, I do the exercise of opening my eyes and my heart for a few seconds while I repeat Eduardo's phrase: Planners, blindings of the future.
‘Planners: blinders of the future’, Paul Antón
polystyrene, methacrylate, vinyl and white lacquered steel
150 x 20 x 20 cms (box 20 x 20 x 20 cms)
About the work
As a fan of Japanese culture I created this work to invite to look inside oneself, to bring out that reality and inner freedom that we all have. In the Western World, the great ally of beauty has always been the outpouring of light; in Japanese aesthetics, however, the essential thing is to capture the value and subtlety of the shadow. In Junichirò Tanizaki’s classic essay ‘The Praise of the Shadow’, the beautiful is not a substance in itself but a play of chiaroscuro produced by the juxtaposition of the different substances that form the subtle game of the modulations of the shadow. Beauty loses its entire existence if the efects of shadow are suppressed. The title of this work comes from the costumes of the Japanese theater known as ‘NŌ’; In this theater, the Japanese have their skin painted in white and wear full-detailed and full-color costumes with different degrees of opacity. For me, this work pretends to be a theater of an inner world where things happen in the veiled reflections depending on the light that falls upon.
Paul Antón (Pamplona, 1987)
Paul Antón finishes his degree and Master studies in Architecture at the University of Navarra in 2013, subsequently moving to London where he has worked for several years in Norman Foster's studio. In October 2016 he started his Master of Fine Arts studies at the University of the Arts London in the Wimbledon College of Arts, where he developed his artistic practice around the concept of Spatiography. The artist has been nominated for the Clifford Chance Sculpture Award in London. In 2018 and 2019 Antón has exhibited in Valencia at Galería Vangar and in 2019 also in 1d3 by Nomos in Palm Desert, California.
Paul Antón’s practice deals with the relationships between Form and Matter in Space. The generation of the forms get materialized and placed together until there is an activated relationship between them and the space where they are placed.
The artist establishes a back and forth system, where everything is spatially thought out and interlinked. He produces paintings, drawings and models and assembles them testing structures and settings until the elements connect to the surrounding space and enjoy a condition of dialogue among them.
These poetical assemblages try to generate a mindful feeling of presence within the space: an experience arrived at through the composition and presence of materials. The handling of proportions and the effect of light. A quiet interplay of atmosphere and potentiality.
Anton wants to provoke a sensorial trip with elements placed together and interlocked in space to achieve an experience. All the while the resemblances to designed daily elements invite you to be mindful in the act of observation.