A wall, another wall, and many other denouncing walls
Bullet holes? Encrusted brains? Counter-advertising? Tire splashes? Blood? Grease? Phonebook? Execution wall? Last wishes? Prisoners’ signatures? Spells? Testimonials? Quick sex? Slogans? Scars from History? Pedestal? Graffiti? Catharsis? Minimalism? Silenced truths? What vehement obsession to rescue identities in times of blind dates, of extremisms, of brainwashing, of crises, of planned obsolescence, of new order, and of the growing victory of the trivial? It is known that we see, hear, say, and therefore interpret what is closest to our ideal, to our conception of the world, along with the extent to which our fears and fantasies shape our reality.
It is necessary to pause and reflect more than once to admit that we observe less as time passes, despite coveting so vehemently the questionable progress of this Age of Globalization, despite having available to us so many news outlets, social networks, blogs, etc. But the truth is that we only need to take a quick glance in order to see the dramatic evidence before us and confirm the breakdown of our false idea of progress in human order, and to glimpse what today might be our world, our civilization according to our level of technological development, had it been done for the benefit of humanity and not in order to increase consumerism, which immerses man in a sea of complex dissatisfactions.
How can those ideas which are indoctrinated without good arguments, and which enslave us, be worthy of our trust?
Pablo Tarrero is a photographer of "strange sensitivity", a quality which he who searches and seeks us in our hardest truth should possess. He speaks many languages, he can travel, he wonders about, he eats badly while on his rite of passage, he escapes from the fire not to save himself, but to burn in it, rescuing the hints of the lost path of so many generations, and contributes to himself and others his purpose and responsibility as a man and an artist. You cannot justify existence with mirages, frenzies or empty efforts, you have to leave an imprint of the short and great risk which living constitutes. “You have to feel the moisture of the walls, the screams that bleed from them, and involve yourself in order to value and embrace peace within your pain”, says the artist. And I believe him without apprehension.
His findings are the biopsy of the context in which these various images were captured, they are pieces impregnated of ancient civilizations, chosen for their telescopic restlessness, which entrenches itself in the fire in order to remove the human drama and clairvoyantly press the shutter. He who observes these fingerprints of the time of Nablus disdains or affirms his compromise with culture and identity. Observe them and, suddenly, Goya-style nightmares will come to mind, to consciousness.
Looking at Pablo’s walls may seem somewhat fatuous, incipient... but beware, just like in the eye of the hurricane, the apparent calmness distracts the novice observer; thus it is not calmness, but rather a harbinger of the chaos which will come. And he is there to prove it. The artist must be categorical. Without knowing what shakes us, he rummages and participates, he makes us a substantial ally of his visions or premonitions. He settles the marshes of power. The mud rises up to his nose. He resists. He knows that, ultimately, the cards for the big play are there. The air is unbreathable. He perseveres. From there, he points us to the vital clay from which the creation of real artists must sprout.
He is not San Pablo, but in his soul, as in San Sebastian’s, the spine tears him apart, bleeds, affirms and expresses his need for more light, which makes him unconditionally a citizen of the world, an alpinist of his own perfectible cosmos. He is a traveler who is at the crossroads of those who are suffering and must leave a record. La Habana, Mallorca, Verona, Arles, Berlin, India... all have in their collective imagination, and in their flesh, particles of their transculturations.
He himself, his work and reality are telling us “Stop fooling yourselves. Wake up. The beasts never left, they are with us here and now.” The images force us to connect with them, to grease the handy machinery of oblivion and to see ourselves in them as passer-bys of madness, as owners of our destinies.
Both Tarrero and I are clear on the implications and risks of being a digger, a nomad close to the biggest challenge. Pablo is the shaman who bewitches like a fakir the scars in the walls... the walls of this pretext latent distance. He knows a lot of what they know as authors or co-authors, that’s why the artist insists on bringing to consciousness the horror, the pleasure, the past, in order to propose to us an appointment with humanity’s responsibility, and to unveil the many claims of a decadent culture. If walls could talk, they would tell us many things. For example, that there will be no bread for the wreck nor guarantees for the return. But they would also tell that in Pablo Tarrero’s creations one can sigh of love, of faith, of hope, leaning against any wall in the universe.
Jesús Lara Sotelo, Spain, 2014
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