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Carlos Sebastiá – El tiempo suspendido

Marzo – 2022

the surfaces of time

This exhibition supposes, for Carlos Sebastiá, the consolidation of a certain way of thinking and doing his painting. The formal solidity of his work is accompanied by a suggestive conceptual investigation. His hypothesis is that the same object means different things in different discursive fields; also, that technological globalization has radically transformed our way of documenting and remembering reality. Sebastiá does not intend to develop an umpteenth contrast between memory and forgetting, or find out if we remember too little or too much. This exhibition seeks and manages to show that the ways of remembering are, today more than ever, multiple and do not always go in the same direction.

If "the temporal" is the axis of his current aesthetic research, Sebastiá's gaze adjusts to a specific problem, such as the digitization of human memory: a constant media experience that impels us to see images and also to create many others. . Perhaps the true memory is precisely what we cover with the mobile screen, while the image is what always accompanies us. Starting from this paradox, the artist addresses the role played by digital information systems, and their relational comparison with the old analog models. To do this, he takes as his starting point a bank of autobiographical images, which he uses as an excuse to investigate memory and oblivion. But he also addresses a specific sense of experience, that place where one can be shocked and taken away: “In its essence, experience -Heiddeger will say- is the pain in which the essential alterity of what exists is revealed in the face of the habitual”. A wound that makes us vulnerable, and whose puncture is lost, little by little, through the filter of memory.

Connoisseur of the history of painting and its resources, Sebastiá now takes his search one step further for an expanded pictorial principle, where he puts various techniques (drawing, acrylic, printed image and objects) into dialogue, and intertwines both supports and concepts ( abstraction and figuration, representation and plasticity, or process and visuality). He also lucidly reviews the aesthetics of collage, the most powerful destructive and constructive instrument invented in 20th century art. In some of his best compositions, Sebastiá integrates the legacy of the geometric avant-garde (paradigm of the anti-narrative), and searches for the vulnerable and evocative that still exists within the normative structure. In other paintings, he gives way to a more lyrical side, with an atmospheric-seeming flow. These heterogeneous “cultural deposits” are tools with which he recovers the purely plastic values ​​of the pictorial image, which he will put into dialogue with the polished, smooth and impeccable of digital aesthetics.

The painting method, based on transparencies and planes, is very similar to the one used by Photoshop to compose and decompose the image. This interesting dialectic between the digital and the analogical articulates a good part of the poetics of this exhibition, where the texture coexists with the pixel, and where the pictorial is allied with the transfer and with the printed. The viewer's gaze is exposed to a complex inventory of visual signs, which display different articulations of the temporal. Beyond the bulimia of the image, the quick registration and the like, there are other ways of articulating time and memory. Sebastiá's painting proposes that we delight in its complexity, and that we activate a visual experience that recovers the sovereignty of the eye. As Manuel Cruz points out, "if something is to be claimed, it is not so much greater doses of memory (which perhaps already constituted authentic overdoses), but rather something more precise and, without a doubt, much more necessary: ​​the autonomy of memory". Faced with the excitement and immediate stimulus, Sebastiá presents images where we linger in the enjoyment of the gaze, activate different modes of perception and let the memories simply happen.

Carlos Delgado Butler
Art critic


Press release:

The artist Carlos Sebastiá (Castellón-1975), after his participation in the Shiras Solo Show of the Valencia Open 2020, returns to the Valencian gallery with 'El tiempo suspendido'. A project that proposes inhabiting the intimate space, as well as rebuilding and fighting against the immateriality of our existence from the collective and from the affections.

The exhibition is distributed through the two gallery spaces through various pictorial formats in the Main Room and an installation project in the Refuge Space. All of this, in the form of everyday scenes in the family environment, where images and elements that participate in them create an interrelation between themselves that generates non-linear narratives, but in which the viewer can establish their own personal stories through codes, as defined by the artist. Likewise, for this exhibition, Shiras Galería has edited a catalog with the collaboration of the critic Carlos Delgado Mayordomo, who defines the artist's work as: “the digitization of human memory: a constant media experience that impels us to see images and also to create many others. Based on this paradox, the artist addresses the role played by digital information systems, and their relational comparison with the old analog models. To do this, he takes as his starting point an autobiographical image bank, which he uses as an excuse to investigate memory and oblivion ”.

Carlos Sebastiá, graduated in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and with a master's degree in MFA from the UAL in London, is distinguished by an extensive international career in countries such as: Turkey, Austria, the United Kingdom, Iceland and China. With all this, he has obtained different residential scholarships, including the Istanbul Art Residency scholarship, "Art Diagonale" in Wels, and the residential scholarship in the city of Shanghai by the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with The International Arts and Culture Group (TIAC). It is also worth mentioning the great presence that he has in the funds of the DKV, Juan José Castellano Comenge collections, and in the permanent collection of the UPV, among others. As well as an extensive activity in different international and national fairs and festivals: Estampa in Madrid, 5' of Harmony in Miami, Digital Maker Collective “Vapor Tate Project” at the Tate Modern in London, SUMMER ART NIGHT in Beijing or the Marte Fair, where he has currently been selected as the guest artist from Castellón.

With 'El tiempo suspended', the artist from Castellón induces us to make heterogeneous and coded memories in which family, home and longing make their way through altered images to transport us to past times in which to wander without getting lost, just as defines the artistic director of the gallery Sara Joudi.

This exhibition can be visited at Shiras Galería until June 17, from Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturdays by appointment.

Gobierno España. Ministerio Cultura y Deporte
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