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Ramses Larzabal - The Artist

The questions that concern Ramses, those that make up the nucleus from which his works unfold into disparate shapes and forms of appearance, are directed principally towards four analytical cases in point: space, movement, "structure" and light (colour). 

Space is existentially conceived, at one time being "place", at another, the extension, which is the work itself, and at yet another, the situation in which the work takes place. A set of articulated grids are joined to others, in constantly surprising possibilities. This matter of space is conceived in a complex way, since it demands so much of the setting itself, in which the works are to be found. It is this relationship that highlights and prompts the expectancies and the changes that may occur in the external spaces beyond the works. It is thus that the exploration of "place" and "being" ensues. 

Vibration is the sensual and sensitive movement of that, which is inert - motionless. It is akin to an intention or a desire that allows us to see only its impetus, its power, that is not actually brought about. The movement-power, or the power of the movement itself, appears in these works, at least in two different ways. On the one hand, as a kind of instability, a breakdown, an anxiety that incrusts itself into the empty spaces created by the weave. On the other hand, the power of movement also appears in the form of "the power of being something else", of 'being there in another way', which is the suggestion hinted at in all of Ramses' works. These works project a display of movement conceived as "becoming" the possibility contained in all beings for being something other than they are, of finding themselves in other circumstances and changing.

Ramses' works are constructed from regular "forms" (grids, rectangles and planes) that come apart, thanks to the fact that the materials he uses are flexible, light and therefore undermine their own solidity and rigidity. That plurality of forms revolve around these questions, exposing and embracing them, unfolding a process that paradoxically rips and takes apart so as to build, establishes so as to un-place, to break up. This brings about, therefore, a convergence among the series in such a way that forms, structures, presences, appear to establish understandings and connotations.

As "structural devices" Ramses' works can actually be modified by the spectator, both in an interpretative and physical dimension, "making them" all over again. This can bring forth a sense of "amongst-ness", of being of public domain, thus having a political dimension: that which obliges us to relate to the action. There is no single look, just a means of access. There is no single way of seeing; there is no grave contemplation, just exercise and play. There is no distance, just a constant approach. This fulfils one of the most significant purposes of these works: to integrate - and be integrated into - the everyday experience.

The annulment of the original structure, caused by the implosion of its reconstructions, appears in these works to describe a certain "spectral" condition. This may be due to the light - brightness, vibration, colour, transparency and opaqueness. The abstract space created between the displayed grids, acquires a luminescent character that describes the very construction of that which mediates between the eye and its objects. In other words, light is the very "space" that the nets of grids or writings create, mark out and occupy: an inner, eager, intrinsic luminosity.

Ramses' work, is firmly situated in both temporal and spatial dimensions. It belongs to the history of Latin American art and can be related to the most determinate moments of its modernity. Moreover, it can also be associated with the spheres of western modernism to which we have become accustomed. 

To some extent, Ramses' works follow the artistic paths opened by Gego, inasmuch that they involve the use of space, not just as location but especially also, as that which is conjured up, that takes effect in the works themselves. That recognition of space is perceived in the works' knots of articulation, in the exercise of making infinite a limited volume, or of its unfolding within limits, defined in a system of ever-expanding, ever-escaping relations. 

The flexible grids made from different materials such as drinking straws, nylon, or ribbons, all point to a proposition, central to Neo-Concretism, in various aspects. His work is also a reminder of all those historic attempts to sensualise geometry, to comment on the constructive process in the articulations and points of its constant reconstruction, to register the ephemeral or the attempt to evidence the permeability of forms and styles, the processes of appropriation. Consequently, these works might include, for example, traces of minimalism or kinetic art in their urge to capture space, or renouncing the influence of the plane.

Adapted form a text by Sandra Pinardi
March 2007


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