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I'am thinking about you too. Personal exhibition at Sous la Tente / Christophe Massé

exhibitions 2016

I too am thinking of you

Only a few pieces remain from his prison period in the Olmos penitentiary (1946-1958). Most of the works having been destroyed or lost.
The improbable damaged, wobbly frames reflect the artist's aborted painting projects: "it's because to finish something, you have to at least start it" he would say ironically. Because Castel is in permanent renunciation and denial. We imagine him in front of the scattered elements of his little factory: he contemplates and projects what “it” could give, he opens up a whole field of possibilities but he no longer undertakes anything that he does not lead to the end.

In reading his work, one perceives the need he has to avoid the irreparable moment of atrocity, this day which will have been, according to him, “the day when the earth gave way under his feet. »
When he completes his emblematic work Hasta el Sol Está Quebrado (even the sun is broken), his sun that he wanted "as beautiful and luminous as a Van Gogh", he discovers a black sun that has absorbed all color and all emanation of life.

At this moment he leaves the painter's habit to become the artist we know today.

His cell, both a place of experimentation and a space for the gaze, seems suspended out of time, like those fabrics hung on fragile frames, remains or shrouds soaked in mud that have reached deathly stiffness.
The frames themselves invite to recompose in space, to multiply a look by fragments.

We walk on a narrow path between life and death. The body comes to a standstill and the gaze in the half-light turns towards a black sun, made up of a mosaic of small boxes tinted with shoe polish.

By contrast, the white baked ceramic trays sparkle with abstract motifs mixed with paintings or engravings representing miscellaneous facts that Castel noted as testimony to the atrocities of the world.

The large earthen panels placed against the walls evoke the commemorative steles after those of the statues of Buenos Aires dedicated to historical heroes, which Castel designed.

Castel seems to pursue an impossible love in his art, he revisits through his productions a tattered memory made up of fragments of images and snippets of thoughts. Memories of children mingle with those of the present. Images are colorless. Dirty, earthy gray covers everything in its path. "We are only pale reflections of ourselves that move forward in the dark aimlessly and for no reason" he will say.

"Yo tambien pienso en usted" (I'm thinking of you too), a simple phrase inscribed on a ceramic plate as an epitaph or reminiscence of correspondence with the beloved woman, seems to seal his destiny as an artist forever.

Benedikt Deplazes