Walking Around • Poch Naval

Oct 15 to Nov 9, 2020 • Video Room

Presented in this exhibition is ‘a charged terrain of contention’ that wonderfully complicates viewing and interpretation. The collection of paintings and sculptures presented in the space are Poch Naval’s attempts to capture renditions of current events – appalling greed of men, unavailability of answers, isolation. Marking surfaces with questions upon questions, the artist is opening them up to an exploration of the world by building connections inward and, at the same time, from the outside looking in. Reflecting on his interest in subjectivity in examining the human condition, he is inclined to exploring distinct sensations and information in his art-making. Strokes and shapes become sustained interrogations on the subjects of thought in relation to his state of being.

Walking Around is an invitation for us to look into the performativity of the artistic process. “I am suspicious of this word ‘process'” the artist wrote in our correspondence. He was talking about meditative walking as part of the painting method of Antoni Tapies. “…Because in my experience it is difficult to say when it begins and ends”, he narrated. “I just walk because I feel it helps me when I paint, but I stop when tired. Even so, by then, I will have already seen and heard things.” Relating this activity to a German writer who walks to a nearby cafe to shake off a block or monotony in his writing. Maybe it is also innate to the artist that he thinks about the philosophies of his gestures, whether those within his art-making or those done ordinarily in life. These contemplations, though intangible, are present in the atmosphere of the exhibition. This revelation lends a layer of particulars that invites us to evaluate the performativity of our movement, the kind that does not always rely on the actions of the feet. Poch pointed this out by saying that “mobility can be a movement of remembering or passive observation.” To articulate this is a subtle way for him to influence us with the same sensitivity that serves him when he needs to distance himself and rediscover wonderment in viewing. Through learning about the artist’s context, we situate his works and ideology in the universal effort to uphold our humanity. (Con Cabrera)