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on The 26th of September 1992, coinciding with the Festival of cinema of San Sebastián, artist Pepe espaliú (1955-1993) had completed the workshop, which for three months had made in Arteleku with its well-known action Carrying. Transported in pairs, your body sick going from one to the other, between arms intertwined and without the floor touched her bare feet. There were No tears, but if rain, as the Carrying wanted to convert the pain in the fight, and rage, in love.
As a memory of the ways of managing the care of the sick of aids in New York city for part of the queer communities of black and latino since the early days of the pandemic, brand, espaliú idea Carrying as a symbolic action, an action on aids , in which it is carried (carrying), and, at the time, care (caring) by a group of people who make crutches of a sick body. Brand, espaliú is performed as completion of the workshop, “The will of the residual. Parables of the outcome”, in which, among others, had been invited to John Greenberg , Act Up, to give a talk. The naming of the aids, out to the street, occupy the media, to overcome fear, organize and act.
on The 1st of December, the action was repeated in Madrid. It was the Carrying of “famous”, which occupied the front pages of the newspapers, which set the instant in which the wife of the president of the government, Carmen Romero , carried the body of brand, espaliú through the streets of Madrid until its entry into the Reina Sofia Museum. There was only one stop on your journey. In front of the Ministry of Health, the human chain demanding the government to act and take measures for the struggling day to day with a disease that not only affected the body, but of the whole society of evil called well-being.
When you have spent more than 25 years, and in a moment of collapse vital because of the covid-19, there have been many cross-references that have attempted to make between the reality of those times and these times of uncertainty. Compared to the social distance, new emotional ties, and a fundamental difference: while the sick of aids in the 80’s had to be organised before the failure and suppression of the disease by health authorities, in the current pandemic, it is the human work of public health that is getting reduce the deadly effects of the virus and combat it with care so that the health material many times can’t cover.
What we have learned from the Carrying on of these years? What is the message that this action has today? What can art do in a time in which networks, institutions and media we want to convert it into pure entertainment?
What was left with no to do? What is -to paraphrase Crimp – the carrying that we deserve today?
What was to come
This February, in an ARC, within the program It’s Just a Matter of Time, one of the sculptures with the same name of brand, espaliú, hung in the booth of Garcia Gallery almost as a presence premonitory of something that was to come. There, the piece spoke of isolation and disease, concealment, and need another . Dimmed the lights of the fair and the days were the beds, drippers and respirators that occupied the place.
25 years Ago, were other lights that were turned off. Between the fireworks of Expo’92 and the Barcelona Games , the Carrying desvelaba that aids was more than a simple disease. Said brand, espaliú, a purpose of the same, that and the fact that the sick outside barefoot had to do with the idea of contagion. “Is alluding to something impossible: how to be in the world without touching the world”.
After the days of confinement, are we going to continue wanting to be in the world? Are they going to continue forbidding us to touch with your hands and the skin of others? Will we continue projecting the fiction of a world that is immune? is What are you going to do the art? what will Be the artistic community once and for all, a community of care? The Carrying that we deserve is yet to be built. Will we be able to do so?