Gallery Text of Versus
Art & Idea Gallery
What are things? Why are they the way they are? Is their form unique and necessary? That is the set of questions Versus puts on the table. Philosophical questions, without a doubt. That is why Miguel’s work immediately connects me with certain thinkers. Wittgenstein, for example, who in his thirties published a small book that with the passage of time would make him famous.
The Tractatus is a conclusive work according to which everything around us, be it the table, the trees, the thoughts or the atoms, contains in itself, a logical structure. It’s as simple, or as complex, how you want to look at it. After his first celebrity, when the Tractatus became an obligatory reference, silence came to Wittgenstein, the philosopher dedicated himself to gardening away from the academy. However, the silence of his garden made him a bad move and sowed him with doubts that little by little were exploding the ground where he stood forcing him to retrace his path. This is how the “second Wittgenstein” confronted a whole new conceptual body to the results of the Tractatus. In Philosophical Investigations, the world no longer appears shaped by the necessary form of logic but by the contingency of the game. There is arbitrariness at the table, in the atom, in the tree and in thought, arbitrariness that is discovered in the fact that the regularity of the world obeys a set of rules of the game that as such could have been different.
In my opinion, Versus and in general the work of Miguel, operates under the parameters of action of the Wittgenstenian thought and under the contradictions and doubts of which Wittgenstein himself was prey. First, regarding the rules that govern the behavior of objects: the pieces we observe show that things can work in a certain way, but in fact they could work in another way. To do this, we thoroughly analyze what seems to make them the way they are, and then, this is reversed. Let’s take the case of the watch whose hands have been static listening to the rhythmic noise of a face that moves behind them. The mechanism of operation is altered here, the clock is still a clock, it continues to give the time and yet it does so exactly the opposite of how it is customary for it to do so. So the “first object”, the one we knew as such, has been opposed to the “second object” and the result is that its operation is still intact, but it is developed by means of other rules.
At the same time, this altering or questioning the rules of the game, is developed by means of a stable mechanism: the logical contradiction. Assuming, as did the first Wigttenstein, that objects regulate their function and existence in the world by a logic that is intrinsic to it, Miguel recovers it and questions it through himself. If apparently a staircase only serves to go up or down, if that is its function in the world, its transcendent logic, to put this in question we will have to oppose an object to the staircase that shows us that its function does not have to be always like this, that a staircase also serves not to go somewhere, to stay static while still moving.Suppose again that an object only serves for certain things, suppose that a loudspeaker is regulated by the need to communicate: a voice enters on one side and on the other it comes out itself but magnified, magnification of communicative possibilities. This is what the megaphone is for. But what if we take it back and take advantage of its communicative possibilities by using them to exalt its own voice? Simple, as by magic appears the logical aporia, communication is bartered in noise.
Versus’s working principle is broken down into two parts: 1. a logic that confronts itself results in an absurdity and 2. this absurdity is the demonstration that any logic of operation or existence is as it is, but could be different, that is, it is not necessary.
Like the Austrian thinker, Miguel has used this principle by applying it to his own work and to his own person. One of the projects he has been developing for a couple of years consists of the formulation of a mechanism that allows him to face his work system to the results it has produced, it is about finding a formula that allows to demonstrate the fact that to be an artist, Miguel has done what he has done, but that he could have done anything else: prepare a good meal or amuse his friends with an act of magic, for example.
Another twist, if what makes you an artist is to face an object with your own logic, now opposes this fact to your internal rules of the game. Retrace the path and learning of the craft of artist learning another new trade. And retrace is the verb that hides behind Versus, it is the action of someone who takes the time to look at the world, thinks he understands how it works, doubts, decides to test it and shows that we do everything and therefore what we are, has a high degree of arbitrariness and that for the same reason it could be different.