The Carom billiard is a silent, leisurely game. It does not require grandiloquent blows to make the ivory balls collide with each other, the well-aspirated cloth and the thermal bands allow a light blow and a punctual effect to generate the necessary friction to make a simple carom or a three-band one (according to the rules that the players have decided). In the Academy (billiards located in the Narvarte neighborhood), most of these tables are occupied by old people who always leave aside the simple caroms, at least playing with one or two bands in between, then the three to make the obligatory rosary (9 and 1 until completing the 50). Silence
Regularly, Tuesdays are the day I meet with Miguel to attend the Academy. We talk little, when we are in trouble with a shot we exchange glances and then a comment on how it could be made, finally each one decides, the other observes and the new comments are pending for the next shot. From some nearby table someone observes and it seems that he will dare to say something but does not do it. Generally Miguel speaks little… in the billiards very little.
If any condition keeps the set of works that Miguel Monroy has gathered in Healthy Effort, it is that of silence. Many times the works have a kind of self-reference or become an extension of themselves, reiterate a movement, a statement and then retreat towards the axis that had driven them outward. Despite its first and immediate reading, the work is not a gesture. It is a complicated construction of elements that intersect to refer to time and the transition from one state to another, a transition that could well be understood as a discontinuity of who we are. Playing with words, it could be said that the permanence of objects is in letting their axis become an impermanence, which makes it evident how quickly something becomes another.
A fan on generates the movement of a fan off, a balloon inflated with gas lifts one inflated with air and then deposits the two on the floor. With the movement of the typical ‘lizards’ Miguel squeezes oranges, in a video he records the turns he takes on a street that is a triangle, then disappears and reiterates his walk. Some children on the beach wait for the next wave to dive into the sea. Thin fish live in a fish tank made especially for them.
Healthy Effort, miguel’s first solo exhibition, distances itself to a large extent from the processes and discourses that characterize the generations of young artists. By not proclaiming himself as a conceptual artist, Miguel has ind agado in a series of supports that are presented to us as sculptures, photographs, installations and videos, pieces that put their own stability at stake and contain a network of ideas-self-criticism, only in that way will they let new relationships leak. It moves away from the reiteration of a theme, forces the pieces to define themselves in their own space, with their own materials, to move from mechanisms that are their own. If he respects the nature of his materials, it is because he knows that in them is the solution to the problem that has been posed: only air is compressed knowing that it will allow the sculpture to lose its static condition, that it is itself its base and that, at some point, it is reduced to its minimum shape, which fits in the trouser bag.
On the last Tuesday we visited the Academy, the place was particularly quiet. The young people who regularly play pool were not there, the absence of their screams generated a mysterious and peaceful tranquility.
Luis Felipe Ortega