Harp and Throat
“Una exposición es un archipiélago de imágenes y vibraciones. A la vez un mapa y un contramapa, lo que oculta y lo que revela.”¹
The project takes its title from Inuit throat songs. In this community - before going hunting or while preparing for a special event - throat songs are usually performed by a circle of dancing women. Made from rhythmic grunts, breaths and guttural sound, accompanied by a metal harp, these wordless songs reproduce the sound of winds, water and calling gees. They arise as ritualistic celebrations of prosperity and good luck.
Fascinated by the devices that humans have always created to navigate towards the unknown and by the way we relate to uncertain landscapes, Gabriel Alonso proposes a cartography made of a historical journey on the origin of maps and navigation tools. Materialized as a series of newly produced sculptures, his counter-maps invert the logic of our representation of the explored globe, fictioning another relation between the water and the earth, our fear and our faith.
This spatial and narrative landscape is inhabited by a sound piece in constant evolution by Vica Pacheco: A Breath Manifest, 2022. Vica’s breath composes her track as the only instrument she has. Just as the waves of the sea don’t add up, the just come and leave, breath does not accumulate, it just passes through our body, leaves and starts again, interrupting the silence.²
Both artists relate to traditional human artifacts - instruments, tools, maps - revealing their substantial logic, attempting to grasp the fleeting, the fluid and the rhythm in itself.
The exhibition Harp and Throat fuses the recent work of Gabriel Alonso, Madrid, 1986 and Vica Pacheco, Oxaca, Mexico, 1993.
Carrión, J. Selection of fragments written for this exhibition and quotes from Membrana (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2021), Todos los museos son novelas de ciencia ficción (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2022) and El Museo (with Sagar, MNAC-Norma Editorial, September 2022).
Ingold T. “On Breath and Breathing: A Concluding Comment”. Body & Society. 2020;26(2):158-167. This article is part of the Body & Society special issue on ‘Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Breath, Body and World’, edited by Andrew Russell and Rebecca Oxley.