Solo show by ISAAC CORDAL.
Isaac Cordal presents his second solo exhibition entitled “24/7” at SC Gallery, Bilbao.
24/7 alludes to our capacity for work and complete availability to continue sinking into that crevice called progress. Our capacity to build chasms seems to have no limits. Now that our living room has become an extension of the factory, we can continue with the production without any interruptions.
We are resigned not to waste time. Our free time has become a pause between tasks. We seem to feel bad if we do nothing. We check our mobile phones again and again as if each notification were a balm for our uncertainty.
Work has become the epicentre of our lives.
The exhibition will be open until 28 January 2022.
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MEN AND NO
Men – Isaac Cordal’s little man – and denial. This is certainly what we must talk about; of a confrontation between life and the forces that besiege and deny it: How can we fail to grant sovereignty to conscience in these circumstances? “Conscience,” said Georges Bataille, “resists the totality of the world and pitifully denies that which exceeds it, that which it cannot bear”. This is the question that, it seems to me, is often raised by the works of Isaac Cordal. For we are all, in short, this little man acting in his own pathetic way, making his gesture and his perplexity and his impotence his own particular Kafkaesque misadventure before the law.
Bataille himself is experiencing this dilemma as a tragedy, which is already ours: “Reflect on the inevitable or try not to merely sleep. (…) We have witnessed the submission of those who are overcome by a very serious predicament. But were those who shouted more awake? What follows is so strange, so vast, so beyond the reach of expectations…”. Perhaps that is why our little man is so often absent, disoriented, blind or lost in the night of a bled-dry turmoil. Amid the chaos of countless voices; exhausting himself in the slumber of those who simply observe, listen, vegetate, survive or simply scrape by in the universal and grey inter-passivity. It is the kingdom of the last man that Nietzsche, in his Zarathustra, also spoke of: “We are no longer rich or poor: it’s too distressing. Who can still want to govern? Who would still be willing to obey? It’s too distressing. No shepherd and a single flock! They all want the same thing, they are all the same…”
One would say that existence, as a whole, has been sinking, slumbering and drowning, and with it desire – the big question, then, would be: How can we finally touch desire at the point where it has to be touched? -. It could also be said that life now wanders, not to leave a certain point and settle in another, but to live in the open, as in the way the little men that Isaac Cordal arranges along the cities of the planet often appear. Representatives of the mass production of man himself, the so-called objective, or modern, man (the product of the combined action of science, industry and advertising); that which has no beginning(s), no end(s), no exit, no ascent, no possibility or action of engendering, of poetising, in the sense of Hölderlin and the Greeks. He, installed in the always restless non-place of transition and wandering, is like Aristotelian plastic matter, which hopes to attain body and meaning thanks to a content and a form always coming from another, from outside. How, moreover, can it be tolerated that action in such unfortunate designs or destinies almost always ends up “making” life “disappear”? The artist, perhaps, can only show this situation, this sentence – sometimes with causticity, sometimes fraternally, with empathy towards the unfortunate – , and with it, invite, urge to get out of the confusion… Yes, perhaps now is the time to denounce once again the subordination, the subservient attitude, with which human life is certainly incompatible.
But we know this is far from simple. We have to proceed from the astonished helplessness with which, like the man on the balcony of Isaac Cordal’s premises, we often contemplate and witness daily life. His innermost springs show an impenetrable appearance, and then the little man glimpses himself as a petty wavering light in a night without conceivable edges, which envelops him on all sides. Sometimes, in his stunned helplessness, he even clings to a rope, or a mask. How can we not pity the distant figure that the artist has drawn, as a sort of drastically reduced double of ourselves, and which the artist keeps throwing into all kinds of darkness! One appreciates the figure all the more, one loves it all the more precisely because of its miseries, its foolishness and its misfortunes. This is man, humanity, sordid or tender, and always erratic, lost, moving in banality; when, as Bataille also wrote, “the night becomes dirtier, when the horror of the night turns beings into a vast waste”.