On the Border

On the border – August 18, 2017 / September 11, 2017 / 280 km, 25 days, 198 border stones, 212 artworks

In the summer of 2017, Noris walked the 280 km of the Spanish-French border in the province of Girona, through which the principal routes of the republican exile ran. During the walk, the artist painted a work corresponding to each of the 198 milestones that mark the border. To walk and paint, joining together points along the border, as though balancing on that invisible line that divides in two that which is one, making visible what is invisible and opening up in this way a new stage for memory.

Over these past four years I have been working with the landscape as a stage and as a border, but always from the comfort and distance of the studio. The need for direct experience, to put myself out there and confront the real without any filters, is what led me to undertake “On the Border”.

The project involves walking the entire Spanish-French border in the county of Girona and making a small oil painting at each of the 198 milestones that mark the limit between the two countries. It will not be a visual documentation of the milestones (which have already been photographically catalogued), but rather an emotional recording of the environment, according to whatever the geographical and environmental conditions may be. For this reason, the extreme connection with the environment and the present moment that open-air painting permits is fundamental to allowing the project to acquire a strong experiential value. In this sense, the pieces are not the objective of the journey: the experience itself is the goal, the experience of making and being the border, the introspection of a long walk in nature, the journey and its difficulties. To paint pieces as if they were markers and to walk joining together points along the the border, as though balancing on that invisible line that divides in two what is one, is to make visible the invisible and thus open up a new setting for memory.

+ INFO


  1. A part of the project will be exhibited at the MuME between October 28 and January 28, 2018.
  2. Muga (“milestone”) is a word of Basque origin used in the Catalan Pyrenees instead of mojón (or hito, in Spanish) and fita (in Catalan). Here is an article written by Josep Estruch for “On the Border” on the etymology of the word.

On the border: 280 km, 25 days, 198 border stones, 212 artworks

Project and production: Marco Noris
Trip planning: Amaranta Amati y Marco Noris
Logistic support and guide: Amaranta Amati
Tutoring: Alexandra Laudo
3D prints: Patricio Rivera
Hikers: Paula Bruna, Natalia Carminati, Núria Casas, Joana Cervià, Albert Coma, Claudia Godoy, Alexandra Laudo, Jordi Martinez-Vilalta, Josep Rubio, Miquel Serrano, William Truini
Backups and transport: Kike Bela, Joana Cervià, Josep Rubio, Marc Ferrer-Dalmau y Alex Nogueras, Roberto Noris y Ana Lorente

Special thanks to: Amaranta Amati, Alexandra Laudo y todo el el jurado de BCN producció; a Roberto y Ana, Joana Cervià y Josep Rubio,Kike Bela, Patricio Rivera, Alex Nogueras y Marc Ferrer-Dalmau, Cayetano Martínez, Josep Estruch y Montserrat Rectoret Blanch, Rebeca Arquero, Clara Garí y El grand tour, Marc Badia, Xavier Aguilò,  Jordi Martinez-Vilalta, Claudia Godoy, Natalia Carminati, William Truini, Nuria Casas, Paula Bruna, Albert Coma, Ferrán Latorre, Carmen Sánchez, Pere Llobera, Miquel Serrano y Jordi Font del MUME, Zuriñe Etxebarria, Jordi Pi y el Club Excursionista de Gràcia, La Capella y su gente, Hangar.org y su gente, Piramidón y su gente…

Project produced with the support of BCN Producció’17. La Capella, Institute of Culture of Barcelona.
Logo La Capella

 

In collaboration with: 

MUME - Museo Memorial de ll'Exili Mojones de los Pirineos

Statement

The triumph of defeat

The denial of darkness and mortality is characteristic of our era. Surrounded by cracks and ruins, incapable of facing their fears, the somnolent ultraliberal humanity, through technological escalation, seeks refuge in consumerism and entertainment. For this reason, I decided to explore the distressing and tragic territories of denial and shadow through painting. Mass graves, beaten up violators, accidents, waste and dumps, police victims, destroyed effigies, refugees and mutants… my work is a compendium of demise, a collection of material and moral ruins. 
Therefore, in this context, (Un)refuges, my project on exile and uprooting, was conceived from the debris of a former concentration camp and speaks about memory and oblivion and the annihilation of human beings, their identity and their values.

Since then and up to very recently, I was convinced that the ruin was the main concept around which I had been building my imaginary. Not so long ago, I realised that in reality the ruin was not the ultimate goal in my research, but a means to light up the dark journey of defeat. 
Defeat here has two slants. The first is the tragic aspect: the historic defeat, and with it the political, moral and environmental defeats. In the private sphere, we can also include personal defeat, intrinsic to human existence. The individual’s defeat and their concatenation of surrenders takes us to the sublime slant of this journey, where the defeated is celebrated, a condition that requires the force of courage. Finally, at the peak of this itinerary is the defeat of the ego, the last stage of this journey and possibly the start of what will come next.

Apart from some forays into the world of photography, collage, installation and video, my experience is mainly in the field of painting. I find pictorial language an ideal tool for managing emotions without overlooking intellect. The traditional, almost archetypical, visual codes of oil painting allow me to pry open the conscience of the viewer, as a pivot between omen and mourning. In this temporary distortion, post-apocalyptic scenes, ruins from the past, hints of future disasters and memories of tragedies merge together and intertwine forming a cyclical genealogy of the catastrophe, in the centre of which is the viewer, alone facing their mortality.

Marco Noris, January 2017

(In)refugis

Galeria actualitzada el 28 feebler 2017

Valdelallama, León

Valdelallama, León

2015, oil on canvas, 33x41 cm

Valdemorilla, León

Valdemorilla, León

2015, oil on canvas, 33x41 cm

Alanis, Sevilla

Alanis, Sevilla

2015, oil on canvas, 33x41 cm

Alfacam, Granada

Alfacam, Granada

2015, oil on canvas, 27x35 cm

Rivesaltes: The ruins and the shadow II

Rivesaltes: The ruins and the shadow II

Rivesaltes: The ruins and the shadow II - 2013 - 32x40 cm, oil on canvas

“Le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle”

“Le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle”

“Le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle” - 2014 - 22x35 cm, oil on canvas

Rivesaltes: The ruins and the shadow I

Rivesaltes: The ruins and the shadow I

Rivesaltes: The ruins and the shadow I- 2013 - 100x130 cm, oil on canvas

Border crossings of exile: Coll de Malrem

Border crossings of exile: Coll de Malrem

Coll de Malrem - 2014 - 90x146 cm, Oil on canvas

¿Qué hicieron de vos, hijo que no acabó de vivir? ¿acabó de morir? ((Un)refugees IV)

¿Qué hicieron de vos, hijo que no acabó de vivir? ¿acabó de morir? ((Un)refugees IV)

“What did they do to you, son, who did not quite live? did not quite die? ((Un)refugees IV) - 2014 - 130x97 cm, oil on canvas

(Un)refugees II

(Un)refugees II

(Un)refugees II - 2014 - Oil on canvas, 146 x 146 cm

(Un)refugees III

(Un)refugees III

(Un)refugees III - 2014 - 170x120 cm, Oil on canvas

(Un)refugees I

(Un)refugees I

(Un)refugees I - 2014 - 130x89 cm, oil on canvas

Rivesaltes (Ruins IV)

Rivesaltes (Ruins IV)

2013, oil on canvas, 40x30cm

Rivesaltes (Ruins I)

Rivesaltes (Ruins I)

Rivesaltes (Ruins I) - 2013 - 19x33 cm - Oil and bitumen of Judea on canvas

(Un)refuge

(Un)refuge

2016, oil on canvas, 60x81 cm

Mediterranean beach

Mediterranean beach

2016, oil on canvas, 33x60 cm


European tumulus

European tumulus

2016, oil on canvas, 30x30 cm

Child - (Un)refugees VII

Child - (Un)refugees VII

2015, oil on canvas, 46x36 cm

Line - (Un)refugees VI

Line - (Un)refugees VI

2015, oil on canvas, 38x61 cm

(Un)refugees IX

(Un)refugees IX

2016, oil on canvas, 100x81


(Un)refugees VIII

(Un)refugees VIII

2015/2016, oil on canvas, 100x100


Camp

Camp

Camp - 2015, oil on canvas, 100x100

Mound with Moun

Mound with Moun

2016, oil on canvas, 30x30 cm

Mounds

Mounds

2016, oil on canvas, 24 x 33 cm

Mounds (Nocturne)

Mounds (Nocturne)

2016, oil on canvas, 24 x 33 cm

The ruins and the shadow IV

The ruins and the shadow IV

2016, oil on canvas, 65x92 cm

Rivesaltes (camp II)

Rivesaltes (camp II)

2016, oil on canvas, 70x100 cm

Alfacar, Granada

Alfacar, Granada

2017, oil on canvas, 100x130 cm

Maremortum II

Maremortum II

2016, oil on canvas, 163x163 cm


Maremortum I

Maremortum I

2016, oil on canvas, 100x100 cm


Fa uns pocs anys, durant una visita al Museu de l’Exili de La Jonquera, vaig llegir per primera vegada sobre el camp Joffre de Rivesaltes, un antic camp de concentració al sud de França que es va obrir als anys trenta del segle passat per allotjar exiliats espanyols. El camp es va quedar obert gairebé 70 anys, sent també usat com a camp de concentració durant l’ocupació nazi i posteriorment com a camp d’internament d’harkis algerians. La història de Rivesaltes és un relat dramàtic que creua tot el segle XX i que per això es presta a ser usat com a guia per a una investigació sobre els esdeveniments més tràgics de la història europea contemporània. Rivesaltes no és exclusivament un lloc geogràfic, és també – o sobretot, ara que les ruïnes han deixat espai a la memòria – un espai emocional col·lectiu.

(In)refugis neix llavors de la runa del camp, botxí i testimoni de l’horror de les deportacions nazis i del drama de l’exili de milers d’éssers humans. La memòria de Rivesaltes és la realitat actual dels camps que al voltant del món i a les portes d’Europa allotgen milions de vides, milions de refugiats, milions de drames: les ruïnes del camp són el passat que connecta amb el present i amb l’actual política migratòria de la Unió Europea.

No obstant això, aquest no és un treball sobre Rivesaltes; tampoc pretén ser una investigació històrica: aquí la història és més aviat la guia per a un viatge a la memòria emocional col·lectiva, buscant la universalitat de l’experiència individual, més enllà d’èpoques, confins i nacionalitats.

Els (In)refugis són els llocs físics i emocionals del desarrelament, on la necessitat d’empara és acompanyada per la seva negació i on la solució a la tragèdia és només el mal menor. Els camps són (In)refugis i certifiquen la pèrdua de dignitat i identitat del refugiat, fracturat, apartat de les seves arrels, de la seva terra, del seu passat. Llocs on freqüentment l’enterrament segueix al desterrament. Fosses comunes, forats, túmuls, caixes: (In)refugis simbòlics, alternatives cíniques a les cíniques polítiques europees. I finalment, (in)refugiat com a condició intrínseca del desterrat, on en la mateixa impossibilitat de tornar a casa es troba l’absoluta i definitiva impossibilitat de tenir una altra, perquè el desarrelament és un trauma irreversible que afecta els fonaments mateixos de l’ésser humà.

Marco Noris

The triumph of defeat

Landscape with bag

Landscape with bag

2015, oil on canvas, 25x25 cm

Aground

Aground

2016, oil on canvas, 60x92 cm

Zoom out

Zoom out

2016, oil on canvas 30x30 cm

Zoom in

Zoom in

2016, oil on canvas 30x30 cm

Escape XIII

Escape XIII

2016, oil on canvas, 33x24 cm

Prosthesis

Prosthesis

2017, oil on canvas, 50x40 cm

Above the sea of fog

Above the sea of fog

2017, oil on canvas, 150x120 cm

The ruins and the shadow IV

The ruins and the shadow IV

2016, oil on canvas, 65x92 cm

Up to the chin

Up to the chin

2017, oil on canvas, 100x70 cm

With smoke

With smoke

2016, oil on canvas, 100x100 cm

Mounds

Mounds

2016, oil on canvas, 24 x 33 cm

Escape XI (Horizon IV)

Escape XI (Horizon IV)

2017, oil on canvas, 70x50 cm

Crack

Crack

2017, oil on canvas, 150x120 cm

Untitled and speechless

Untitled and speechless

2016 - Oil on canvas, 61x50 cm

Ukrainian head

Ukrainian head

2014 - 60x81 cm - Oil on canvas

Airplane crash (Superga, 1949)

Airplane crash (Superga, 1949)

2013 - 114x146 cm - Oil on canvas

Red car

Red car

2013 - 60x80 cm - Oil on canvas

Pig

Pig

2015 - 19x24 cm - Oil on canvas

Glories (Glòries)

Glories (Glòries)

2016, oil on canvas - 41x33cm

Fallen and believers

Fallen and believers

2015, oil on canvas, 38x61cm

Ruins (The day after)

Ruins (The day after)

2016, Oil on board - 29,5 x 21,5 cm

The Hole

The Hole

The hole - 2014, oil on canvas, 15x20 cm

Escapes V-VI-VII

Escapes V-VI-VII

2015 - Oil on canvas, 18,5x24 cm x 3 (triptych)

Ester Quintana /

Ester Quintana /

2014 - 100x100 cm - Oil on canvas - www.ojocontuojo.org

Portrait of a victim of machismo

Portrait of a victim of machismo

2015 - 41x33 cm - Oil on canvas

Le déjeuner sur l’herbe I

Le déjeuner sur l’herbe I

2015 - 16x22 cm - Oil on canvas

Car Crash

Car Crash

2015, oil on canvas, 97x130 cm

Marine with flesh

Marine with flesh

2016 oil on canvas, 24x33 cm

Untitled and imageless

Untitled and imageless

2016, oil on canvas, 24x33 cm

Ali

Ali

2016, oil on canvas, 50x40 cm

Escape X (Horizon III)

Escape X (Horizon III)

2017, oil on canvas, 50x70 cm

Rivesaltes (camp II)

Rivesaltes (camp II)

2016, oil on canvas, 70x100 cm

The triumph of defeat

The triumph of defeat

2016/2017, oil on canvas, 100x100 cm

She

She

2017, oil on canvas, 100x130 cm

Alfacar, Granada

Alfacar, Granada

2017, oil on canvas, 100x130 cm

Allá donde las playas rotas nos muestran el cielo


Allá donde las playas rotas nos muestran el cielo


2017, oil on canvas, 145x180 cm

El refugi abandonat de Lúa

El refugi abandonat de Lúa

2016, oil on canvas, 81x130 cm

Like a movie

Like a movie

2016, oil on canvas, 80x100 cm

Marine

Marine

2016, oil on canvas, 89x146 cm

Quality check

Quality check

2017, oil on canvas, 117x90 cm

Maremortum I

Maremortum I

2016, oil on canvas, 100x100 cm