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

No era el sol

No era el sol

De Federic Montornés

A vegades és suficient afegir quelcom a una imatge per tal que el que veiem com un paisatge esdevingui un escenari i no en la representació de la il·lusió de qui ho està contemplant. De manera que quan parlem d’escala davant d’un paisatge seria com parlar de la distància que separa l’espectador de la imatge. I parlar de la distància entre qui mira i allò que veu seria parlar d’intromissió en un relat interminable.

La pintura no té fi. I, d’altra banda, convida a apropar-se.

Diu Marco Noris que, per ell, la pintura – en especial, la pintura a l’oli – és el llenguatge que millor li permet intimar amb allò emocional sense deixar de banda allò intel·lectual. També diu que és el llenguatge que, gràcies als seus codis visuals tradicionals, li permet penetrar dins la consciència de l’espectador fent-li bascular entre el presagi i el dol. Una distorsió temporal – segueix dient – poblada d’escenaris post-apocalíptics, ruïnes del passat, anuncis de desastres futurs i memòries de tragèdies que es confonen i entrellacen conformant una sort de genealogia de la catàstrofe. Un estudi de l’esdevenir humà que, lluny de celebracions i lamentacions nostàlgiques, ens parla d’aquest camí íntim i col·lectiu d’acceptació i expiació en el centre del qual sempre es troba qui domina el seu propi destí: l’espectador. Sol. Davant de la mortalitat.

O com el defineix Noris: el triomf de la derrota.

Centrada en el desig d’insinuar i no tant en el de descriure el que, a ulls de qui contempla, s’erigeix com un exercici d’introspecció entorn a arguments tan amplis, sentits i reflexius com la memòria, l’oblit, l’absència i l’espera, l’obra de Noris és una sort de bàlsam que, invocant una més que necessària suspensió del temps, permet que tot passi perquè en ella tot s’eternitza, s’allarga, espera i deixa. Es tracta d’una decisió que, ubicant al marge de l’enrenou i el soroll a qui se situa davant la seva obra, permet connectar amb aquesta part de l’ésser que es pregunta què hi ha darrere de l’estreta realitat que veiem perquè sap que és darrere del que ens encega on realment hauríem d’indagar.

I és que més enllà del vel que impedeix la visió es pot trobar la raó per la que tots estem aquí.

L’exposició que, amb el títol No era el sol, reuneix bona part de la producció de Noris desenvolupada entorn a la desaparició a les fosses comunes, la crueltat de les fronteres, la guerra civil, l’exili i el desarrelament, així com a qüestions de contingut mediambiental – en tant que metàfores de les nostres ruïnes material i moral – o a lectures de caire més introspectiu com primer i ineludible pas fins a l’acceptació de la negació i l’ombra per fer front a l’escalada tecnològica, l’excés de consum i l’entreteniment que a tots ens encega, és una sort d’embornal conceptual concebut no tant per acabar amb l’espècie humana sinó per a demostrar que després del que semblava que era el sol no venia la nit del descans sinó el desig de trobar una llum al marge de la impaciència. És a dir, al marge de nosaltres mateixos. És per això que, més que un viatge fins a l’exterior i a través de territoris pels que tot està construït, el que proposa Noris és un viatge cap a l’interior de cadascú pel camí de les seves pinzellades a l’oli, la superfície d’unes teles, les capes i capes de cartró reaprofitat, les dimensions d’un quadre i els passos que hauríem de seguir per enlairar-nos d’aquest maleït món, recuperar l’essència de l’ésser humà, prendre consciència de la nostra identitat, revitalitzar els nostres valors i veure-ho tot des de la distància que permet entendre la pintura, la seva pintura, també com una qüestió d’escala.

Frederic Montornés
Febrer 2017

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