It wasn’t the sun
By Federic Montornés
Sometimes, it is sufficient to add something to an image so that what we perceive as a landscape is converted into a scenario and not in the portrayal of the illusion of the observer. Therefore, to speak about a scale in relation to a landscape would be like talking about the distance that separates the viewer from the image. And to speak about the distance between the viewer and what they see would be to speak about intrusion in a never-ending story.
Because there is no end to painting. And yet, it invites you to take a closer look.
Marco Noris says that for him, painting – particularly oil painting – is the language that best enables him to engage in emotions without overlooking intellect. He also says that it is the language that, thanks to its traditional visual codes, lets him pry open the conscience of the viewer, as a pivot between omen and mourning. A temporary distortion, he goes on to say, with post-apocalyptic scenes, ruins from the past, hints of future disasters and memories of tragedies that merge together and intertwine forming a kind of genealogy of the catastrophe. A study of the future of the human race which, far from nostalgic grieving celebrations, it speaks about the personal and collective journey of acceptance and atonement, in the centre of which is always the individual who is not in charge of their destiny: the viewer. Alone. Facing their mortality.
Or as Noris calls it: the triumph of defeat.
Focusing on the desire to insinuate rather than on the desire to describe what, in the eyes of the observer, opens up as an exercise of introspection based on arguments as broad, as meaningful and as reflexive as memory, oblivion, absence and expectation, Noris’ work is a type of balsam which, invoking a more than necessary suspension of time, allows anything to happen because in this work everything is eternal, extended, expected and abandoned. It is a decision which, placing the observer on the margin of the bustle and noise, permits a connection to be made with the part of the individual that wonders what is behind the narrow reality that we can see as he knows that this is what is blinding us from what we really need to explore.
Beyond the veil covering our eyes, we can find out why we are all here.
The exhibition “No era el sol” [It wasn’t the sun] shows numerous pieces of Noris’ work developed around the disappearance in the mass graves, the cruelty of borders, the civil war, and exile and uprooting; it also presents environmental matters – used as metaphors for both our material and moral ruins – and interpretations at a more introspective level, all of which are employed as a first and unavoidable step towards accepting denial and shadow to deal with the escalation in technology, excessive consumption and entertainment that obstruct our vision. It is a type of conceptual manhole conceived not so much as to end with the human species but to show that following what appeared to be the sun did not come a night of rest but the desire to find a light beyond impatience. In other words, beyond ourselves. This is why, rather than a journey to the exterior and through territories of which everything is constructed, Noris proposes a journey into the interior of each individual along the path of his brushstrokes in oil, the surface of canvases, layers and layers of discarded cardboard, the dimensions of a painting and the steps that we should follow to tear away from this wretched world, to recover the essence of the human being, become aware of our identity, revive our values and see it all from the distance that allows us to understand painting, his painting, also as a matter of scale.