Thinking and constructing landscape: “Poetics of destruction” by Laia Noal, winner of the Ventós Foundation’s Nasevo 2021 Prize, marks the launch of the exhibition calendar at LAB36 in 2023.
Within the framework of the exhibition, Jordi Garrido, historian, curator and art critic, talks to us about “Poéticas de la destrucción” to introduce us to Laia Noal’s artistic project.
About Jordi Garrido
Jordi Garrido holds a degree in Art History from the University of Barcelona and an Official Master’s Degree in Advanced Studies in Art History. Jordi currently combines freelance activity with doctoral research on the artist Norman Narotzky (1928). As a curator, he has collaborated with the Districte Cultural de l’Hospitalet, and has organised exhibitions at the Fundació Arranz-Bravo, Museu de l’Hospitalet, Espai Subsòl and La Puntual in Sant Cugat. Garrido has been writing about art since 2013, collaborating with different media such as A*desk, Bonart and managed the programming of the Espai Anagrama of Revista Mirall.
“Poetics of Destruction” by Jordi Garrido
Laia Noal focuses her artistic investigation in one of the most long-worked subjects in Art History: landscape; its perception and its representation. Taking this dichotomy as a starting point between perceiving and representing, one can place Noal in a tradition that, in the western tradition, encompasses from Romanticism to Land Art; unlike these, nonetheless, the artist works from a multisensorial kind of perception: smells, temperatures and, obviously, the glance of the landscape, which are also the elements she works with when representing the environment.
In this specific project, we start from the constant bombing of landscape images that we consume and idealize every day, and which for this very reason, already suffer alterations on minimal scale. These very small changes derived from consuming landscapes are what lead Noal to observe them from this multiple perception, in order to trace a way from the most subtle changes (microplastics, air pollution, etc.) to the more radical and destructive ones, such as the fires that devastated Cap de Creus in summer 2021.
Based on the perception of both dramatic and discrete changes, Noal represents the landscape fleeing from the obvious horizontality that marks the division between land or sea and the sky: vertical formats that refer us both to traditional eastern Asian landscapes and to the backgrounds of altarpieces of the late Middle Ages. All this without forgetting the omnipresence of the smartphone screen, which marks the verticality in consuming images in our everyday life.
All in all, Laia Noal offers an approach to landscape in a multisensorial way, juxtaposing elements, decontextualizing and isolating them to show the degradation that we can cause in nature; a glossary of the pressure we exert on the planet: a poetics of destruction.
Jordi Garrido – Art Critic and Historian