Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro


The work of Juan Sánchez is characterised at present by a look to the unexpected, the incongruous and the apparently unrelated, showing modalities of spatiality which lie halfway between the intimate and the public. While his practice covers painting and installation, the works on show in the gallery fall within the medium of photography. Expanded photography, we could argue, otherwise the images have a strong objective sense that keep them in the spatial sphere.

Through the introduction of little objects and abstract forms it presents modifications of the surrounding space, creating new relations between previous space, showing how the incursion of a slight modification completely transforms the spatial experience. It´s about projections which almost materialise. Objects and forms which occupy a position in the artist’s discourse and are presented as recurring images that return again and again to the composition. Those images are referred to by the artist as “autonomous forms”. Forms that transcend the occupying space and that are projected beyond the specifics. I understand them almost like “post images”, like that image that remains on the retina after looking at an intense light which permeates the following image that we see.

In the photographs which are now presented, that autonomous form is a small cylinder, an insignificant symbolic object that produces a slight and imperceptible transformation that, however, modifies the visible. The cylinder, its internal spatiality, appears like that floating image passing from one scene to another. And the same happens in other later works with coloured dots, lines… Images and forms which are reluctant to go to the outside and which resist “staining” spaces. Stains in the sense that Jacques Lacan grant to perception: with the subjectivity mark. Because those objects, which slightly modify the space, have a history and a trajectory where subjective experience condenses.

In any case, we face a minimum movement art, characterised by lightness and precariousness. An art that reminds to those perceptions halfway between the incongruous and the eventual of Gabriel Orozco´s work. An art which presents small resistances before other forms of imposition of the image. With regard to the images which impose their presence and in a rhetorical way intimidate the viewer, Juan Sanchez´s images present some kind of “counter-monumentality”. Small monoliths which, however, condense complex meanings.

This is, at the end, a poetics of the uncertainty, the exploration of the possibility that everything will be completely transformed at any instant. With regard to still life and immobility, these works show an awareness of a precarious subject and an existence in constant mutation, which is not fixed once and for all through the monumental, but exposed to the possibility almost threatening of destruction. In this regard, images and small objects which Juan Sánchez presents bet on the necessity of slight, silent, porous, non-authoritarian nor excessively affirmative world inhabiting ways. Be there, for a moment, an instant. And little else. Exposure to decomposition, to the disappearance. And to remain if any like a slight mark which ends erasing. If we would aspire to inhabiting the world in that flowing way, probably things would go much better.


MIGUEL Á. HERNÁNDEZ-NAVARRO, Catalog. IX Salón de la Crítica. AMUCA, Murcia, Spain, 2012.