As if I were the first. Surrounded by an unprecedented, unspoiled landscape. I’m moving carefully. Fear, respect, amazement. Every step is new, for me, for humanity. I think of Armstrong as he sets foot in the grey dust of the moon. Columbus, who rammed crosses into the virgin sand, and Magellan, who was starving in the Pacific. They expect conquests, but you think of exploration: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Alexander von Humboldt, James Cook. Measuring the world.
My eye, battered by the flood of media, is blinded. A landscape without the slightest touch of colour. White, the reduction to a minimum. Memories of landscapes of softly snow-covered mountains. This absolute calm in the monochromatic environment. I stop contemplatively, I rub my eyes. Time stops, my mind rests in the now.
If there weren’t those precisely cut edges. I remember the praise in the shadow of Tanizaki Jun’ichirō. The absolute architectural essence, the reduction to nothing. Now I suppose it must be a portrait, a replica of the real world. The precise representation of a found reality. Eliminating fleeting opinions, prejudices, quick outrages and half-truths. Then measurement, statistics, analysis. The facts’ check in our post-modern, post-illustrative world.
Like a nobler savage, I sleepwalk through the virgin and innocent valley. But is it really part of the action? I’m realizing now that there are different valleys. Zoom in, zoom out. Am I a spectator, an actor or a creator? Any reference to size is missing. Does all this happen only in my head? Is it art? According to Beuys, is it the intellectual interaction between artist and viewer?
With her Virgin Valley, the artist and architect Steffi Herr takes us into an artificial world of dreams. Three 30 x 40 cm reliefs, cut with precision and dedication. As part of the Guiding Architects Barcelona team, she also shows interested visitors the world of art in the Catalan metropolis.
Poetry is a deception, in which the one who deceives is more honest than the one who does not deceive, and the one who allows himself to be deceived is wiser than the one who does not allow himself to be deceived. (Gorgias, quoting Plutarco, 650 N.C.)