Galería Rafa



 The primary function of memory consists in the fixation of events like experiences, images, places, emotions— Memory is not a passive faculty: with a logic that is difficult to determine and foresee, it acts by selecting, sometimes weakening, sometimes distorting or even crumbling this treasure of accumulated experiences that constitute memories. A treasure that shapes us and guides us to move through feelings, sensations, impulses, identities, recognitions, evocations… from which we nourish ourselves and build our path on a ground that, almost always, is more of a dream than reality. 

That is why, from almost the beginning of History, we have equipped ourselves with mechanisms to make our memory more faithful and lasting; to leave a record of what was. One of these instruments helps to fix, maintain and reinforce moments of that memory —although, sometimes, it also defends us from it—, allowing the evocation of feelings, the impression and the sensations that a first contemplation or experience gave us. I am referring to the souvenir, that element that acts as a humble reminder of a place, an encounter, a discovery and the emotions it provoked.

A glance, reflections, a light, the shimmer of bodies in the water, the epiphany of a certain work of art, the corner of a museum or a building, are fixed and exert again the fascination of the original encounter thanks to a snapshot, a note, a reproduction (perhaps a postcard) or a brochure, occasional instruments of and for that evocation. In short: souvenirs.

Evocation and memory are the main motif behind the works that make up this exhibition. Hence the chosen name: “Souvenir Series”. Remembrance and reconstruction are, moreover, the scope, the territory that corresponds to them in its more epidermal or superficial sense, but also in a deeper one. Remembrance and reconstruction of landscapes, encounters and scenes lived, but also of works and authors whose nature, meaning and value are unraveled through a sort of appropriation that also implies mimesis and identification. In the case of authors and works referred to, a process of immersion in their respective “ways of doing” is carried out, in an effort to “paint the painting”, as an investigative exercise, but also as a joyful practice. 

Javier Buzón

April 2024