September 07 - October 21, 2023

I can’t see anything. A transparent layer burns my eyes: it’s everywhere. Maybe it’s watching me. I sense that it’s there, but it’s still invisible.
If I undress it, will it become visible? It’s like a constant wind amplified by gravity.

The series of works presented in this exhibition consists of images mounted on recycled lightboxes (négatoscopes1). The 4 pieces, including 3 photograms and one collage, are composed of strips of slide film of different formats. By capturing feathers, plastics, and stains on the film, Hector Castells Matutano aims to suspend time in this series of pieces, creating a space (or a void) where he can give a spectral presence to these objects that attract him with their lightness and translucency.

Hector Castells Matutano’s practice is built upon a visual journal based on collecting images on slides that he finds or produces himself using analog photographic processes. These images are then mounted on various mediums, including films, projections, performances,
or collages.

In this exhibition, the artwork F for Fantôme (2023) references Orson Welles’ film « F for Fake » which explores the story of one of the greatest art forgers in history, Elmer de Hory, questioning the authorship and authenticity of artworks preserved in museums and collections worldwide. The artifice of this piece consists of creating a kind of X-ray of overlapping objects on a single layer, blending the real, the imagined, and the dreamlike.

Autumn Feathers (2023) takes its title from the song « Autumn Leaves » composed by Joseph Kosma in 1943. In this work, the artist transforms the melancholic and lacking state of the song into feathers, creating an image that suggests a previous action of collapse or falling.

In Sloppy Spring (2023), a rain of colors is depicted as an overexposed film, in a composition that suggests a snow-covered hill or a very sunny day. In this artwork, the light has blinded the scene, and the absence of color compels the viewer to imagine a place in an implacable time, the erosion of a memory, and perhaps distant objects falling.

The distinctive universe of Hector Castells Matutano, populated with abstract and figurative forms, is particularly evident in the artwork By Bye (2022). Here, the sequences (or strips) of film, born out of improvisation and intuition, allow the artist to reframe cinematic editing by removing the film from the reel and fixing it onto an object that resides between sculpture and photography.

1. Medical devices designed for the observation of X-rays.
2. A photographic image obtained without using a camera by placing objects on a light-sensitive surface (photographic paper or film) and directly exposing it to light.