The first drawings of Germana Monte-Mór – made in the late 1980s and early 1990s – appeared to be veritable haematomas. The artist avoided the explicit presence of a “making” that ordered the asphalt on the surface of the paper. Everything occurred as if an initial blow had been followed by movements that did not depend on her will. In this way, her drawings also had the appearance of something made from the inside outwards. While the material with which she drew had a rough and conspicuous consistency, its treatment had the effect of revealing the capillarity of the paper, rather than constructing figures that established the area in which they arose. The forms that we had been seeing were the precarious configuration of a movement that tended towards a continued expansion.
After this point, her drawings gradually acquired greater definition. The areas of asphalt became fuller-bodied, and more intensely differentiated from the other regions of the drawing. At the same time, much of the formal instability remained. The even more deliberate presence of the asphalt was accentuated by the irregularity of its contours, by the organic aspect of its configuration. On account of this inconstancy, these same contours showed themselves unable to contain the mass that they circumscribed. This created a kind of superficial tension on the verge of giving way; a tendency that was intensified in the drawings shown in 1998, since these began to contain, within the same work, a relation between patches, that increased the expanse of the black areas in a game of attraction.
The world that arose in these drawings had a rather violent and traumatic constitution. In order to show itself forcefully, it had to become boundless. The intensity of the black surfaces derived from their capacity to overflow their limits, rather than from a saturation or an extreme concentration. A consequence of this was the traumatic character of the works: in order to affirm themselves, the black regions had to move incessantly beyond their own limits, placing on the horizon an identity that was unreachable. I also believe that this is the basis of a kind of pained sensuality that permeates all of Germana Monte-Mór’s drawings. The movement towards what is beyond us – the search for a continuity with the other that is implied in eroticism – reveals itself as a condemnation to exile, as disquiet and pain. And it is precisely for this reason that this lies beyond us, for it is a region where the will is not in command, even if we promise ourselves every time that we will never again knock on this particular door.
The cycle of works presented in this exhibition is, in principle, completely different from the previous work of the artist. The contrasts between the various regions of the drawings has been reduced to a minimum. The rough presence of the asphalt has given way to transparencies created by dammar varnish and a general lightness has replaced the thick expansions of former works. At the same time, the diverse appearance of the drawings has only made more acute the understanding of the artist, even if she has inverted the terms of her equation.
In the former works, her forms sought a unity – even if a highly problematic one – starting from a dilation that provided beings with a state of plenitude within the world. Now, our starting point is a given unity, with all the effort concentrated on generating differences within a continuous extension. In other words, Germana hardly adds any material to the long strips of paper. The wholeness of the sheet is only perturbed by the variation in transparency that the dammar varnish confers on certain areas. And once again – as in her first drawings – the porous character of the paper functions as a territory with its own dynamic that is merely activated by the gentle intervention of the artist.
There is, in these works, a bet on the powers of subtlety, on the conquests provided by prolonged coexistence. The clearings that slowly open up reveal a knowledge that gradually delivers the world from its opacity, disclosing new meanings, and pointing to unsuspected possibilities A certain melancholy nevertheless persists around these traces. This new coexistence with the world may illuminate it, albeit causing it to lose some of its carnality. And if we can almost always see through the spaces bathed in the oil, it is because what signifies also makes invisible. The reality of the senses and the senses of reality appear to be mutually exclusive, without allowing any possible commitment to one another. Between the excessive world of the previous drawings, and the tenuous clarity of the current works, we are left oscillating. And perhaps, if we abandon ourselves to this game, perhaps one day, between one or the other, when we are least expecting it, the world will wink at us.