RESISTANCE ART by Xabier Sáenz de Gorbea

1.The more information, the greater the problem to distance oneself from day to day life and become aware of reality. Faced with a continuous avalanche of facts and images, it’s difficult to find the tranquility and time for critical analysis. The world has become impenetrable when, paradoxically, it seems that we have delved in to its darkest corners. There are no models of thinking that show the totality. It’s only possible to take wild swipes in order to glimpse fragments of an increasingly complex whole that needs to be deciphered.
In a new twist toward hopeless nihilism, a lot of time has been spent on long speeches to explain what is actually happening, and the general idea is that nothing can change. Nevertheless, for others, a different world is possible. The transformations will probably have to come about through personal awareness, changes in individual behavior, specific action with regard to events and the global task of shared responsibility.

During the twentieth century, avant-garde art strove to revolutionize the plastic arts and modify the conditions of life. It was thought that new ways of looking at things would have to be created in order to appreciate social change. However, nowadays we know that this is not the case, art needs to do more than just shock, it has to probe deeply into everything that is happening around us. That having been said, one should recognize that situations do not last forever and that art is not the wind that carries the seed of change. Art itself does not have all of the answers but at least it can pose a few questions for us to interpret and consider as we please. Txaro Arrazola understands that it is still necessary to adapt the pace of her work in order to present the mysteries of images that are instantly recognizable because of their continued presence in the media. The artist's work is primarily about language and plastic express ion but it also delves into certain conditions and ways of life that lie beyond the comfort of welfare states. The old profession of art can still be used to witness what is happening around us.

It is no longer possible to continue to be a magician or a healer and the artist is not the driving force behind change, nevertheless the artist can reflect situations and present opinions on how best to view those parts of the world that seem astoundingly ignored. It is necessary to become an explorer again, someone who, without losing sight of the artistic horizon, can come out of the usual background to approach the foreground and find themselves among the lucky few on the edge of the antipodes of the fulfilled.

2. Txaro Arrazola's exhibition offers a dialogue between a universe of wistful sensations and the conscious transmission of a harsh reality, by means of a series of interlinking spaces in which different codes and media are used, like chorus of ideas, emotions and reflections for a part of our time. This artist from Vitoria has paid careful attention to the route through the different exhibition rooms in order to present the viewer with different contexts.

The maps of the various continents are only vaguely based on what we are accustomed to or even study at school. A bird's eye view which, in this case, gives us a glimpse of a geographic body fragmented by skins sewn together in order to form the surface. The mud stained walls on the other hand deliver a double viewpoint, not only from far away but also up close. A kind of journey from feelings to knowledge and interpretations.

The canvases are placed opposite human dramas and depict scenes which are both asphyxiating and unbearable along with man's will to overcome adversity, showing the chaos of destruction as opposed to the order of fragile architecture. The artist creates sensorial emotions that reveal the domain of agony by means of her drawings. An accumulative process in which the graphics act as if they were an earthquake growing stronger with each received sensation. This connects the flow of thoughts, almost automatically, with interests and emotions that go from the brain to the hand and from here to the surface of the canvas. A stance against the alienation of the irreproachable, the mechanical and the artificial of industrially finished aesthetics, using manual means in an unceremonious fashion to produce intermittently vague images that connect with the true nature of the artists intentions. The use of lines and stains creates a type of pulsometer that gradually reveals panoramas in which the viewer, due to the diversity and shattered artistic effects, becomes lost only to rediscover, thanks to the perspective, a natural order in stagnation of that represented.

Far from sell-glorification, there is no ego figure, only an interpreter of this non world which, in spite of its artificiality, begins to feel as natural as the world we have seen so many times through the mass media. But the artist strives to go beyond this mere anecdote in order to project a truly charged piece, there’s no soul searching nor masturbatory gratification here, this deals with the raw responsiveness of accepting situations of inequality and injustice as well as the importance of how to transcribe such to an artistic language. The artist from Vitoria manages to strike an interesting and complex chord. She breaks free from cliché and moves into the realm of ambiguous revelation, steeped in mystery and intense inebriation. A symptom of our time.

The genre of landscape painting has been given a new twist, one that transcends its illustrative and topographical nature for those who qualify merely what they see, moving away from the physical geography and climate to accentuate the double idea of social construction and destruction. If the battlefields of Anselm Kiefer suggest the power of accumulative references and media, Arrazola shows the eruption and degradation of situations that are fastened down with pins to depict decomposition without an opportunity for full reconstruction. The same system of representation is used in an unnatural way as if in crisis, such a fragile, ephemeral balance: that it seems to collapse in front of the eyes, a sub world, often destroyed and composed of a dark horizon made from boards and stones. A life reality on the brink of chaos and stagnation.

The dominant monochromy of black colour, red or blue and the tight tonal washes of many paintings allow the viewer to assess dramatic representations from fleeting glimpses of a past just on the verge of disappearing but which are nevertheless more relevant today than ever. Views of cities in which hundreds people live and who remind us of some images of places destroyed by the bombings of long ago. It is clear that the most complex and interesting art comes from more than good intentions, it must also possess a personal slant and a resulting formal execution that elucidates and manifests the complexity of unfettered experience. She says no to simply breaking away and yes to an expressive regression of scenes somewhere between the distortion and evocation of real past events, which ultimately induce an awareness and social responsibility for what is happening in our world today.