La Primera Década
site specific installation
The installation was made up of hundreds of pieces of wood forming a of Valencia, and bits of Amsterdam as well as Berlin. Combined with the photographs that I have been taking together with Lucas over the years, pieces of chat conversations, screenshots, photoautomat photos and other memorabilia.

We spent the summer writing with pyrographs on the wood. Carving away and sharing the memories of what has been the first decade of our friendship and bond.

Text for the exhibition and poster:

Friendships never move in a straight line, in a single or constant direction. They are more like paths criss-crossed with meandering, swerves and sudden standstills. There are surges forward and dizzying bends, then time-outs; dormant periods in which the relationship consolidates its foundations, matures, evolves … until it emerges in a new encounter in a different city, with other sights, other faces; always open to new discoveries to be put to building that beautiful shared universe, piece by piece.

Every friendship could thus be seen as an intimate and singular creative project, full of little secrets, big secrets, times of agreement and breaking points; of partial shards of memories. It all results in work with an outline that we can only make out as the years go by. Only time can give us that overview, that bird’s eye vision forming the base of this work by artists Carmen Gray and Luce for Visor de Valencia Gallery, where it will be on show to the public from 21 September to the end of November.

This project involves a map of lives covering the first ten years of these creators’ friendship through texts, objects and images acting as documentary evidence. It started in 2009, during the throes of teenage years, when they were first stepping boldly out – Carmen Gray in the photography world and Luce in urban art – and reaches as far as the present day.

The map is made up of a large number of wooden panels – wood having defined Luce’s work since he first started – on which they have literally burned their words (with the aid of a pyrography pen), memories of common experiences, trips and earlier artistic cooperation. The texts grow and grow or shrink until they become almost illegible, as if they were emulating the flexible, elusive and erratic way any shared memory works. The map also reflects the prolific overlapping references which have defined their friendship over these years: reading on the construction of memory (Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes, Fontcuberta, Deleuze, Walter Benjamin) or the simple act of walking (Herzog, David Le Breton, Lefebvre), advocated so much by situationists.

By reconstructing their common past, Carmen Gray and Luce have built up the psycho-geographic paths through the cities in which they have wandered or worked over the last ten years. Valencia, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona and Majorca come out in a new light here today. The landmarks of the city are no long its monuments, post-card views, or broad avenues. They are dark alleyways, walls, little workshops, rented rooms, seedy spots. Isn’t that all we are left with when all is said and done?

Text by Marta Moreira

Translated by Andrew Gray
Site specific installation made with LUCE for the windows of Espai Visor Gallery, September 2019. Valencia (ES)