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Magazine

27 January 2020
After Superstition

Aldo Urbano

Ambiguity as a queen

and the world wearing an

endless mask,

frightening and fascinating

– magnetic –

like an object that brings death.

 

It was beginning to chase me, but did

so with a clumsy slowness and a

stupid gaze, and although I fled

quicker, in the end it always managed

to catch up with me, and that was the

most terrifying part of the dream. I

woke up and there was someone in

the light-filled kitchen, and I told them

my dream. Chase us like that, slowly

yet inexorably, is what night does

throughout the day.

 

Children pray for night not to come,

but night always arrives; even if it

chases them slowly and they can still

run away, in the end it always arrives.

 

Night-time and its age-old call to

brutality and rising fevers, as if

darkness helped them conspire to

defeat the body, and with that loss

came all sorts of nightmares that in

daylight would make us smile but are

now powerful because they’re in their

rightful place and are all-pervasive.

 

At night-time, horror becomes

believable, but it’s much worse when

that horror proves that it is perfectly

able to survive the brightness of such

a Saturday.

 

Saturday was splendid and sad,

enveloped in a sort of boring euphoria.

 

At the market, as usual, I was drawn to

the object with an evil aura. I reach the

stall and that’s all I see. Everything

else is uninteresting and seems to

have become invisible before the

sudden irresistible presence of the

object I’m going to buy, the evil and

accursed object. It was a heart made of

mother-of-pearl with a black door in

the centre, surrounded by two dark

birds like two open arms.

 

The ground glowed as if a pack of

hungry demons had nested in its

depths a long time ago and had now

grown; spectral shapes traversed by

fire I did my best to ignore. The fact is

it no longer mattered because there it

was, the white and evil jewel,

transforming before my eyes with the

speed of a tropical storm. I knew I

would have exchanged everything I

had obtained in order to possess it. I

also knew that there was no salvation

for someone who was able to think

that, and even though I had begun to

suffer I felt as if I was drugged — a

drug that extolled the jewel and

confused me, like a poisonous animal

attacking itself.

 

To live in the contradiction of desiring

the accursed and, at once, being

eternally superstitious and rejecting it.

The shopkeeper notices the

ambivalence and this ensures I get a

fair price in the bargaining, for the

truth is that, even though I want to

possess it, at the same time I want to

distance myself from it.

 

Everything is a melting pot of contrary

feelings, darkness and sweetness —

that’s what we find attractive, that

something should disgust us in a new

way.

 

When things like this happen I feel

that, for me, the world will never be

clean.

 

Now, letting myself be flooded by this

feeling without expecting any kind of

fulfilment, like a teenager who lets

himself be overwhelmed by something

he has seen, unable to think of himself

or of the consequences and knowing

he is at once alive and dead, overcome

by a spectre that has seized his body

and that from that moment on will do

what it likes with it. And while I

continue to dream of kidnappings and

of my kidnappers – who in the dream

are either women, young or old, or

men wearing hoods – these are the

feelings roaming idly across the world

in search of a body to inhabit and have

now found mine, so I’m their hostage

for as long as they please.

 

How the last few months have been a

gradual surrender to this thing.

 

That an object be inhabited by an ill-

fated feeling, a desire to hurt.

 

 

Before entering the house with the

poisoned object, I ended up getting rid

of it. And feeling released, released in

a way that made me sad, as if in the

past few months I had inhabited a

demon that made me cry and fall into

an ecstasy that lasted as long as the

jewel wanted, before suddenly

abandoning me, leaving me emptily

roaming the streets like a lost ghost.

 

Aldo Urbano Perez (1991). In his work he creates enigmas whose ultimate meaning escapes, especially to himself. Through painting, he investigates the mechanisms of perception in search of a renovating experience, creating installations in which an experience of this type can be possible. His work also drifts towards drawing and writing, with which he adopts narrative forms close to comics in which irony and humour can be present.

He has shown his work individually in spaces such as Bombon Projects (Barcelona, 2017), EtHall (Barcelona, 2018) or the Galeria Balaguer (Barcelona, 2016), and has collaborated as a duo in exhibitions such as the Compositions programme of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend or "Assumpte: una forta intuïció" (MNAC, 2018). He has received the GAC award for emerging artist 2018, the Guasch Coranty 2014 grant and the Sala d'Art Jove publishing grant, with which he published the comic "A forest whose fire has been extinguished".

Articles

27 January 2020

After Superstition

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