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Useless Landscape


Untitled , 2015

Digital photography

The act of use itself exists in nature neither before being exercised nor while being exercised nor after having been exercised. In fact, consumption, even in the act in which it is exercised, is always in the past or the future and, as such, cannot be said to exist in nature, but only in memory or anticipation. Therefore, it cannot be had but in the instant of its disappearance.


(John XXII) Giorgio Agamben, Profanations (2005)



Useless Landscape (2014) is a project that explores the construction process of a fictitious urbanization, a housing complex that from the very moment of its birth is unfeasible and will never be used or inhabited. Therefore, it investigates that moment of transition, “between the ruins of what was before and the signs of what is yet to be built”, the stage prior to the Profanation in which use is impossible.


Places between the past and the future, between memory and expectation, is where we could place Useless Landscape, by Mercedes Pimiento (Seville, 1990). For the analysis of these spaces and these impossibilities, it is worth going back to Giorgio Agamben's notion of Desecration: what is desecrating? What relationship does this concept have with the current context? And how is it related to the artist's work? Agamben starts from the Benjaminian idea of capitalism as a religion[1], in which a series of procedures called consumption inhibit the use value of objects. From there he proposes that desecrating therefore would mean returning to common use each place, each object or human activity that has been seized and separated by the capitalist religion. This journey from the sacred (that which has no use) to the profane (making use of it) is thus a subjective procedure of interruption of that capitalist "sacredness" of consumption.


The work displayed Javier Silva gallery is a set of works in different formats: constructions that are halfway between sculpture and installation, photography and drawings. All this as a system that brings the viewer closer to the ideas of uselessness and impossibility of use through three different paths: the works and their relationship with those ideas, the scale used, and the last one is in relation to the materials.  [...]

In this work there are a series of fractures and tensions that we cannot consider as strategies but rather as the foundation of the work as a whole, in which all its components fit: if designing a building is thinking about constructing, about inhabiting, Mercedes Pimiento designs both in the drawings and in the models some constructions in which the impossibility of inhabiting them, of using them if they were formalized, is underlined. We find opaque buildings that are impossible to pass through, or those which do not have a roof or that are obviously fragile so they can't provide shelter, in short, created spaces that reject any kind of relationship with the idea of dwelling.

[1] Walter Benjamin, Capitalism as Religion , 1921



Useless Landscape. (Fragment)

Blanca del Río


Exhibition: Useless landscape

Javier Silva Gallery, Valladolid

03.20.2015 / 05.13.2015

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