Guillem NadalGuillem Nadal

Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, Mallorca, 1957

Mother Earth's Tongue

Ruins bring us back to cities, economies, ideologies and civilizations. They can equally evoke both images of Egyptians as well as the crash of 1929; of the Roman Coliseum or of Mayan structures; of (ancient) Greek architectural ruins or of the (current) financial ruin of Greece.

We can find no natural ruins; because neither animals nor forests nor oceans lay waste to themselves of their own accord.

Ruination is, at the end of the day, a human act: all too human in fact.
No sooner had we discovered how to make fire than we created ruins. This is why, perhaps, that Walter Benjamin warned us that for every ruin we remark on, we speak also of its founding fire. He also warned that there is no act of civilization that is not also an act of barbarism.

To that we could add that there are no schemes dreamt up by civilization that do not come along with some kind of devastation of nature.

We are the barbarians of our habitat, by cornering wildlife in the name of our civilisation, whose words are already being used in the past tense. In the dead tongue of the near future, that emerged in those bygone times of the book, the word and the painting.

Meanwhile, the colonization of the last bastion of nature follows its course, insistent in its obsession of conquering that last tongue of land that stands out. On the opposite course lies the work of Guillem Nadal. From its perspective we are able to understand differently what is really meant by this "gaining of Earth's tongue". A phrase that literally speaks of gaining a language for the world. It might even be a natural language where the word "help" is not consigned to oblivion.

Iván de la Nuez