Love Forbids Us To Love, 2007-08

32 Lambda prints, 160 cm x 90 cm, 4 light boxes prepared to malfunction and 1 neon light. (edition of 3 + 2 AP)  |  All Rights Reserved | Miguel Santos © 1993 - 2024  |

The car moves but the memories and expectations stay. The images resemble the windscreen (size) and the cinematic screen (proportions), yet they are photographs. The words try to be on but always fail (light boxes), except the monologue (neon lights). The photographic medium is illusory and stable, even as a representation of a changeable reality. But the presence of the digital image (pixel) emphasizes the materiality of the delusion, consequently denouncing the illusion and the possibility of representation. The reality of the photographs is not the reality of the object of the photographs but neither is a fiction in its own right. The drive might have happened, I might have driven across Europe on my own, taking thousands of photographs and getting lost but this might be a romanticized fabrication. The photographs are an interface produced by an artist and the work of art will be what the observer allows that interface to be.

The images and the words are the transfiguration of the stay, they have a physical presence but they imply notions of depart, they evoke memories and expectations; yet, they can only try to go but can only stay. The images and the words are neither and both at the same time, living somewhere in-between but never accepting either pole, neither fiction nor reality. It is up to the observer to decide – what is fiction what is reality – and face the responsibility of the (im)possibility of the choice. The observer enacts that apparent contradiction as a fixed paradox by means of his/her actions and understandings, immortalizing the contradictions as paradoxes in an attempt to promote his/her own immortality. However, a paradox is a generating force that needs to be re-enacted as something else. The only purpose of the drive is to stop the need for the drive. The journey is thus a non-journey, either or both, because the traveller reached a state of nirvana or simply because the traveller crashed his/her head in the back of a lorry. Pain hurts but also enlightens. Somehow the general defines the particular in the same way that the particular defines the general. Somehow we live and die in-between the general and the particular. Somehow the general and the particular might be the same, the particular and the general. Somehow the centre becomes the edge and the edge the centre, most likely through its infinite possibilities that define its own impossibility until someone can reach it and comes back to tell us about it and be credible in that narrative.

The relation is recurrent – another illusion – but an illusion of repetition. It will be endless while you keep chasing the idea of a reality that exists somewhere out there, materialized in the photographic image. The road is the open possibility, which defines impossibility. The road promotes the openness of infinite possibilities but any possibility is just another impossibility until it takes place and then is just a memory. It is comfortable because it is not possible. The possibility brings the discomfort, the stay is not more possible than impossible. It is just another choice.

Miguel Santos, Love Forbids Us To Love, Lisbon: Gallery Pente 10, 2008.