claudia pagès
Cordova Gallery, Paris Internationale 2018

Gleaners><extracción​ is an installation comprised of distinct works by Claudia Pagès that looks at two concurrent processes; gleaning and extraction in both their contemporary and historical configurations. Through the works on paper ​Notes d’Encants​ the artist created a series of posters (notes) written down, gathered and gleaned from various sources from conversations overheard in Encants, a neighborhood in Barcelona where the artist is currently based and home to a second-hand market consisting largely of gleaned goods and a newly rampant development scheme prominently brought on by tourism and speculation extracting new value from the area. Through various shifts in type and an erratic process of translation and revision, the posters present a cacophonous dialogue made manifest through three voices: the voice of Simon Weil from her book l’Enraicement, the voice of a fictionalized gleaner who searches for material that could be of value to resell, and a third voice who speaks concern around language and uses of translation in both the gleaning and extraction economic processes.
The Posters line the walls and sit adjacent to two sculptures, ​Roman Export​ and ​Sombreo bench ​both of which are made mobile through their plastic wheels. The trolly suitcase is made of esparto, a bush that grows wild throughout the Mediterranean and in particular Southern Spain and Northern Africa. This material was crucial for the first Roman expansion and colonization of the Iberian Peninsula when the Romans settled Cartago – now Murcia– where esparto grows abundantly. This multi-use material remained an essential export long into the twentieth century only losing its importance though the introduction of plastic during the Spanish dictatorship. ​Sombreo bench​ is wrapped in a type of agricultural plastic which in fact is produced to mimic the esparto and its ability to provide shade (sombra). One also finds singular strands of esparto immersed and dying the water in the bathtub and sink in reference to the way that the material is processed, first soaked, then dried and then braided into ’pleitas’.
Through a playful slip of speech one moves from esparto to Esperanto and encounters ​Translational breeze (the breeze of thought).​ Translated, repeated and looped, like the text from the posters, this usb fan displays a series of texts translated to and from Esperanto the first artificial language intended to unify Europe and to become a lingua franca for all the world. Like the braided esparto and the three voices from the posters, this fan spins and braids together various positions into one.

Cory Scozzari

Photos by Margot Montigny