Essay on decline
Constructions of wood that, in a matter of seconds, self-destroy before the eyes of the spectator; fabrics that unfold to reveal their structure and that fall with them into a strange choreography; detailed atlases of detritus, sticks and rubble, podiums and arches of triumph taken from architectural remains... These are the images that Luis Úrculo has created in his Essay on decline.
A series of unique reflections that go beyond displaying the charm of a given object to transmitting an intense fascination for it. The cult to decline and decay, as Andreas Huyssen pointed out, has grown into one of the greatest modern-day obsessions. Because decay beckons a place that is filled with nostalgia, it reminds us of a past that no longer exists. But far from wishing “to conserve”, it questions the current state of things from a place of reflection. Decay eliminates the linear notion of progress, of a certain confidence in the present and, as such, the possibility of expecting and imagining different and better futures.
By becoming aware of other worlds, of other moments and places that were gradually destroyed but that left behind unsettling evidence of their own destruction, these ruins allow us not only allow to ponder the past, but also the uncertainty of the future. Luis Úrculo’s works do not recall specific places, but rather sensations; they do not produce a desire to return to earlier times, but provide a memory of them; they do not seek a pure space, uncontaminated and original, but mean to celebrate diversity, that which has been reassembled, that which is no longer of any apparent use.
With these works, he finds a place from which we can conceive and shape future desires, contemplate unexpected moments of the present, and, perhaps even invent new and exciting pasts.