It is always the same, whenever my eye is caught by a detail which places it on high alert. I am unable to sleep until, with the help of my keyboard, I have fully exorcised the stimuli and feelings experienced.
It is impossible for me to write about the work of Pascal Plasencia without imagining myself in his studio – despite being fully aware of his need to work in silence – watching him model to the sound of the master of masters. I refer of course to Bach, the composer whose prolific work is considered not only the pinnacle of baroque music, but also the ultimate in terms of universal music, not just for its intellectual depths, technical perfection and artistic beauty, but also for its ability to draw together the different strands of international music of the day, and for its incomparable extent. The work of the two artists – notwithstanding the evident differences – is imbued with a common fundamental quality, that is, the balance of harmony and melody, form and expression which distinguishes all classical art. The perfect fit of each and every physical and spiritual element that composes sculptural or melodic creation. Reason, imagination and sensitivity confront and complement each other in perfect accord.
Plasencia is an artist who investigates. He grasps a theme, delves deep, cerebrally displays it in its thousand and one aspects and coaxes it to slide ahead, like a river patiently flowing to the sea, seeking no more than to remain in existence. A crystalline murmur which refers us to nature. But a murmur which, as Goethe illustrated with such beautiful imagery, “is like the murmur of creation at the time of Genesis”. If natural, if rooted in everyday life, nothing is insignificant to him: the pattering of the rain or the splashing of inconsolable tears. For the artist seeks not to imitate nature, but to assimilate its plastic values in particularly expressive, and as such, poetic themes.
He toils tirelessly to seek out that mysterious balance which emanates from a perfect piece of work. It is then that his images take on their formal appearance with overwhelming force, with the same freshness and charm as if they had been captured in a pentagram. A crowning moment in the life of any creator, when, of a sudden, the quasi divine crystalises before them. Little is the point in analysing, investigating, scrutinising or attempting to discover the inner structure that has made it possible. The almost inconceivable wisdom of his alto relievo “Los pájaros” is elegantly wrapped in one of the hardest mantles to create: naturalness. It flows without rest, without violence. We see the form is there, that the materials have been fashioned with the most painstaking care but, despite all, a genetic freedom flows forth from each and every millimetre of the piece. We see that behind the art, grown from its spontaneous science, lies the most incomparable mastery. But what he achieves goes far beyond faultless technique. Its immaculate grace is transformed into something spiritual, solemn, austere. Its aesthetic doctrine is: measure, number and order, the classic cannons of harmony. It represents the beauty of nature in its struggle to survive a civilisation that has altered its very life cycles.
As a sculptor, he aims to work with known, even perhaps clichéd issues. Nonetheless, all are matters which by necessity we must keep in mind, remember. As the greatest of human heritages, the protection of nature is accepted and apparently respected by all, though all too often we end up sacrificing it in exchange for an easier path to our own wellbeing, our desire for an easier life. That is when principles fly out the window and our whimsicality comes to the fore. And thus the importance of his work, for it favours awareness and nurtures thought, spurs to action a culture which has forsaken the great gifts granted it by the cosmos.
In the hands of the artist rests the power to turn around this crazy regression, a need for which our moribund planet is crying out ….
For, if not, where are birds to perch?
Marila Gómez Alarcón
Member of the International Association of Art Critics (A.I.C.A.)
Barcelona, August 27, 2014