David Ferrando Giraut



Eduardo García Nieto

“The truth is that Nishio San had beautiful stories to tell: the bodies always ended up in shreds”

Amélie Nothomb, The Metaphysics of Tubes

“They found a body
Not sure if was his
Still they´re using his name
And she gave him shelter”

Tori Amos, Past the Mission

“Deep solitude is sublime, but of a terrifying nature”

Immanuel Kant, The Beautiful and the Sublime

From a child´s perspective everything seems more real, emotions are felt almost physically and terror is something solid that appears before us; but even so, we pursue it. We delight in fear.

I don’t know the exact moment when we become conscious that everything is going to change, that our joys are not eternal, that the landscape that engulfs us is going to change, and that the moment will come when we will cease to be part of it. Although perhaps we know it all along and it frightens us. Therefore, we take refuge in other fears – fair grounds, films, our own games…– we build scenarios, we accept other fictions and we protect ourselves. We turn fear into something external; terror no longer flows from us from zombies, witches or psychopaths, beings that, sooner or later, will disappear.

David Ferrando Giraut continues to build his spaces of desolation in those places that we are all familiar with, even though we have not been there. With the series Natural Scenes he takes us back to that strangely familiar territory in the face of fear. But recognising ourselves in the titles of the films or in the landscapes that house them does not save us from the sensation of discomfort that the game used to hide, we are unable to separate ourselves from our learning and terror is a ritual through which we all must pass.

Television has played an essential role in the construction of simulacra and fictions. In the last few years we have turned ourselves into subjects around that apparatus that improved the identification system of cinema. If the cinema responded to us with a projection of ourselves that allowed us to disassociate ourselves, establish a distance between the screen and the projector or betwenn ourselves and others, telievision establishes a self-referential game, it self projects itself and it projects ourselves. (1)

The programme can begin almost at will, initiate all the process once again, and renovate the same gestures that connects us with fear, automatic tics, repeated to exhaustion. Although the icons of terror have transformed themselves with time, they have mantained their mechanisms actually impervious, because it is repetition that activates them.

We have interiorized the codes, but always need a body, we want others to be the ones who die in order to frighten us and reassure us that it wasn’t us. One more act. one more simulacrum, which must reinitiate itself at our will.

We mark the boundaries of our fears. If in David Ferrando Giraut’s previous series, In Ruins death was present in the outskirts, in the non-places, published in the billboards that normally hide its existence from us with a vision of youth and well-being, now he uses another screen to show us the subterfuges that we use to hide our fears.

Ruin is no longer in the landscape, we carry it in our vision, every time we hear the voice over of those films and we transform the landscape into a mirror vision, we become projectors of the fantasies created by others. We are our own control mechanism, we are the simulacrum.

It is our own sensitivity that gives way to our enjoyment and that also, in one way or another, take us closer to the trauma.

Both in the photographs and in the video Night of the Living Dead, the game is made explicit, there is a visible ruse. But what they remind us of is that this artifice has brought us closer to the real; to the shaken individual in the centre of the society of spectacle. We do not have the privilege of the drift anymore, the only thing left is automatism; the right to participate once and again in the same rituals. David Ferrando Giraut offers us this continuous re-creation, an aspect which brings his work closer to the premises of Pop Art; not because of the use of images stored in the collective unconscious –the death of Laura Palmer, the camera moving through the forest accompanied by a shaken breathing… but because of the presence of repetition. The dead will come back to life, stories will start once again; a whole mechanism built to serve that shaken nature, which reacts assuming that what it has been shaken by “as a mimetic defense against this commotion”.(2)

We perceive nature by repeating it. And the artist offers us his own return, his own trip to the boundaries between the personal and the public, between the lived and the learnt. Once again, he leaves us in the crossroad, showing us the reverse of our fears. Ourselves.

(1) Bucher, F. “Attaining the Body”, Saving the Image. Art Alter Film, Centre of Contemporary arts, Glasgow & Manchester Metropolitan University, 2003

(2) Foster, H. “The Return of the Real”, Massachussets Institute of Technology, 1996