Odires Mlászho often works on the borderline between the visual arts and poetry. The artist’s investigation largely seeks to understand where these two fields touch one another. One of the main foci of his research, therefore, is articulated around the graphic dimension of the written word as an image. The overlaying of writing systems, alphabets and languages, and the equipment developed to record and print these systems are tools in the production of his work. Sometimes, Odires constructs artworks around the spatialization of the construction of poems, with their fullnesses, voids and structures. This sort of borderline investigation has led the artist to explore the threshold between the bi-and tridimensional planes, as we see in some of his works such as Bauhausmachine, 2007. It was based on this clashing that Mlászho began to develop works using the technique that he calls “altered books,” where the writing gives way to the body of the book that holds it, in order to generate constructions that are built around the writing’s shell. The altered books point to the physical presence stemming from their own bidimensional counterpoint. But the writing that pours from Odire’s production is what the artist calls “proto-writing,” or writing diluted before its syntactic materialization. This is a totally incoherent writing, like a “babbling,” as the artist himself has described it. The linguistic elements are there, but they do not belong to any lexicon or syntax. In Arquibabas: Babas Geométricas [Archdribbles: Geometric Dribbles] what we see are the ideal wrappers for the artist’s “writings.” The neverbefore-shown series of the same name, from 2015, is articulated around procedures that Mlászho carries out on book covers. They are interventions made with die cutters, peelings and sublimations that are also traces of the content that might be held within those covers. We only see excessively colored geometric annunciations. The dribbles suggested by Odires could be read as sly devices, traps, or as verbiage dripping with cunning and artifice. The abundance of Arquibabas presented reinforces this sort of rhetorical effort indicated by the aforementioned “babblings.” The excessiveness could refer to the deficiency of language observed by Mlászho. It is not, however, a dismissal of the immensity of the semantic universe; rather, the aim is to qualify the artist’s passion for an approach to text through visual art, the word reassumed as image.
- Odires. Exhibition view