EAF16 Artist Profile: Galería Perdida
The collective Galería Perdida is known for their studies of written language as architecture, form, and shape – all of which emerge in their EAF project, All Else Is Pale. But perhaps this work is better known as “more light,” the two simple and poetic words that seemingly grow out of the park’s landscape, and many visitors wonder what they mean. “We came across the phrase while working on another project,” explained Galería Perdida. “Those two words convey a great deal.” The words, they say, take on even deeper meaning given the historical context: “mehr licht” or “more light” is believed to have been the dying utterance of famous enlightenment-era German author Johan Wolfgang Goethe. On the surface this statement seems optimistic, but the artists also note that it connotes a “presupposed lacking,” and therefore contains a certain forlornness.
This open-ended quality of the phrase manifests itself in its physical structure. At thirty-five feet long, the piece becomes most legible – in a literal sense – when viewed at a distance from the “front.” Even from that vantage point, the text is slightly obscured as the work seems to be sinking into, or perhaps rising up, from the ground. Painted in colors reminiscent of a sunset, each letter is delicately textured with a custom-designed pattern referencing weaving and indigenous motifs. A sinuous cut-out connects all the letters, both allowing light and air to pass through and contributing to its mirage-like appearance.
Opening up and leaving a wide “grey area” in terms of the public-to-art interaction and interpretation is Galería Perdida’s intention. The collective hopes the public acknowledges the semantics at play as much as the physical structure and form. “Some in the public will gravitate to the intricacy of the pattern, while others will rest on the language,” they explained. “Either way, meaning is determined by the audience, yet guided by us.”