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  • Foto del escritorJuan Almarza Anwandter

From all the things that populate our vital horizon on a daily basis, humans seem to be one of the most intriguing and fascinating. Just as animals, they move by their own will. But they also speak. A lot. Language has been regarded as the primary way of distinction of what being-human means. But the human figure predates this attribute. Erect position. A head on top of the shoulders, a torso, four limbs. Frontal symmetry ruled by laws of proportion. Forward motion. A physiologically determined set of bodily movements and actions: sitting, standing still, walking, running. Grabbing objects with their hands. And the possibility of expressing emotional states like joy, grief, anger, or fear, that can be understood without words. Phenomenologically speaking, this is the basic grammar of the conditio humana, and it has a universal character that transcends any culturally determined boundaries. From the elements of this grammar, emotional expressiveness constitutes a main factor of differentiation between humans and animals and is in direct proportion to their level of organic complexity. The lower forms in the zoological scale like amoebas or unicellular organisms have no expressive qualities, apart from movement. A snake or a frog, neither, but their index of expressiveness is comparatively higher. Closer to us, some pet dogs can eventually smile, or cry. Chimpanzees are at the verge of humanness; they resemble rustic humans, without the gift of intelligible language, and this is what makes them appear comical. At the top of the zoological scale, we are certainly the most expressive entities around. The conscious dominion of emotional expression constitutes one step further in the assertion of the human condition, and it means temperance.    

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  • Foto del escritorJuan Almarza Anwandter

Contemporary architecture exhibits a certain predilection for continuous surfaces. Volumes are conceived not in tectonic-additive terms, but rather as continuous, seamless envelopes without joints. These are conveniently (and deceptively) hidden, giving the impression that the transition between elements like walls and windows is just a subtle change of materiality within a continuous surface. Implicit in this fashionable trend is a certain form of “progressive optimism”: we can get rid of any form of resistance, and, quoting Byung-Chul Han, of “negativity”. But we can go deeper with this critical analysis. The Kosmos, as a whole, is phenomenologically perceived as an articulation between discrete elements defined by limits. These elements are brought together as an assemblage of parts mediated by joints. The horizon is the joint between the sky and the earth. The beach shore is the joint between the sea and the land. The knee is the joint between the upper and lower portions of our legs. And so forth. The will of suppression of tectonic joints in architecture is the will of negating a fundamental trait of Nature. It stems out from an abstract, utopian-progressive conception of a world made up of a single material, without limits, without gravity, and without time. In the end, it is the will of suppressing the tragic dimension that is inherent of our experience of being-in-the-world.

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  • Foto del escritorJuan Almarza Anwandter

This is a collage of some paintings I´ve been doing recently. This medium has been an interesting discovery, it provides a form of creative experience which is quite spontaneous and intuitive. The format is small (normally 10 x 15 cm), so the whole process takes no more than 5-10 min. In terms of content, they are inspired by my memories of Chilean landscapes. I a deeper sense, my intention is to depict the modelling forces of Nature in action, this is why clouds and mountains play a dominant role. In them, the eternal play between formative and destructive forces becomes visible, clear and explicit...."without any moral attribution", in the words of Nietzsche.

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