Still that Deep Despair, Still that Beauty
Criba , an artist’s book published by PEZPLATA Ediciones (2021), straddles the graphic and the poetic, the showing and the naming. This encounter sees artist Laura Lio and poet Ada Salas strike up a dialogue between the written image and the painted word, processes that sit at the centre of the publication, expounding their creative and publishing-based undertaking. Value is placed on self-knowledge, collaborative relationships and diversions between the artistic practices of both creators: Lio’s monotypes and Salas’ verses, which gave rise to 150 hand-bound copies, numbered and signed by both.
In the two different publishing formats of Criba — the fabric covering its smaller scale version and the die-cut cardboard in the large-scale editions — the chosen colour is red: the colour of pain, passion and blood. A corporeality that also appears in the epilogue written by Salas: “Tell me: words. Tell us: words. Tell us we exist because the bodies of words exist: bodies, drawings, things. Palpable, visible, not air alone. Not thought alone. Not alone. Not women alone. Traces, lines, colours, transparencies. Ploughing, making a body. Bodies, narrative, world. Geographies, blossoming before the void over the void. Islands. Lands. Being”.
Laura Lio (Buenos Aires, 1967) has lived in Madrid since 1990, focusing on research and artistic creation. Her work encompasses sculpture, installation, graphic arts and, above all, the artist’s book, and since 1996 her pieces have been on view in different solo shows in Spain, Argentina, France, Italy and Portugal, and at international art fairs such as ARCO and Estampa in Madrid; PINTA and Printed Matter in New York; SAGA (FIAC) in Paris; and arteBA in Buenos Aires. Furthermore, her work can be found in an array of collections and institutions, including the Museo Reina Sofía; the Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo, Madrid; Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid; Spain’s National Library; and the Pilar Citolerar Aragonese Foundation-Circa XX Collection, among others. In 2015, she created PEZPLATA Ediciones, an artist’s book and printed material publishers based in her NavEstudio.
Ada Salas (Cáceres, 1965) is a poet, writer and teacher. She has published, among other titles, the poetry collections Lugar de la derrota (2003), Esto no es el silencio (2008), Limbo y otros poemas (2013) and Descendimiento (2018), while No duerme el animal (2010) and Escribir y borrar (2016) assemble a large part of her poetry and essay work. Her collaborations with visual artists have resulted in the books Noticia de la luz (2003), with painter Encarna Ruiz Espejo, Imágenes y Reflejos (2006), with photographer Tete Alejandre, and Ashes to ashes (2011) and Diez mandamientos (2016), with painter Jesús Placencia. Moreover, she has received a number of poetry awards that include the Hiperión (1994) and Ricardo Molina (2008) Awards, and the Fernando Pérez Literary Essay Prize (2019). She has also taken part in different forums held in institutions like La Casa Encendida, Instituto Cervantes, and the José Hierro Poetry Centre Foundation.