THE PILZ PHASE

Joël Mestre. Catalogue of the exhibition Kobo Club. March 2001

 Roberto Mollá. SIAM (Freixas). 1999

Roberto Mollá. "Siam (Freixas)". 1999

 
In the same way there exists a creative phase, there is a hindering phase in the life of an artist, as in the life of the musician, the writer, even in that of the historian. It is not often that we speak about it because it requires a detailed knowledge about the author and although one can tell intuitively through the work it is dificult to approach without personally knowing the creator in question, even in this way the hindering phase hides so many twists that only the very author could in some casesexplain it.

But the hindering phase, the generic, is the map of temptations that distances us from our tasks but allows us, after a time, to regress with renewed strength and conviction; it has always been necessary, still today it is convenient that we cultivate it because it is definitive in destiling each action.

This phase is known by the name of Pilz, in memory of Gottlieb Theodor Pilz (1) a great german hinderer from the end of the XVIII century whose importance even today is undervalued, given that his contribution to the history of western culture consists in the non-existence of works that thanks to his brave and daring intervention, never reached consummation. Between them we should remember those from his trip to Italy where he abstained energetically from writing any kind of diary, drawing or bequeath any impression of his stay in this country or its culture in any recognised shape or form; or that which without doubt made the peak of his carreer as a hinderer, in 1836, when he managed to make Delacroix renounce a series of paintings in a colossal format of various rural scenes. Not forgetting the professional “turn around” induced in Rossini so that he would abandon music and dedicate himself to gastronomy. It was precisely in 1836 when the famous “tournedo á la Rossini” first appeared, which contributed to the Maestro’s fame almost as much as his “Stabat Mater” (1842) (Rossini didn’t write another note from this date until his death in 1868).

Throughout the 20th century, with the arrival of the vanguard, the spirit of Gottlieb Theodor Pilz had to split into infinite parts, the necessity to express oneself now wasn’t the privilege of a few, and what in the beginning seemed to be an already won battle against tradition was converted into an un-controlled secretion of works of art. Today we need to work hard to discover where Pilz could at last act and continue to act, in this way names come through, punctuated works that don’t always coincide with the manuals.

The Pilz Phase is that which retains the production so that that which is worthy can finally flower. Buthow does it do it? I think that showing the world in such a vulnerable way, as if in a primitive state, it would be a shame not to take advantage (2). It is precisely this state in which we find some people in which there is an inner need to look at the world, almost in an innocent way, as if the fracture between childhood and adult life was in them less profound and they were discovering in each moment a new world.

There are authors than in their hindering phase are so fortunate that the work that is finally distilled is hardly heard, their work progresses slowly the same as their intuitions and only appear when required, working shoulder to shoulder with old Pilz, a ghost which flutters about in the air-space of studios which neither by opening windows nor by waving at can we rid ourselves of.

We welcome our friend Pilz hopefully for ever after. 

 

(1) In a story from the book “Legends without affection” (1962) by Wolfgang Hildesheimer this character appears. It doesn’t have anything to do with a new booby trap from Enrique Vila-Matas, but I will say that search for this book could be complicated. My thanks go to Manuel Fontán del Junco, to whom I promissed to divulge the story.

(2) It is the case of the young Alfanhui (1952), entertained in the most revealing labours of rural life and sophistications of the genetic nature, like in his creation of a hybrid between a bird and a chestnut. First novel from the writer Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio and the birth of a new species of hinderer. Achieving the Nadal Prize in 1956 with his novel El Jarama, with which appeared for the first time the menacing shadow of the grotesque leading role of author towards which he felt horror and repugnation, seeing his obligation to become a recluse for the next 15 years of his life to study grammar, as he says the best years of his life. At the age of 70 he ends in saying in his autobiography of 20 pages, which without a pinch of vanity, contains only a demonic pride “...I still write with the antiquated desire to be right and convince someone that something I think is true, so great is the doubt, 2to be right2 in the disappointment of not succeeding in convincing anybody of anything they motivate me less and less to publish, although I keep writing and writing eternally”.

"Siam 3" in the Matsumoto's house.Tokio. March 2001