Text: Clara Muñoz
Domingo Díaz, reflections about his work.
Domingo Díaz uses sculpture to approach himself, with different terms and disciplines that maintain a structure. That means that if we want to value a language, we have to use a second language with some connections with the first but without its own clues.
These close spheres are mainly drawing and architecture. His sculptures look for a vague but common borderline to these different artistic spaces. Precisely, this proximity allows holding onto the most intrinsic language of sculpture. Although it can seem paradoxical, it can be explained by using photography as an agent of change. When he takes photos of his projections, the movie records a hardly understandable reality. What seems to be a drawn perspective of a volume is a piece whose volume doesn’t correspond to that perspective. That separates Domingo Díaz’s sculpture from pictorial reminiscences. That means that is not about a “picturesque” reality, according to the etymology of that word. It is necessary to move in front of each work to understand this deceptive reality.
No Domingo Díaz’s work pretends to be a picture. It’s impossible that we can have only one point of view. It’s not, therefore, a thing itself but a process of endless relationships that work on a physical space. You don’t observe a sculpture in a space but the space through the sculpture. They are pieces without directions organised in a hierarchy, without main points of view to the benefit of a complex and spatial vagrancy in which the objectives haven’t been revealed.
At first reading of the work, it’s easy to think about the link of pieces with fake perspectives of Baroque. With a deeper reflection we can observe a denial of Baroque’s approaches and a narrower link with Piranesi’s work. In fact, Baroque leads the spectator to a final climax after a walk whose last aim was known. In Piranesi’s work, a breakdown is produced between Baroque’s space and modern space. In Baroque, the order is rigid and freedom is an illusion, so, it’s not absolutely the ancestor of modern space but its denial. Domingo Díaz’s work isn’t orientated towards an end, the center is in motion or, at least, out of place.
Michael Fied suggests that what really distinguishes minimalist sculptures from works of modern movements is the lack of determination on its limits. Although Díaz’s sculpture can’t be described as minimalist, it has that lack of limits. I believe that the most innovating thing in Domingo Díaz’s work is the ability to play with the environment with his work. We can take them, carry them, but they have no sense without a wall or a corner. From that point on, they spread out their influence to the whole surface even the floor. In that moment is not possible to enclose or put limits on the work for maybe, the limits are now different.
His latest work consists of four interrelated series: “Esquinas” (“Corners”); “Paredes” (“Walls”); “Proyecciones” (“Projections”) and “Fugas” (“Leaks”). These series play with dialectics made of inventions and present a discordant note, with regard to the spectator’s references, about eternal and immovable frames of surfaces that configure spaces where vital activities are carried out.
He has a very close connection with architecture. We only need to have a look to the projects of the American group SITE to find formal parallelism although, conceptually, they come from different premises. Both of them have irony and, with no doubt, some doses of humor.
In “Paredes” (“Walls”) he tries to create an optical illusion where the spectator believes they see what is behind the wall. The surprise comes when we get closer and what seems to be a dark void is only a superimposed piece on the wall. However, the paradox is effective and ironic. We can see a clear reference to Pop in “Abertura” (“Opening”) where a big key is the most appropriate mechanism to “open a window”, whereas in “Arañazo” (“Scratch”) we can perfectly imagine the squeak made by the nails that scratch the wall.
These pieces appear from a series of studies carried out from the geometry and essence of the objects. Geometry is a first attempt to control natural forms but signs try not only rationalisation but the abstraction of the Universe as the final step of the scientific.
Domingo Díaz’s work suggests a series of questions about relations between different parts of art and reveals those border spaces, not entirely explored, where painters, sculptors and architects who work nowadays, have a big field to investigate.