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Our cities have their secrets.
The places you now see had other lives, long before we gazed on them.
The streets we now walk, once saw great exploits and feats of endurance.
The parking lot where we left the car was once a theatre building dreams and applause, or that church where people and hopes reunited.
Where we now stand, passion poured into battles of love or blood, we now hardly imagine. Then what men and women strive to build, time and again, is always their dreams – even those that crash or go stride.
I’ve seen Juan Garaizabal get off the haste and slips through the mirror into that topsy-turvy world of intertwined legacies and forms.
If you listen, he will tell you that he sees quite a different moment in time -a starred one indeed- in this same place of ours: “let me to show you”, he will say then.
Again, all it takes it’s a bit of curiosity about the room we leave in, as Alice would say.
It’s the old work of the lone hero, that stands up and points out.
He, the artist, holds the key to the place beyond the looking-glass, the place where we can we can look at us too: those stories that are the stuff we are made of.
The journey is always revealing, but it doesn’t have to be troubling.
I like Garaizabal’s way of devolving stories on us, and not intended against anyone, but in a spirit of generosity towards all: a free gift for today’s lonely, forgetful city-dwellers.
It needn’t be always sandbeach under the coble but, uncovering a painting behind the wallpaper, can be a rewarding surprise.
The story was always there, it was always ours.
We just needed to know, to be able to imagine it.
Garaizabal not only knows it: he could even build it for you to see.
His word for it is “urban memories”.
RAMIRO VILLAPADIERNA (ABC Journal/Spain)