Javier Vallhonrat. "42º N"
Javier Vallhonrat's encounter with the pioneer photographs taken by the Frenchman Viscount Joseph Vigier in 1853, during his travels through the Pyrenees, coincides in time with the group of projects that the Spanish artist is developing around the experience of high mountain summits or of areas with peculiar geo-climatology.
More especially, the two photographs taken by Vigier of the Aneto and Maladeta glaciers, that form part of the Museum University of Navarre Collection, will be the starting point for the 42ºN project, carried out over 15 months in the Maladeta Massif, in the Aragonese Pyrenees.
The definition of the project's strategic axes feeds on elements that the artist finds during his research of Joseph Vigier's work: The accumulation of fragments or data of the experience throughout the many different itineraries in a high mountain environment, the use of geographical and cartographical data and their insertion into paradoxical contexts, and the establishment of a representational space that is situated between the topographical description of the documentary model and a photographic approach that is equally abstract and narrative.
42ºN has meant that the artist has literally and metaphorically looked towards the place that Vigier looked at in 1853, exploring that place, which is, at the same time, geographical and phenomenal, and constitutes a language.
The photographs and videographic pieces that make up the 42ºN project represent the creation of a space, for the artist, to study internal phenomena based on illustrations of an external territory.
Using a cumulative method for data (fragments) of the experience as well as quantitative data (geographical, chronometric and cartographic) resulting from observations made in time, and from their insertion into a paradoxical contextual framework, the artist studies not so much the phenomena where his gaze pauses, but the language resulting from those interventions.