Josep Lluís Jubany

(Barcelona, 1948)

I place before me a painting by Josep Lluís Jubany and immediately it stands behind me and I cannot turn around to keep looking at it. Or not: it is me who has stood in front of a painting by Jubany, and I am still there and I figure that I cannot turn around to see the reflection of the painting behind me. Or neither one thing nor the other; nor anything else either. Here is the silence in front of art provoked by the muteness of art, of an art, Jubany’s art, in which the artifice consists of being quiet.
Because Jubany, with his art, neither says nor wants to say anything, although perhaps he thinks he does want to say things. And “he thinks he wants to say them” means, that he imagines -he only imagines- that he wants to say things, and, however, perhaps the truth is that he does not want to say anything. And the ” maybes” mean we don’t know anything for sure. Neither he nor we. And we are this self that writes. And again the silence.
Silence in front of an art that contains the artifice of quietness is a necessary silence, desired, to see the reflection of this art. Now, we have already pointed out that we cannot see the reflection, since it is behind us and we cannot turn around. And if we cannot turn around, it is because we know that the reflection we want to see does not exist, and is certainly not behind us. Therefore, this reflection was a rhetorical trick of mine, an artifice of writing, since we know that a painting like Jubany’s, which is not a reflection of anything, or which refers only to itself, cannot produce any reflection either. That said, knowing that to underline this self-referentiality of Jubany’s art is to praise it, to place it very far from all kinds of illustration. That is why we can qualify it as the art of non-being, it is something that does not exist outside of itself.
To summarize: what have we said so far about Jubany’s painting?
The answer is these twelve points:
-Art that we would call truthful is mute,
-Jubany’s art is mute,
-in art, there is always artifice and rhetoric,
-in writing there is also artifice and rhetoric,
-the artifice of Jubany’s art consists of silence,
-art says nothing (which is not the same as being mute),
-Jubany, with his art, says nothing (which is not the same as being mute),
-the artist, let’s say the truthful one, Jubany included, may think he wants to say things, but, he does not want to say anything, -Jubany’s art does not refer to anything other than itself, -neither the artist nor anyone else knows anything for sure about all this above, -the silence in the face of muteness has been necessary in order, oh antilogy, to be able to say all that we have just said, -rhetoric, in the acceptance of the above, has been necessary to be able to say all that we have just said, -rhetoric, in the meaning of the emptiness of language, is inescapable, it can even be good for illuminating matters that, because they are so obscure, had not even crossed our minds.
And of course, all these assertions and denials that we have made are so debatable that they can easily lead to discussion on any of the issues raised.
Let us question ourselves, then, about Jubany’s art. Let us discuss the possible answers to the questions we have raised. Perhaps the conclusion (and there is no need for there to be any) will be that we cannot talk about art without falling into clichés. And not because of Jubany, but because of the will of the ones who pretend to discourse rationally about what is not rational, about art, about Jubany’s art.

Let’s talk about it. Let us address the futile, insubstantial rhetoric of art literature.
And rhetoric, now, is equivalent to nonsense. We have tried to avoid rhetoric and we have not succeeded. We have tried with a rhetoric that, paradoxically, was intended to combat rhetoric. The limitations of reason and language are evident in the face of art, which has little to do with reason if anything at all 

ARTE DEL NO SER – Carles Hac Mor