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CAI: so we speak of Alberto. Alberto came into the project a little later. The first time I saw Alberto in the workshop was dressed with the cloak, la capa, facing the wall, and he was still. Whenever I saw him again in the workshop I noticed the stillness; I noticed his non action in a way which was an action. The stillness was loud; the stillness which was like a stone in a  lake, rippling through the space, against the activity of the workshop. And in this week the work with Alberto… there has been something about the interior space for Alberto and how important the interior space is; the inner space, the discipline of cultivation, of working the inner space, the discipline of meditation, of contemplative practices, contemplative movement practices and how this seems to have been the line, the thread of the work. The action I proposed first was a simple action of to do with clothes: undressing, dressing, but to make this daily action in a contemplative way, in a mindful way; in a way that shows us the precision of his movement, of his quality and his attention to the detail. It is a difficult task, it’s a very difficult task to keep the line of quality like a drawing, almost the same, to keep the aesthetic, to keep the line of the aesthetic, and not to break the line, and I think what I noticed this week was that it’s a very difficult thing that he’s been doing. The clothing that he brings… are contradictory, beautifully contradictory, the cowboy hat and the cape; it’s a wonderful contradiction, a wonderful juxtaposition and something which can’t be formed, something which can’t be closed. Its hard to make a conclusion of what we see. It’s like all the clothing reveal another possibility or a question, So nothing is finished nothing is stamped and closed and that’s what I’ve noticed about the process so far. 

The film, possibly, for the installation will be this idea of many selves, many people, so perhaps there’ll be five Albertos in different stages of the undressing that shows different journeys of time with movement, different aspects that become revealed with the costume changing. It’s almost like a chrysalis; a shedding of different selves and what’s revealed. But its like the movement of time, like the season, The trees falling the leaves, the change of season, I think…

LOLA: sí, yo creo que en el día a día del taller esos tres aspectos están siempre. Alberto siempre llega vestido de algo, siempre. Y ese algo cambia. A veces va vestido impecablemente como un señor. Llega, se quita el sombrero, quita el bastón, se quita lo que tiene, se quita una camiseta y de repente va vestido de gimnasta o de repente va vestido con collares budistas para meditar o de cualquier otra cosa. Siempre además hay una acción con respecto a la ropa al llegar, día a día; y siempre hay una acción de meditación. Antes de dibujar, de cara a la pared o dentro de la cúpula que está dentro de la nave, medita y luego dibuja. Y como dices, el dibujo es estricto, tiene una necesidad de que la línea sea muy pura, de no salirse, muy limpio, no acepta, digamos, consejos acerca de liberarse. Los consejos acerca de ser más libre, no los acepta bien, los entiende como algo que le desorienta…

LUIS:  claro, hay una contención 

LOLA: …necesita ceñirse a lo que él quiere hacer y en sus dibujos también están muy presentes esos personajes mezcla de diferentes cosas. Por ejemplo recuerdo un dibujo que pusimos en una exposición de un hombre culturista, pero con gafas como de hombre intelectual y con una camiseta extraña; es decir, tiene personajes que crean  una sensación extraña y esa mezcla de personajes yo creo que es muy interesante en Alberto y permanece en su trabajo y en su persona. O sea, Alberto siempre trae varias  capas de vestido y en cada capa de vestido tiene una narración distinta, tiene un argumento o un personaje diferente; eso lo vamos viendo a lo largo de muchos años.

LUIS: yo no tengo nada más que decir, me parece muy bien lo que habéis dicho. I don’t have anything else to add. The things you said are perfect.

LOLA: sí, bueno, igual se puede añadir algo acerca de lo que decía Cai, de cómo cultiva ese espacio interior, a la vez que necesita todas esas capas de vestido, y de repente en esta acción con Cai,  como cada día también en el taller, va despojándose de esas capas.

LUIS: in my opinion your action, what you proposed for Alberto is very correcto, acertado, in the sense of undressing. If Alberto comes to the workshop dressed meaning different Albertos as you said, many different selves, characters, yeah the question is undressing, so as you said other times, revealing, appearing as I don’t know, as what Alberto is. So the one who dressed hides in so many different characters.

LOLA: es curioso también que normalmente Alberto viene vestido de una forma muy tradicional, muy convencional, como un señor convencional con abrigo, sombrero, o sea muy formal. Y a medida que va quitando capas, van apareciendo detalles muy poco convencionales como de repente unos tirantes de rayas que rompen la estética convencional y va entrando en estéticas más atrevidas, más alternativas, aparecen cosas sorprendentes de combinación de color, camisetas sin mangas con tirantes de rayas, cosas de joyas, de collares, en fin, van surgiendo Albertos menos convencionales. Y finalmente para cuando va a meditar, ya está prácticamente en una camiseta y en una malla nada más.

LUIS: did you understand? 

CAI: some.

LUIS: so the main thing is that his first presence used to be very formal, convencional, but under this first layer appears things that break this formality. Something like bracelets, t-shirts, so …

CAI: sí, sí. And underneath there are these kind of esoteric images; underneath everything, this part of him, the mysterious. And I always have the image of Alberto like endless Russian dolls, you know the Russian dolls?

LUIS: ah, las muñecas rusas.

CAI: endless, never ending Russian dolls.

LOLA: and he has a very strong relationship  with all spiritual world: religion, Catholic religion, Budism..

LUIS: and the body itself? What about the body of Alberto? The presence of the body, his muscles…

LOLA: his body when he is without clothes, the line is very perfect, like his drawings. 

CAI: there’s a discipline which you can see in the way in which he moves, he has worked the discipline of the body to allow the kind of control of movement which can only happen over time, through understanding the body, the knowledge of the body and the articulation between movement and sensation. His gestures, the small gestures of the hands, the quality of those, the understanding of the interior and how this understanding of the interior is communicated; because it’s communicated through the precision of the gesture, the clarity of the gesture as it would be a drawing. In a way, like any dancer, through knowing, knowing of the sensation and how to apply the sensation into action to communicate feeling.

LUIS: yeah, I wanted to say also that in my opinion for Alberto is so important coming dressed like a dandy, for example, is so important as getting undressed. So the importance of his body and to be seen. It’s something we have spoken about. La importancia de… show, mostrar his body. I think for Alberto his body is something he wants to show also. 

LOLA: he likes very much the culturism.

LUIS: sí, se quiere mostrar desnudo.

LOLA: sí, es curioso como mezcla una parte muy espiritual y una parte de cultivo del cuerpo. Muchos de sus dibujos son de culturistas, hombres y mujeres con músculos. Tiene esas dos líneas muy claras, la religiosa espiritual y la del cultivo del cuerpo, las dos.

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camera, lighting & sound: John Collingswood

edit: John Collingswood & Cai Tomos

costume: Alberto de Torres

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