CAI: ok. I say the first story you told me about Andrés going by himself in the city and of him returning, looking red, with his face sweating, excited, thrilled. When you told me the story I felt the story in myself. And I wondered about, I felt like it was a very important story. And stayed. It stayed with me when I went back to London, it kept going. And the idea was how to be … to make the space of freedom, how can we reenact the possibility. How do we reenact this? how do we find this expression that Andrés had again? What was this question? What did he find? How did this walk change him so much? His being, his excitement. So how can I propose something that may, might become, can include all of this? Not to find something exactly the same but go to this freedom. So the idea of Caminar con Andrés, to walk with him and to follow him in the sense that when I have experienced to work with people with mental disabilities or complex things before, they are always following someone, always following, always behind. Always having the time determined by the external, the exterior time that they fit into. So there was something about the freedom within a boundary of saying “Andrés, you walk, we follow, and we go”. And those series of first walks were very powerful in the sense that nothing happened, nothing was supposed to happen, we just walked. Sometimes we stopped, he draw, he writes and the first text Andrés wrote, can you say this?
LOLA: “nadie me dijo nada porque yo lo sé todo”.
LUIS: sí, ¿no? sí, ¿cómo es? “Nadie me dijo nada porque yo sé todo y las personas son iguales en cualquier lugar”.
CAI: “we are all … Everyone is the same, everyplace”.
CAI: everyplace. And I thought that’s it, that’s it. That was the statement somehow that shaped the idea of walking with Andrés. And… the walk itself, noticing my own curiosity about Andres’s journey, where? One day we walked down the metro and it was a violin playing, it was playing Vivaldi. And the experience of walking with Andrés, how he came down through the metro then up again was like he was guiding something, it was like a theatrical experience.
LOLA: me he perdido esa parte de que Andrés se metió en el metro.
LUIS: sí, pues que Andrés entró en el metro y había un violinista, no? Y luego sí, bueno, nos llevó al metro, luego nos sacó del metro.
CAI: he came back up. But I realized that walking with Andrés and following Andrés my perception changed of how I was in the world. Through the act of walking, but also by Andrés being the orbit, the planet that I was orbiting, the compass. So his being, his presence, allowed me to experience my environment different, not maybe through his eyes, but something changed.
LUIS: yes, through your new eyes.
CAI: through my new eyes. I think that’s exactly it. So the proposition of walking was to be able to see differently what we take for granted each day. To clean eyes. To clean the perception. And then to bring in the question of disability or to have a disability and to be in the world and what it is to be leading, not following. So when we proposed the question of how would he feel if many people came. Because I felt again this idea of how do we celebrate. How do we celebrate this somehow. And then he said 60 people and he wanted to pursue the idea.
LOLA: 60. Es verdad.
CAI: and the experience briefly to jump, the experience of the walk, you know, each walk with him was of something biographical, perhaps, you know. Mapping. Literally and physically mapping. And tying into this mapping the biography here, he arround the hospital. “Here I was with my mother” and we walked. And then the walk with everyone for me it was very powerful, very moving… by the silence.
LOLA: and for him I think it’s the most important the last time. This is the real important for Andrés. The work of Andrés is… ¿cómo se dice…? apasionante o impresionante. But he spent a lot of years to make, not moving but in his mind. Perforando la realidad. O sea, the maps, big maps, maps of world, maps of cosmos, maps of birth, ideas of birth.
LUIS: sexuality maps…
LOLA: finding himself in the world. Finding understanding of the world, but in his chair, in his knees. Because his mother say me yesterday that Andrés he has an illness in his knees, because he is in the knees in the house all time.
LUIS: on his knees. Está de rodillas todo el tiempo.
CAI: all the time, on the ground.
LOLA: the opportunity to go out and the opportunity to demonstrate he can. I can.
CAI: I can.
LOLA: “I can think”, “but I can make”. “I know”. “I know where is the place”. “Every place”.
LUIS: sí, “yo sé, yo sé”.
LOLA: “I can”
LUIS: sí, it’s like “please leave me alone”. “Dejadme en paz”. “Claro, que yo solo puedo”. “Yo solo sé”. “Me alone”. “Me alone”.
CAI: and yet again when we were walking with 30 people, you know, behind, this energy I felt we were being pulled, no?
LUIS: eso fue bonito. It was very beautiful also because I noticed that in the group there were people without knowing the reason of walking with Andrés, without knowing Andrés. So there was a meeting without discourse, sin discurso, sin razones morales, ¿no? Just like this. Someone proposes to go out walking, so, ok I feel like following this guy because I just want to, it just like the idea so I go. Y punto, ¡y ya está!
LOLA: yes, I think the most of people understand it like a work for themselves, and for Andrés. This is the same experience as when we started Debajo del Sombrero. The colaboradores, the artist that came to collaborate, talk about that: “I come to this space for me”.
LUIS: claro, claro sí. Eso es muy importante.
LOLA: “for me”.
LUIS: yes, yes, first of all “for me”. There is something egotistic very truly. Egoist, del yo antes.
LOLA: this is a space where I can do and work for me in this space and with this people. In this walk I think the people feel that. Understand that.
LUIS: sí, the walk with Andrés give the chance, so give a space to other people to be in without any result. ¿Entiendes?. Sí, él dio, él ofreció espacio. Un espacio nuevo. A new space to be there.
CAI: and I think there’s something about, you know, shifting this idea of being passive and being active.
CAI: you know, that we in a way as followers we were passive and I think that was a really important part of the walk. But in that passivity we had a kind of responsibility also you know to engage with the pautas, and Andrés was active in the sense of the choices of where we went. And I think it was really interesting when we walked past this garage, past this house were this woman had her hair in rollers, this dog barking, and with no purpose, with no purpose or supposedly no purpose and I think that was something interesting for me. The purpose, our purpose, our speed, our time was taken away from us. Andrés was having the time and taking… And I think by taking that away from us, it give us time to question what it is to be leaders, followers; what it is to be passive, what it is to be in the hands of someone else.
LUIS: ser llevado.
LOLA: also was good not knowing when or where it´s ending; So people asked: “We´ll go to the Matadero?”, “I don’t know…”.
LUIS: sí, es muy bonito. Your coming … tu llegada al proyecto ha supuesto poner en acción what was only, lo que estaba solo incipiente, los conatos, el anuncio muy pequeñito de algo que necesitaba entrar en realidad. So you give the chance to step on reality. Dar un paso dentro de la realidad. Realizar. To put in reality, to act, los dibujos, the pictures, the drawings, the maps.
CAI: yesterday we were speaking the first time I met Andrés when I was in the space I was drawing and everyone like Belén, people was drawing around and everyone… and Andrés began to draw the map. And after drawing the map he took a figure, a character, and walked the character. The first thing was to walk the character through the streets and this is exactly what we’ve done in a way, in real. And I have made the connections somehow that the first film to this action…
LUIS: sí, maybe toda creación tiene su profecía. Do you understand? So every creation has its own prophecy? It’s announced before, time before.
LOLA: claro, leía yo ayer una cosa de María Zambrano donde hablaba de la palabra, la palabra verdadera, la palabra incipiente que consigue entrar en acción. La palabra que crea la acción. Es la palabra creativa. Pero claro en este caso esa palabra verdadera tiene que ser recogida; hablamos de discapacidad. Entonces esa palabra verdadera para entrar en acción, para crear la acción tiene que ser recogida y llevada a la acción. En el caso de Andrés, por ejemplo, ponerla a caminar, una palabra que Andrés ha vertido durante mucho tiempo, ¿no? pero todavía sin salir a caminar, sin salir a la acción. Y bueno pues, qué bien que hayas venido Cai.
LUIS: sí, sí, sí, sí. Es una oportunidad. You have clarified the work. So in one year puff!! you have made maybe what we haven´t in years, maybe because it’s not our… nuestra ocupación, nuestro deber, but yes, yes… you have… por azares de la vida, because maybe it might be like this, you came and bang!! Debajo del Sombrero make a step very high and put the work of each artist in another place, completely in another place.
CAI: I wonder, you know, the question of how the meeting and of Debajo del Sombrero and myself. For me I was very clear that the body is central. And when I first visited and I saw people working like this on the table, I wondered about the possibility of this, of reorientation or different orientation from perhaps the object to the visual and the body. How did they become together and what happens when the visual, the art, the object and the body dialogue in a way. What’s the alchemy, what’s the chemical of this. But I think in a way I have only bought the perspective of the body. I think the work in a way is always there, it’s underneath.
LUIS: sí claro. Está debajo. Es incipiente.
CAI: underneath the hat.
LUIS: sí, debajo del sombrero.
CAI: and of course the body, and then something of the body…
LUIS: it’s announcing itself.
CAI: yes, it’s just another form, in a way, another medium. And I was also interested about the object being here and the artist of course. And what if the artist is in, is in the work. Itziar, Andrés, Mario, Alberto, Luisma… So we see. We see them. The work but them. The embodiment. Who, how they are.
LUIS: la presencia, ¿no?
CAI: the presence. That’s true.
LUIS: so we are talking about the presence to become real. To enter in … en lo real. En la realidad. Of revealing, no?. Revelarse. Aparecer. Sí, sí. Creo que es la cuestión general for every, para todos.
CAI: the presence of the body.
LUIS: and the truth of the body. Ideas are… son una creación conceptual. In that sense could be manipulated, but the body not. The body speaks its own truth. El cuerpo es incontrovertible. No lo puedes engañar.
LUIS: eso es, esa es la palabra. Insobornable. You can not buy, you cannot make business with the body, the body says “no”.
CAI: and you know, through the process in a way, as I do always I use my body as the fork you use to tune the piano. So I use my own body as a way not so much here, yes, but to follow my own body as I’ve noticed to trust this, to trust the feeling of the body in response to the presence of each artist, the journey of each artist.
LOLA: this is very important.
CAI: so it’s two hours long. So what else is unsaid?
LUIS: ¿el qué?
CAI: what else? What’s being unsaid? Anything that we haven’t said that’s…
LUIS: ah, ¿qué no hemos dicho?
CAI: can I propose one question?
CAI: if you had to find a metaphor or an image for the project, for this work, what would it be?
LUIS: si tuviéramos que encontrar una metáfora para nombrar al proyecto de Cai, ¿cuál sería?
LOLA: ¿una metáfora?
LUIS: Bueno, para mí claramente la metáfora del nacimiento. Más claro el agua. The metaphor of born.
CAI: of being born. Birth. Wow!
LOLA: sí, yo creo que sí.
LUIS: sí, sí. Nacer sin imagen . Eso es. Nacer tú. You are the one who is being born.
LOLA: I think yes.
LUIS: create your own images. Create your own symbols.
CAI: birthing a part of yourself.
LOLA: and Cai says a thing very important. Because we have an intellectual attention, normally. But we haven’t a body attention and this is very important. We haven’t in a lot of times we can forget, traicionar, betray the real things, because we have a … bueno, porque estamos en un concepto muy intelectual.
LUIS: yes, we focus our attention in an intelectual way of thinking.
LOLA: and this is a problem, un peligro. In this work, is very important “what I feel, what´s real, what I’m feeling in this moment” and this kind of little movement, very important like in Mario´s work, for example, I can see that, but maybe without you I don’t extract that.
LUIS: claro no lo extraes.
LOLA: lo aislo. And for me is a very important learning with you. You are dancer, we are not. Bueno, para mí ha sido eso muy importante, the body language.
CAI: when someone is when I’m present or with one of the artist is like the drawings. Everything is included. Every mark, every pen, everything is included in the composition, nothing is excluded. So every gesture has, not a meaning in the way that I would intellectualize, but in a way in it’s importance in the whole of the action. Belén coming to get the … the movements of Belén recording, placing back, the rhythm of her. Andrés his trainers; appearing one day with new trainers, with these shoes. These small things that might seem…
LOLA: …not small.
CAI: not small, that might seem insignificant.
LOLA: maybe in Andrés work is very important.
LUIS: es muy significativo.
LOLA: it’s to give attention to these important things for them, these very important things for them. Not only the signs or the symbols.
CAI: and in a way Luisma again for me is the point. Because with him yesterday working with the water I couldn’t go anywhere else in my intellectual mind. He pulls me back to “this is what is happening now” “this is what is happening now”. And almost saying and all the artist say, stay with me, don’t go. Stay here. Because the intellect, the desire, my own desire, perhaps the curiosity of people seeing the work, the desire to makes me go…. is also a desire to consume. Some times to eat the artist and I’m saying, you know, to kind of to eat them like a… food. And for me yesterday when the project feels like its coming bigger and bigger, with more voices or more noise I felt a protection but not in a closing way, a protection for what’s happening now. Not what we want to happen, not what may happen. This is it. And in response to the question of saying what? I don’t know. The most important answer to all of the questions “I don’t know”.
LUIS: yes, for all the reclamations from outside. Devorar, consumir lo que están haciendo. Ahí Cai dice “no, no contesto, no respondo, no te sirvo, no te doy cuerda”.
CAI: because the very act of explaining sometimes as is in the world for all of us, with our desire for the reverence for the intellect, for understanding, for meaning. Each time, somehow I go to the explanation, I walk further away from what’s happening.
LUIS: ah, totalmente.
LUIS: pues que cada vez que intentas explicar algo…, ¿no? estás haciendo la acción contraria. Es lo más opuesto a entrar en contacto con lo que está pasando.
CAI: so like the balance of Luisma, the point, the meaning, the intellectual and the reality of the here and now, of body reality, body time they have to walk together; because if it’s heavy this way, heavy on the intellectual or if it’s heavy on the body and no sense of enquiry it doesn’t work. It has to keep moving, ¿no?
LOLA: this is very important.
CAI: It’s not fixed.
LOLA: we found something like this balance in the beginning of Debajo del Sombrero with the camera. The camera will be very important because we haven’t this attention, enough attention for the moments.
LUIS: the video camera.
LOLA: and the camera offered us a second, and third and fourth opportunity for all things that happen and you don’t see and you don’t pay the real attention.
LUIS: sí, no las aprecias, you don’t appreciate.
LOLA: because it’s very difficult in the moment to be conscious and no traicionar this.
LUIS: la realidad del momento.
LOLA: this is the true acompañamiento.
CAI: the true accompaniment. To walk alongside. And each artist, my experience of each has also been such a learning also for me about this question of presence, and what does that mean to accompany. What does it mean to be active, to have an active perception which is not intrusive, which is not far away, but which is fluid like the water, like my perception, that it doesn’t locate itself and fix. But that my perception like through the whole project has the possibility of being mobile continuously and never rests, never stays in one place. In a place of certainty, in a place of knowing. In a place of reduction, but actually refuses to be still and continues to travel…, something, yes, there’s something from somewhere; the appearance and the disappearance, the movement of that, the movement of perception.
LOLA: sí, es muy importante. Está muy bien esta seriedad con que se lo toma Cai porque hay una responsabilidad grande en el sentido de que hablábamos el otro día de cómo junto a personas que tienen voluntades a veces…
LUIS: sí muy frágiles.
LOLA: a veces escondidas, muy frágiles, se la juegan en esto. Se la juegan. O sea no solo su proyecto artístico, se la juegan ellos. Y es que alguien les invite a algo o les haga la señal para que puedan empezar a caminar, ¿no? lo que se hablaba el otro día del guía, es importante. Claro si el guía se entretiene en su propia cuestión… bueno, no me da el inglés para esto.
CAI: I think of this question of truth, this question of the mirror, this question of being seen, the importance of that.
camera: Antonio Tomás Perales
edit: John Collingswood & Cai Tomos
camera: Andrés Fernández
camera and edit: Cai Tomos