Rather than talking about the work of Javier Codesal (Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958) in the singular, even when adopting an idea of variety in the totality, we consider it more appropriate to talk about “the works” in the plural. We may accept a current of unity and similarity in the range of ideas, but the broad spectrum of his expressive universe (film, photography, poetry, installations, video, theory or theoretical criticism) moves in space and time as indicators of a single journey: the changing allegorical dimension of existence, which in turn is subdivided into two parallel roads which will never meet. First we travel the road of the observation and examination of memory as the territory of time stripped of the urgent metaphysics that wants to be narrated, understood. Then we have the other road which we can no longer travel; we shall only make it ours by possessing it from the pure, passive observation of its contours. The tension created by both roads or situations establishes itself as the solar centre of all Codesal’s aesthetic production, of whatever kind it may be, to the extent that a poem can become the embryo of a film script, or a sequence from a film an action frozen in photography, or a video the start of a theoretical dissertation on the gaze. In some way the whole of his work could perfectly well fit Deleuze’s intelligent definition of the films of Antonioni: the kind that replace traditional drama with a kind of “optical drama” lived by the character or characters. The connection seems in no way gratuitous, since Codesal, as I recall, adores the films of Antonioni, among many other directors.
Luis Francisco Pérez