After the image and the word, the music

João Louro is an artist whose work feeds off signs and meanings and what lies between the image and the word. The definition of both is variable, interchangeable, resulting in deviations, errors or redefinitions from a conceptual and plastic standpoint. A word in a dictionary is not just an etymology, but a legitimation of knowledge. So what does it mean to subvert the definition of a word in this context?

If in Smuggling (2015), at MACE – one of the artist’s latest individual efforts –, Louro played with images subtracted to words, now, in Silence Will Save Us, at Fundação DIDAC, music is the main character or, actually, written music. With audibility removed from the equation, music is just characters chained together. Silence. A sheet becomes the translation of a purely sensory and auditory art into a structure and visual sentence, without any sound vibrations.

As in all conceptual art, art comes after a cerebral process made of inputs and outputs. The information given is just the author and the title. Not much more than that. Perhaps the date can still be useful in this complex process. The viewer is the one who is subsequently accountable to discern and, in some kind of a memory or brain found in the ear, create a melodic hypothesis of what they read.

Silence Will Save Us can be visited until 15 July at Fundação DIDAC, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia.

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