João Távora

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PORTUGAL, 1981

A drawing is a mundane and a bizarre thing. It’s mundane because we can find tiny drawings on paper napkins or colossal drawings on the wall of a room, such as those made silently by a dedicated child when we weren’t looking. A drawing can portray a grandiose mythological episode, a trivial burlesque feat, or be but a scribble and represent nothing at all.
Why bizzare? While it’s true that a drawing can portray a story or have some kind of narrative forerunner, it also contains its own time, different from that narrative time. This time is unreasonably vast, even vaster than the time it took to do the drawing: it is a kind of perpetual present. A drawing is a residue, or whatever is left after an assault of mark-making onto a surface, indeed into that surface. No matter the extent of this assault or how polished the drawing looks, the final mark always escapes us, it is the mark of departure.