Un año en Pátmos [A Year in Patmos], the exhibition that Marco Alom (1986, Los Gigantes, Tenerife) has prepared for Galería Artizar, discusses the act of taking a step back to put obsessions in order and draw conclusions from everything that has been experienced, of retreating to a peripheral, bounded territory in order to make sense out of contradictions, taking a lived year as a turning point between one stage of life and another, the collapse of an era and the announcement of another.
Originally conceived after reading Giovanni Papini’s Giudizio Universale, this version of the Apocalypse, in which the times that are known to us come to an end and a promised age begins, becomes an aesthetical diary, a logbook written in symbols, the testament to a period in which a blend of situations gives way to the images coming up… Pátmos—as a refuge, as a periphery from where to speak to the outside world but, above all, as a psychological territory where the author recreates and translates what is born in the thin line between territorial and intangible—is the result where personal and universal icons come together to set up the author’s own imaginary. We begin drawing what we want but we end up drawing what we are.
In a round world, the furthest place to which you can arrive is the place from where you depart.
Pátmos, a tiny Aegean island, with a surface area of only 34.05 km², was the place where Saint John had the visions that gave rise to the Book of Revelations, commonly known as The Apocalypse, in his old age. This book, which is the result of a stream of traditions, metaphysical symbols, experiences and, mainly, the small size of his island and the people with whom the Apostle shared his fate, became one of the main canonical books in our culture given its dual nature between beauty and perturbation.
and we also remember Steve McQueen in the film Papillon, counting the five steps that his prison cell in Devil’s Island was in length day after day. The area we inhabit tries to outline our possibilities, determines our imaginary and produces a new range of obsessions and ambitions, creating radically new landscapes in the minds of those who travel along it every day.