Pancho Westendarp


Pancho Westendarp: All That No One Sees


In the movie Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives by director Apichatpong Weerasethakul one of the characters uses the phrase: “ghosts aren´t attached to places but to people”, to explain that people carry its own ghosts wherever they go.

Considering this phrase, it is possible to compare the Idea of territory with a ghost. We tend to use this idea to haunt places and claim them as property. This is an illusion, as the most we can do is to request the exclusiveness of rights (a title deed, for example) to perform certain activities in a space.

The pieces presented play with the devices and conventions used to describe, establish and navigate a territory (maps, logbooks, registration photographs, etc.). By stripping them from their function, what remains are our own ghosts with no territories to be attached to, images in the process of becoming something else. It is this intermediate state of an image which we can use as a bridge to connect with our inner territories, with all that no one sees.

World Map (2016): For these series of photographs, I tore apart a world map and used the pieces as objects that were placed over instant film to make photograms. The images create the illusion of mountain ranges. The physical territory they represent doesn´t exist, yet we can still relate with them by attaching any concept we want.

The Map and the Territory (2015): A random series of dots are drawn on paper and connected by a line. The result is an image that resembles a map but it doesn´t refer to any place. It is a functionless map meant to establish a bond with a state of mind.

What We Know (2016): This video was made with long exposure photographs of different spots in the woods. By putting the images together in motion we can focus more on what time has done to the place rather than the place itself.

Atlas (2016): After collecting a series of very common objects (rocks, sticks, leaves, etc.) they were placed over paper at different times. I drew the shadow of each of them during different moments,  recording how the shadow changed over time. This as an example of how something as simple as light is constantly changing a place, implying that to truly own a territory will mean to own the place and all the transformations that happen in it.

Ghosts Aren´t Attached To Places But To People (2016): The first component of this piece, presents the image of Yuri Gagarin (the first man to travel to outer space) and its shadow projected in the wall through a magnifying glass. This supports the notion that ghosts are like shadows, we carry with them wherever we go. The second component is a metal box used to project the image of a moon crater. Moon craters have been named after several important physicists, mathematicians, astronomers and people who have made contributions to the development of humanity. Gagarin crater is one of the biggest ones with a 265 km (164 miles) diameter.  This serves as an example of how we use the concept of territory as something that is not part of a place and nonetheless we try to make it part of it.  The names of the craters exist in our books, in our history but mostly in our minds. They represent how we´ve tried to attach our past (our shadow, our ghosts) to the moon.