Tras dos Agros

Extract, catalogue essay exhibition Tras dos Agros Xavier Toubes, CGAC Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago de Compostella, Spain, 2007, ISBN: 987-84-453-4440-8

Curator: Vincent McGourty

Plates are the slightest of vessels. The pedestal of food, they serve, display, and even flaunt their contents (the whole panoply from grape to Baptist’s head), but they – unlike other containers- have the capacity to preserve, process, transform, or truly hold anything beyond the gratification of the immediate. As receptacles they are are the technological refinement of a leaf, or an outstretched human palm. They commemorate the world of the temporal. In a sense they represent the threshold between the “raw and the cooked”, between the world of natural abundance, which only requires the minor intervention of a flat surface to serve up the available bounty, and the world of cultural production , with it’s attendant fruits of his and her labours. Foresight enables humans to fashion containers that can stabilise natural processes, cultivate decay to the refinement of acquired taste, and transform organic matter through heat. But containment isn’t all about planning for the future, the vessel holds the possibility of a memorial cavity. The dying embers of voices kindled as echoes in a plate’s shallow concavity.

Vincent McGourty writing about the work of Xavier Toubes