Txomin Badiola


Artist Novel, 14 cm x 21 cm, language: Spanish, English, Basque, French, publisher: Caniche Editorial, ISBN: 978-84-120368-0-0.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2030/311).

Literary synopsis

Txomin Badiola is not Igan O. Nor is he that unidentified narrator with his own ideas that drives and limits this story about an artist who, in profile, might look like him, if only because they share a particular interest in forms. The fact is that the sculptor Igan O. has been invited to participate in a debate about formalism in a main museum, a stripping before an audience that follows and does not follow it, before colleagues who share and do not share, before critics that criticize and do not criticize, an appointment that confronts him with his own creation, his practice and his history – the small but fundamental history of each one – from the preartistic experiences of childhood and adolescence when the incipient forms arise in intimacy with family, memory, identity and death.

A text with a protagonist and a narrator is usually a novel, however what the publisher asked Txomin Badiola was an essay on the notion of bad form. Could it be said, then, that the result is an essay fiction that chronicles the mental, vital and affective experience of a malformalist sculptor? “I realized immediately that I was not in a position to lie in the form of truth, that is, covering up what I really want in the form of a consensus (regarding a position of the subject, of notions with sufficient intellectual prestige ... ) I thought that for me, and maybe for everyone, it would be of more interest to hysterize myself, trying to tell the truth in the form of a lie.” Igan O. is not Txomin Badiola. Or is he?

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

This novel came out from the invitation of the publisher to write an essay on the notion of bad form after attending a panel discussion organized by the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid following Txomin Badiola's retrospective exhibition Other Family Plot. The artist immediately rejected the idea of a theoretical discourse on such an abstract idea and decided that he would put into operation a bad form equivalent to the ones that constitute his work, but in this case he would do it using textual materials. It would be a bad form reflecting on itself. Taking as a starting point the debate organized by the museum — regarded from a very fragmented subjective perspective — heterogeneous textual materials connected to the multiplicity of aspects involved in the artistic practise adhere to this main plot line in a pursuit that for Badiola always has to do with the attainment of a form — of a certain type of form — being itself a transgression of form.

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