Elizabeth Romero Betancourt
What inhabits in the Word home? Originally the bonfire, which means, the fire and its benefit: light and heat; preserving the fire –a gift from the gods-, the idea of a roof and of a temple are included; then the transformation of rawness in what is cooked: food. And the Word is extended to mean shelter, protection, support, sustenance, rest, intimacy, family and whatever the reader might add. in a world stalked by war's brutality and violence, turning to a good Word as a matrix for the creation of a promising sign. Eric del Castillo enunciates Hogar-Dom-Home (In Spanish, Croatian and English) in order to recognize not only this "matria" that language is: his mother tongue, his wife's tongue and that which they use when they met, but also to deepen in the images, the signs and the possibilities that the immediate environment provides.
Uterus, egg, nest, lair, home, city, country, planet are only different dimensions of a home. Building on common materials, most of times those that are within reach and daily use objects, some waste materials, Del Castillo created a discourse on the rooms and evokes childhood and the present, as well as his utopias: gone spaces, real and imaginary spaces where he places his tenderness and melancholia, well-being and nostalgia, sadness and hope. His resources go from objet trouvé, ready made, collage and photography, art-object and video with which he builds these probable and improbable architectures.
On the round tracks of a toy train travels a gondola that holds a platform, on it there is a house – or church or barn- surrounded by grass and three pines, is this what remains when we have nothing left?, a railway system that goes nowhere, a single house without neighbors spinning endlessly. In a piece of stone – a crag or perhaps an asteroid-, a fragmented road crosses a settlement, a wind mill, a house; a red dump truck drives through a road from here to there and raises the question of how many times will it come and go with one gas tank, until when, for what reason.
From the many questions inspired by this work, there is a constant "What would you take if you had to leave the planet?" Del Castillo chooses several specimens, puts them in a glass jar and keeps them ready just in case: grass, a lizard, a Caterpillar, an ivy branch, an egg, but all are plastic, they are representations; he is not encouraged to repopulate a new world, but to remember the forms when they no longer exist. In the present, the author comes to revelations, because nature delivers the apparent finding of a nest and other that has fell from the trees after the birds' migration – Eric lives in a rural area within the urban spot-, and these round and concave must be included in the luggage of the day after. And wherever we might have to live in the future, he must take the snail that moves through the final leaf of the season and the wood sword with ivy growing in it telling the moving story of peace times that he dedicated to his son Luka.
Pangaea –all the land, the primitive home- is a round beating surface bathed by light, soft and pure. Pangaea is the life providing womb. Is the expectant mother and the baby inhabiting her; two hearts – Neli's and Pablo Neo's, wife and child-, that without being visible, announce with their systole and diastole the certainty of tomorrow, the trust of finding a how in the embrace.
In Mexico-Tenochtitlan, November 2004
Text for the Hogar-Dom-Home exhibition
ENPG Gallery La Esmeralda, CENART. 2004