My Jaw is On The Floor

(…) a language is like a net you throw into the world, and according to the mesh of the net, where and how it is thrown and pulled back in, different fish turn up. A language is what brings back certain kinds of fish,a certain kind of world.

Barbara Cassin, More Than One Language, e-flux Journal #80

In this video, we follow a female character who evolves erratically in incongruous spaces.  Here, the use of language —verbal and physical— is distorted yet familiar, as the script is based on lines coming from dating apps and manuals on how to pronounce English. The main character, originally from Ireland, is also the narrator.

We assist to a delayed bodily reaction to the sentences she´s mouthing. Some of them, acting on her unconscious memory, might have been thrown at her in the past, and here seem to be possessing her. This altered relation between the character and her own voice, creates a sense of vitality and malleability in the way she communicates, as it happens to those who are new to the tongue, such as non-native speakers and kids.

Orality, together with the density of the cheap sauna where the main action takes place, triggers the character´s behaviour. At the same time, the bas-reliefs shown in the exhibition echo these voices, environmental sounds and musical effects. Their titles are sentences borrowed from the video but, more importantly, their materiality is thought through audible and reverberating qualities. The pieces can be seen as physical remains of the film’s sounds.

The video was filmed in spaces that relate to and intensify Esther’s experience in the city, which she perceives as humid and dense. She speaks about it in the last instalment of ATALKA_ATALKA (Nº 4, available on the gallery’s website) describing the making of the video, as connected to her encounter with displacement and with inhabiting a new language:

  (In London) The surfaces are not clear. Rather than the distinct contours and sharp edges, that dark shades produce, we are often surrounded by fog and grey skies, by greater light pollution, with its mixtures of colours, and sheltered behind a crystal covered with condensation and mist. Gleaming and phosphorescent materials, used to improve visibility on the road, multiply and produce reflections everywhere.

 Then, the day unfolds under a paler and much more changing solar radiation, the soil feels less stable; it is wet and presents deep irregularities. Well, this also happens because the asphalt in the area where I live, is very deformed and full of cracks.

 A palpable influence that can be seen in my work is that, since I moved, I use bright colours, and the silhouettes that I engrave and draw tend to be blurry.

Excerpt from the conversation between Martin Lahitète and Esther Gatón, for ATALKA_ATALKA Nº4

Esther works across sculpture, installation, writing, drawing and video. The exhibition My Jaw is on the Floor acts as an interconnected element, in which she depicts the contours of a unique body of work. Through a visual investigation around the idea of orality, and its possible physical iterations, the artist sheds a raw yet artificial light on the mechanisms of language —sometimes pulpy and subtle— that give us shape.

2023 —Video of 16”40’ duration, shown in an installation with bas-reliefs made of wood, walnut stain, clay, shell, paint and metal flakes.
Cibrián in Donostia-San Sebastián, solo show curated curated by Martin Lahitète. Also sc
reened at The Green Corridor in Brussels, and at Galería Crisis in Lima. 

Asleep on a feather bed, with black curtains around him, an inverted torch. (The Earth was full of poppies)

This intervention aims to intensify the relationship between light and human behaviour, turning the outer wall of the C3A into a kind of hypnotising machine. The light in movement is used as an interlacing that holds the distracted gazes of those who stroll along the riverside, affecting them in an oblique way. The title describes the way Hypnos, the Greek mythological god of sleep and slumber, has been commonly depicted.

For this work, I looked into techniques such as circadian lighting, trance-inducing systems, flickering, phosphorescent screen glows and strobe light, to play with the correspondences between lighting and rhythms of life. Light is the engine that synchronises us with the day, with sleep (and the lack of it), as well as with multiple states of mind. For example, shock, tenderness, nervousness, tranquillity, delight or good concentration.

The piece for the façade of C3A was produced by abstracting and combining a selection of self-absorbed videos, including beaten eggs, magic tricks (how to make a coin disappear), documentaries on butterflies and sumbersion, knife sharpening, tutorials on how to train to look directly into the eyes, and whispering.

2023 —Led lights, 3D animation loop on façade, 100 metres width. Switched on every evening, from sunset to midnight.
C3A Córdoba

Emil Lime

This project sets in motion forms, techniques and conceptual interests frequent in Esther’s practice, such as the construction of ambiguous environments, amateur science, visual artifice, and the crossovers between femininity and machinery, articulating them here, together in a single installation.

Hovering in the middle of the exhibition space is the show’s central protagonist, a sculpture that seems to move of its own accord as if possessed. It is suspended by four steel cables connecting it to a central motor programmed by an Arduino (an open-source platform used for programming electronics) that controls its movement. The work’s ramshackle construction was additive, in that Gatón gathered and attached a wide range of disparate materials to the structure’s central aluminum frame.

The piece —also titled Emil Lime — has been elongated with various width pieces of black java bamboo, held together with copper and aluminum wire and extra strength tape, and adorned with LED lights, high-gloss enamel paint, a plastic rubber snake, a paper bird, facial jewelry, an anchor sticker, and ash. Suspended between and integrated into the pieces of bamboo is a vegan bioplastic, a staple material in Gatón’s practice as of late. Here it has been poured onto pieces of multicolored silk, and hand-burned and dyed with turmeric, paprika, biodegradable glitter, seaweed, charcoal, cocoa, food coloring, eggshells, orange peels, garlic, sparkling soap, curry powder, maca, and ink.

One of the original impetus for the exhibition is the regional fair, and parallels can be drawn between the sculpture on display and a variety of attractions, particularly the mechanical bull and pirate ship. The former has its origins in the rodeo, where a single rider mounts a mechanized bull whose movements replicate the animal’s bucking. Riders are meant to hold on until they are eventually thrown off. The latter is an open-air gondola ride which moves a group of passengers back and forth from a central pendulum. The oscillation of these attractions is mirrored in the exhibition’s palindromic title Emil Lime, whose spelling is the same both forwards and backwards. Esther’s interest in popular spectacles relates to an attraction to instability, fear, and adrenaline, and the ways in which these emotions manifest themselves both in the visitor’s body and in society at large.

For Esther, this reckless spirit of dizzied excess parallels Spain’s economic history in the early 2000s, with the neoliberalization of the economy, the construction boom and the political value ascribed to consumption and accumulation. This trajectory was cut short by the crash in 2008, the critical year when the CA2M Museum itself was constructed. Emil Lime harkens to a moment just before the breakdown of perhaps ill-founded hopes, expectations and projections. The sculpture replicates a nostalgic and fevered delirium through its seemingly erratic choreography of dips, swings, drops and rattles.


2023 —Motorised sculpture: bamboo canes, aluminium structures, programmed engines, enamel paint, glitter, stickers, rubber toys and vegan bioplastic. 5 x 2 x 2 metres.
CA2M Museum in Madrid. Solo show curated by Cory John Scozzari. 

Emil Lime´s book

This publication was created in parallel to the solo show Emil Lime, held at CA2M Madrid. The book includes collage sketches, sporadic notes and drawings from the artist, together with the following writing:

A Radical Reconstruction of the Icon, by Argentinian architect and critic Fredy Massad, analyses architectural excesses committed in the Spanish territory during the mid-2000s. The essay differentiates «monumentality» from «icon», rethinking the latter in its capability of reviving locality, and social urban value.

Colonas, by Ecuadorian writer and journalist Maria Fernanda Ampuero, is a fictional and poetic text inspired by the disembarkation of the caravels in Latin America. It combines the horrified voices in visions of what the apparition of boats might have unleashed.

Excelsior Mothership, by American artist and writer Darya Diamond, describes her living conditions in a shelter, where she also works. Bringing together personal anecdotes and theoretical references, she speaks of the «intertwining of the self and the place, utility and adaptation, the horribly divine energy of the mothership.» (Quote)

Cory John Scozzari wrote Blue Light, on the making of the show, including the seemingly irrelevant anecdotes, personal stories and surprises that gave shape to the final work.

Finnally, Cory and Esther Gatón transcribed the conversation they had during the installation days at the museum. It was the first time they encountered the piece installed; the final moment when it was possible to make sense of the crossovers and amazements of the making process.

Show commissioned by Manuel Segade and Tania Pardo at CA2M, Madrid.
Editorial coordination, Jonathan Franz.
Design, Olivier Bertrand.
Translations, María Enguix and George Hutton.


2023 —Published by WIELS Brussels in collaboration with CA2M Madrid.
Hardcover, colour, bilingual Spanish-English, 64 pages.

Book available online at Romancero Books, ICA Bookstore in London, and at WIELS Brussels.

Various individual titles (collages)


These collages are made up of images sourced from my phone´s archive. I took them during walks and travels through different cities, principally Madrid, Valladolid, London, Brussels and their surroundings, and generally in the neighbourhoods where I was living. Pics have been taken casually, without planning or much conscious thought; I´d say they track the movements of a fascinated gaze acting on its impulses.

The works arrange the slippages and mixing together of the surfaces, shadows, reflections, and transparencies of these photographic notes. Laid alongside, through, and over the top of one another, they trace the interactions between the edges of things. They describe a way of seeing: constantly combinatory, and without definite distinctions, playing and unfolding in those productive and ambiguous spaces where firm outlines break down.

The images are occasionally written, drawn, and painted over, and these interventions form additional layers of fun interaction. They suggest different contexts and temporalities, and dissolve and bleed into one another; they speak by themselves, emerge from collective movements, and then slip back into the churning, mixed- together communicative strategies of the larger compositions.

There is an immediate and direct quality to these works; they are like apertures into a raw process of seeing and reading the world. Part of their functioning is the straightforwardness of their construction, which calls to mind Esther ́s approach to editing in her video works, and which here has found a more forthright mode of speaking.

Directness and immediacy, selection, placement, glueing, noting, and inspection; these are the techniques that allow for varied encounters with the reality one inhabits, and which one can only make sense of afterwards.


List of works: Wave made out of bricks, This dog escaped and started to bite and enjoy the leash, The back of a wooden angel, Chunky marzipan fish nibbles, the last thing to be eaten.

2023 —Printed and glued photos, pastels, paint, stickers, lipstick and textiles on cardboard, 53 x 43 cm

phosphorescence of my local lore

Alive post-shower

Wood, wire, fish line, and vegan bioplastic dyed with turmeric, charcoal, chia seeds, paprika, food colourants and paint on natural silk and mesh. 30 width x 70 height x 230 depth cm

You insist, there is nothing abject about you

Wood, wire, fish line, and vegan bioplastic dyed with turmeric, charcoal, chia seeds, paprika, stikers, food colourants and paint on mesh. 40 width x 80 height x 280 depth cm

2023 —Duo show with Carole Ebtinger.
South Parade in London.

Salted Peelings

Heat that swims

Silk, paint, willow, rattan and bamboo with biodegradable plastic made of gelatine, maca powder, soap, seaweed, organic glitter, and turmeric. 87 x 10 x 162 cm

Nut fizzy jeans

Silk, paint, willow, rattan and bamboo with biodegradable plastic made of gelatine, maca powder, organic glitter, seaweed, soap and turmeric. 68 x 9,5 x 117 cm

Humps from lakes

Natural silk, fishing line, paint, willow, rattan and bamboo with biodegradable vegan plastic made of paprika, glitter, food colorants, seaweed, cacao, herbs, turmeric, orange peel, eggshell, garlic and soap. 261 x 156 x 80 cm

Sautéed the glimmer, our lull

Natural silk, fishing line, paint, willow, rattan, and bamboo with biodegradable vegan plastic made of food colorants, seaweed, charcoal, glitter and turmeric. 60 x 125 x 175 cm

By the guest, to the bone

Silk, fishing line, paint and bamboo with biodegradable vegan plastic made of paprika, food colorants, seaweed, cacao,turmeric, eggshell and garlic. 115 x 130 x 125 cm

2022 —Duo show with Gudny Rósa Ingimarsdóttir
Irène Laub, Brussels

Hail She Who Holds My Tongue

What could be more hopeful than an empty eye that fills itself with seeing as it sleeps?
Excerpt from Anne Carson’s essay Every Entrance Is an Exit.


Hail She Who Holds My Tongue (the title is taken from Nisha Ramayya’s book States of the Body Produced by Love, Ignota, 2019) consists of a collection of suspended, semi-translucent sculptural forms, and a variable, atmospheric lighting structure that surrounds them, built in the form of a small room or enclosure, which responds to the motion of visitors in the space. 

The sculptures are suspended between the banks of lights. Beneath their gentle radiance no shadows are cast. The bulbs react to movement in the gallery, as if the light itself possessed elasticity – their programming is modelled on formulas that describe the movements of springs. They shine with colder or warmer light depending on the flow, distance, and velocity of bodies moving in the space. Walls turn bright when you approach and darken as you walk away. The changes are subtle and progressive, and they alter the colouration of the bioplastics, blending the differences between the sculptures and their surroundings, and making it difficult to see them with clarity. Also on display are the sensors, mechanisms, and processors that allow the room and lights to function.

The work is most active and visible across its many surfaces, where the elements collide to produce unpredictable and jumbled-together landscapes, forms, and sensations. Light finds purchase on the curved skins of the sculptures and their long, thin armatures – it bounces, penetrates, and refracts. There are direct correspondences between the shadowless sculptures that hang inside the enclosure and your own body as it moves through the installation. You find that you can modulate the illumination in the room, but exact calibration is difficult and ambiguous, and the rules can only be sensed indirectly, or uncovered by active experimentation. Within this system the sculptures emerge as highly sensitised bodies; they are acted on and echo with their shifting/mercurial environment.

If the sculptures are sensitised, then they allow an entrance into a similar state of sensitivity.  When you move through the space you open yourself to their changing conditions, beneath light that is stretched or compressed. The room responds to you when it changes, permeates, and refracts, and when it reveals the multiplying colours of the bioplastic skins and the bamboo substrate. These are states of closeness, of non-discrimination, of love; of all the concrete truths of relation.

2022 —Mixed media installation, bioplastic sculptures, repurposed panelling, Arduino with custom programming, mouvement sensors, and LED lighting.
Generaciones Grant, La Casa Encendida Madrid. 

Eu tinha poucos anos e já era rigorosamente anciã

Sculpture made of bioplastics with seaweed, brown sugar, paprika, goldenrod, silk, wood and bamboo. 115 x 294 x 78 cm, and 100 x 66 x 22cm

2021/22 —Solo show curated by Antonia Gaeta
Verão, Lisbon

One Hammer Coming Your Way

One Hammer Coming Your Way is an installation composed of large linen sheets that have been dyed, drawn, and painted onto, and then hung from the ceiling, like a “biombo” or tent. You can walk between and around them – the works form an environment that asks to be wandered/meandered through in close physical proximity.

The dyes are sourced from turmeric and iron (vivid orange-yellows, and the black of corroded metal), among others, and the works have been prepared in her domestic spaces, using the resources to hand: stove tops, bathtubs, pots and containers. The colours spread across bathroom tiles and kitchen walls, they run into cracks and stain them, making their presence known.

The drawings and paintings on their surfaces are arranged into layers and strata. The oldest, which were applied before the dyes, have been cooked into the fabrics. They have been partly boiled away and remain visible only as subtle, ghastly, underpaintings and residues.

The corporal sense of the body, of its labour and playful movements, is ever-present in the hands-on processes of production, and also in the large scale of the sheets; they could easily envelop a body pressed into the fabric. The lines and traces are gestural and expressive – revealed in subtractive and additive processes of layering.

When installed, the works cluster together and form a dense pack or group. Like trees in a forest or a tight group of people who are taller than you. The installation brings back images of childhood, of when the world felt too big for you. Some of the textiles are semi-transparent, and present a maze of images and lines that can, to an extent, be seen through, allowing your eye to combine one surface with another while moving between them.

The works have no designated front or back, and can be encountered again and again. When you enter this maze its shifting surfaces announce and expose themselves as unfixed. They float and ripple with the movement of the air.

The linen sheets come together to form a spatial and pictorial environment. They are also a shelter or dwelling, with moveable walls and screens. Perhaps somewhere to rest or spend time with others. They implicate the entire space of the gallery that they are installed in, gently repurposing its walls, empty spaces, and ceiling, and bringing it in line with their own changing uses.


(…) relates to the figure of the fallen angel, a character which inspired the new work by Esther Gatón. Gatón’s large canvases are dyed with roots, wood and iron sulfate, shadowing her abstract drawings in a rich, black pigment. By repeating the dyeing process many times, Gatón creates a work in which various layers become visible. To make this series, the artist immersed herself in her London studio, not much bigger than the canvases themselves, causing a self imposed loss of orientation. The forms of these drawings are theresult of Gatón’s sensitive reaction to this dizziness.

Excerpt from curatorial text by Martin Lahieté.

2021 —Linen fabrics dyed with roots, logwood chips, and iron solution. Steel rods, pins, oil pastel and spray paint. Dimensios variable.
You May Come Full Circle, Cibrián Donostia-San Sebastián, Al Alcance, Dilalica Barcelona

Adrenaline Querubín

The painting covers the room – it spreads its metallic effects over the walls, floors, plugs, and wiring, implicating every surface available. It coats them without discrimination, makes them all one picture surface, and scrambles the usual uses and codes of the space into a single, flowing surface, caught between architecture and image, communicating as both. It functions like an engine, working with an unsteady rhythm that includes vertigo, tossing, and abrupt stops.

The room is brought into communication with colour, gesture, ground, and form – inherent elements of painting – but also with the movements of air (wind or mechanical air conditioning), with the memory of the sky and the way that sunlight cuts across the clouds at the end and beginning of the day (only a memory, since you are inside the engine), and with the way that light, artificial or otherwise, falls across a surface and transforms it, with each turn of the head.

The room is expressive, built from the gestures of a graffiti artist or home decorator. It has undone the architectural cliches of wall, plug, and floor, but this is only one of its mechanical tricks. Another might be to involve you with its refusal to discriminate – you might also begin to associate with surfaces, plugs and plastic tubing, or with the movements of light and air through space that has been changed by their passage.

Adrenaline is a chemical in the body that heightens awareness and increases sensitivity in response to danger and threat – in a state of high adrenaline, the world around you begins to lose its familiar cliches, and its workings are exposed to the sensitive eye in their most concrete and direct forms. Querubín are Cherubs: angels who are now frequently depicted as small, plump, winged boys, who once held a prominent place in the angelic hierarchy, existing closest to the Throne and singing praise eternally. Their bodies were abstract and composed in light.

‘Time machines’ become spaces for an exception, for fantasy, a vortex to access a space other where everything may be possible. The site-specific intervention of Esther Gatón, in the style of a dysfunctional time machine, proposes a journey that starts with form – that surrounds us, insulates us, a ‘non-space’ – and transforms to speed. We navigate through an intuitive and kaleidoscopic formal process, waving between contention and journey. Gravity pumps and dissolves when entering the room. The artist proposes an attentive gaze at a stunning speed that absorbs us: a celebration of pure life collapsing. It shakes us and, finally, it expels us, or rather holds us, depending on what we find there.

Excerpt from the curatorial text by Cristina Herràiz Peleteiro.

2020 — Spray and wall paint on walls.
Where Water Rumbles, Metalloids, curated by Cristina Herràiz Peleteiro at Intersticio London, Descripción de Un Estado Físico, curated by Pepe Suárez, at Elba Benítez & Schneider Colau Madrid, Le Club Poisson-Lune, curated by Cédric Fauq at CAPC Bordeaux. 

The Softest Mud That Sees

Fireworks teach us that, contrary to popular belief, mystery does not happen in obscurity, but in the excess of light.
Angel González García, 2007


The Softest Mud That Sees is shot mostly on location, with a few short pieces of found footage interspersed throughout. The film opens with the euphoric description of a goal being scored, after which you are led through a variety of contained and constructed worlds; terrariums, shop displays, museological recreations of antiquity, and a studio where special effects are produced.

You see the day-to-day management and manufacture of wonder and awe; the mechanisms, professional labour, and atmospheric tricks that produce these environments for their viewers. These processes are in direct contact with the reality around them; they are not explained in technical detail, but observed in the world, as mundane operations among others. The magic of the spectacle is shifted from its familiar audience position – that of suspended disbelief – and back onto the practical realisation of the effect. The specialists that we see are professionally engaged and wrapped up in their labour: designing and testing a fake blood-pumping system for a violent shower scene. They are busy, making conversation, having fun, testing the props while they work.

In the film, there is also a particular focus on artificial lighting, and the ways in which it produces varied moods and responses. This is evident across the various scenarios: the reptile terrariums, butcher shop, and London Mithraeum. The butcher uses pink lights to intensify the brightness of the red meat and make it look more fresh and appetising, a technique so effective that it has been banned in some countries under false advertising laws.

However, the audience to these lighting illusions are absent from the scenes. The butcher’s shop window is shot after dark, through security screens, blurring the texture of the meat pieces with the radiance of the neon. The museum and the reptile shop appear empty, without visitors or clients. Instead, the neo-baroque lighting becomes the film’s character, the animating body in each place, working overtime to provide them with their temporary, mythic atmospheres. This ever-shifting light, which appears and reappears in new forms throughout, is the film’s protagonist; it rehearses and joins the narration of the film.

There is also a soundscape that runs beneath the shots and complicates them. It is not synchronised with the breaks in the footage, and much of the film is silent. Through a few scenes, there is a motif of underwater movement and the songs of whales in the ocean. The soundtrack is subtle, minimal, ever-present, and implicated with depth and darkness. What began in ecstatic good cheer, with the football commentator (“Why should I care if I kill my throat?! Goooooooooaaaaaaaaal!”), ends up dissolving into almost abstract bubbles and bloops – the audio produces a second animating figure, less visible and insistent than the artificial light, but similarly ever-present as a structuring force in the film.


2020 — Vídeo 8´57”
Screened at:
—White, The Mud. Softest Sun Machine, solo show curated by Margot Cuevas, Racoon Barcelona, Screening Room, Residency 11:11, Goldsmiths MFA Degree Show London.


Machine White Sun

This video is composed by its character and its subject— the character is a gaze, that moves through a series of interstitial and festive spaces during the winter of 2019, and records what passes in front of it. The subject is the movement, behaviour, and temperament of various fluids.

We see scenes of water put to work in harshly directed jets, rooms built for bathing and relaxation, heavy with condensation, and we see that same dew on the interior of a crowded night bus. We see found footage sourced online, mathematical modelling of flows and forces, underwater vignettes, fake pearls and flood scenes. Water that is domesticated and water out of control. Abstracted, aestheticised, damaging, and utilitarian situations; the gaze encounters all of them with equality, at the same small distance.

The curator Rita Aktay writes in her essay The Thing in All of It’s Instances as it Happens (2020, written to accompany the work. The first sentence is a quote from Jacques Rancière’s essay The Future of the Image, 2003) that:

There is a visibility that does not amount to an image. And how does one visualise something that exists in many places at once, in each instance on its own terms? For example, condensation on a transparent surface is one manifestation of water, but is that the same as the condensation on the windows of a crowded night bus? There is only the entirety of the thing in all of its instances as it happens, which is still not the thing itself.

The quality of the gaze is tuned to what Aktay identifies as ‘the thing itself’, which cannot be cleanly imaged. In embedding itself into these encounters with fluids, the gaze makes its character known. And as its character is revealed it begins to speak, though what it says is murky; language is not quite sufficient for this type of speaking.

Perhaps what we are left with is a horizontal ordering of experiences, interested in the arbitrariness of a direct encounter with the world. As the film moves forward, images seemed gratuitous begin to coalesce into a story and a mood, which eventually brings the viewer to a flooded artificial beach, with its fake palms, infatuated couples, loud ambient music and vain teenagers. It is Christmas time. The final calamity, the unstoppable flood, brings an ambience of peace. Aktay says this:

Friends are Important. Yet there is a certain ugliness to that which is just there, that which just happens. All those things that weren’t specifically intended by anyone but somehow still managed to end up overdetermined. Or all those things that were once attempted but didn’t even fail.

2020 — Vídeo 15´47”
Screened at:
STRAY Voltage, KINGS Melbourne, CAVE curated by Nikolaos Akritidis, Fondations312 Brussels, —White, The Mud. Softest Sun Machine, solo show curated by Margot Cuevas, Racoon Barcelona, SCREEN, curated by Cristina Ramos, Art Viewer, Strange Strangers, Parsec, Bolonia 2021, Screening Room, Residency 11:11, Goldsmiths MFA Degree Show London


blue fire

blue fire is a short video that performs like a collage, made entirely from snippets of found footage. The title is taken from the name of a roller coaster that features near the middle of the work, and blueness and fire predominate through the scenes; they form a type of visual grammar around which the video structures itself, minimally articulated, subtle, and intense.

At the start, there is a brief cameo by a cartoon flame (whose name is ‘Joe’), and footage of deep undersea volcanic activity, which we are told in voiceover ‘has never been seen before, although eruptions like this make up 80 per cent of the Earth’s surface volcanic activity’.

There are various domestic scenes. Some are staged as spectacles: the water demolition of a house, an Olympic gymnastics routine, teenagers competing in a vaping contest. Others are impromptu, and record sudden emotions and reactions; wonder and joy in the presence of glowing bioluminescence during a family holiday, with a loved life partner, the airtight anxiety of flight turbulence. The footage of the rollercoaster combines and arranges them like a central spine; an elaborately staged spectacle that nonetheless provokes real screams of fright and delight from the passengers strapped into it.

The grammar runs beneath these volatile positions of artificial/authentic, performance/reaction, domestic/professional, and delight/dismay. You feel that each is in a constant state of being about to erupt, and are left with the sense that both states are somehow latent beneath the action on the screen.

This about to erupt never does arrive. Instead, the blue fire stays twisted through the slice-of-life scenes, pseudoscientific images, and youngsters’ experiments. Just like the roller coaster that names it, the video collects easy-going moments of awe, enjoyment, stress, and tension release, and builds them into a chain that progressively builds up. The work is oddly auto-terminating; whenever it comes near to the ecstasy, the sequence ends abruptly, with a common panic scene.

blue fire develops a visual language, glueing together separate instants of reality. It acts as something like a statement of intention, and similar gestures and imagery will go on to inform future works by Esther. In this video though, what you get is a carefully managed distance from the combustions and their varied moments of ignition and burst.

2020 — Vídeo 5´03”
Commissioned by Manuel Segade and Tania Pardo for Un Metro y Medio, online screening programme held at CA2M Museum Madrid

Ugly Enemies

Ugly Enemies is a site-specific intervention made of up a complex series of layers, feints, and screening devices. The overlapping layers are arrayed such that movement through the gallery can easily become circular or recursive — you can find yourself lead down or up, inwards or outwards, through and between its fixed scenes, in a manner similar to an amusement ride. Encounters with the work will shift and change depending on your relative position, your point of view, or the time of the day as the light in the room changes with the position of the sun or the intensity of traffic.

The pieces that make up the show collaborate and compete with the architecture of the gallery; they lead visitors through the space and are themselves active agents in this wandering passage. Architectural features such as the stairway, lift mechanisms, protective glass, and fake marble tiles are implicated in the show’s functioning. There are steel pathways and hanging entrances on display beside flat images (trompe l’oeil on the floor, plastic jewellery, images applied directly to the walls), red-flickering lights, and a series of small clay sculptures/creatures, partially hidden through the show. These disparate elements compose the installation, but also serve as the set for the filming of El Que Monta Cargas (He Who Rides Loads), a video work that is also on display inside the installation.

In another layer, beyond what is physically present in the gallery, the work enters into correspondence with two texts; one by the artist, titled Sunburns, and the other by the theorist and risk analyst Benedict Singleton, titled Gyropolitics. These texts introduce the animating spirit of the installation, which moves through the space like breath moves in a living body— they discuss the figure of the trap, the practice of trapping, and describe an entire landscape of signs, images, and environments that are designed to betray, to switch their face. All stable relationships are thrown into question. The trap is not put in place to ensnare the viewer; it is something omnipresent, a total environment, and artists, visitors, artworks, and galleries alike are thrust into a space where the distinctions between stable positions blur together.

These connotations locate it in a radically utilitarian space; a machine is something defined by its function; which is not just performed independently (only the simplest and smallest machine does things on its own) but is likely either to be incorporated into larger systems, or to be an integral part of a larger machine, an individual component integrated into larger systems. A machine is always a beginning, it gestures toward vaster formations.

Excerpt from the mentioned essay by Esther Gatón, Sunburns.

Gyres are formed when a cluster of people become locked into patterns of pre-emptive manoeuvre with respect to one another. […] Compel others, instead, to strategise, occupying their minds with attempts to understand where you are leading them, or what you want from them, or what you will do next.

Excerpt from the text written to accompany this show, by Benedict Singleton, Gyropolitics.

There are certainly other layers as well, but their number and depth will be dependent on the visitor, and how far and deeply they are willing to enter into productive collaboration with the trap works and the trap gallery that surrounds them.

2020-21 —Mixed-media installation and digital video: wood, PVC strip curtains, spotlights, clay, plastic jewellery, steel platforming, leaves, water, glitter, printed silk. 
Solo show at Cibrián, Donostia-San Sebastián

4,2,3 legs. t(f)ake a zancada—oomph!

It shrieks, it writhes.
It gets bigger and bigger

A volcano explodes and turns back
into a mountain

2019 —Resin and plaster sculptures, ashtray, water, bricks, fake pond, sand, mosaic pebbles, wax, sausage liquid, bubble machine.
Interim show. MFA Fine Arts, Goldsmiths London

Tiriti titi

Artists in the show: Pilar Albarracín, Elena Blasco, Sol Calero, Ester Gatón, Daiga Grantina, Camille Henrot, Dorothy Iannone, Engel Leonardo, Jonathan Monk, Niki de Saint Phalle, Mika Rottemberg, Samara Scott and Teresa Solar Abboud.

Printed catalogue bilingual Spanish-English, it includes the text surface, ornament, frivolity, written by the artist.

2019 —Bouncing sculptures, latex, pigments, hessian and balls.
The Happy Fact Group show held at La Casa Encendida Madrid. Curated by Tania Pardo.

la glotis

I once used the term «bodily ego», which I understood to mean a strong, almost visceral identification between the body of the creator and/or the body of the viewer and the form. I could also have used Gaston Bachelard’s term «muscular consciousness.”
Lucy R. Lippard, 2007

La glotis is a project about the sculptural (tactile) eruptions that appear when we perform the frequent exercise of swallowing. The project investigates the correlations between haptics and phonetics, while at the same time stripping away the rigour of these two sciences. I composed a kind of soundtrack with the involuntary and/or embarrassing sounds produced when our digestive apparatus meets the phonator, such as hiccups, belching, throat clearing, bubbling, mumbling, salivation and other noises produced by this gymnastics that lack a name of their own.

Voices by Juan Gabriel Gutiérrez, Óscar Llorente and Sole Parody.
Technical assistance Pablo Teijón

2018 — Two audio loops, 4’47”, 4’09”
Injuve Grant, Madrid (2018), Dazzling Encounters, Sanderson Hotel London (2019) curated by Cristina Herráiz, TRANSMISSIONS, curated by Cristina Ramos The Watch Berlin (2020), Sala Amadís Madrid, curated by Marta Echaves, Volumen Vol.1, Digital Album curated by Julio Lugón (2020), Descripción de Un Estado Físico, curated by Pepe Suárez, Elba Benítez & Schneider Colao Madrid (2021).

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