Writer Mark Kramer describes the work of Landet on his essay titled “Taxonomy of a Landscape”
When George Sand, the troubled Romantic writer, was just a young pregnant woman, a slight illness forced her to lock herself in her room for six long weeks and give up the horse back rides in the park she so enjoyed. With sadness, but with hope, she took charge of moving the park itself into her room: the roof was covered with green cloth, the corners were filled with fir branches and timid birds were taken in to fly within those four dark walls.
To recreate a beloved landscape, requires us to know it intimately. Bringing a landscape before our eyes, confronts us with the need to define it in a subjective and capricious manner: a single fabric, some branches and a flock of birds were necessary in order to recreate Sand's forest indoors.
When Landet works, classification is the most accurate way to know every tiny detail of these unfamiliar paintings. He cuts them, he covers them, stains and almost inadvertently rescues them from oblivion. But the taxonomic process involved is more than an obsessive-compulsive impulse to classify and categorize. Taxonomy becomes a way of narrating and telling stories; since narrating requires the gathering of events in time; such as hundreds of small squares of different canvases and making us believe they were born from the same brush.
The paintings used by Landet, paintings tarnished by indifference and at some point left at the flea market by a heartless individuals, were at one point temporarily at rest, a visual history full of intimate anecdotes revealed only to the men behind their signatures. They are, (now I realize like those stories heard over generations at the center of a family table), as if they where part of an ancient oral narrative hidden behind a portrait, a slashed photograph or a series of handwritten signatures.
Only after watching with scientific patience, Landet could now listen to the anecdotes once told by those paintings. He collaged, fragmented, and bitterly interrupted them with a wall or a thick black stain to narrate the tales of a different generation marked by other horrors. Thus, letting us understand that by looking back and rearranging the images of the past, becomes not only a way to create an original work, but a chance for all which has preceded not fade into oblivion.
Full of hope then José Luis Landet has created in the middle of these bright and white (and not the Sand's dark room) gallery walls, the birth of an intimate and vast landscape, which we yearn and will secretly recount to the children of our children.
José Luis Landet’s work involves a wide range of operating and assimilating cultural processes crossed by social, political and ideological actions, through which he explores cultural remnants
The restoration and presentation of other artists works, mostly amateur painters,represents an ideal starting point for Landet’s objectives: to recover, document and innovate.
Landet believes classification is the most accurate way to know every tiny detail of an unfamiliar painting. The Argentinian artist deconstructs images, and in the process, reveals new narratives. Landet deconstruct images and in the process review new narratives.