Extract ‘On other uses of hemp’. Territorios. Siglo XX Edition. Mexico, 1978.
…Amongst the many magical properties of string is that of changing name simply by crossing the Atlantic: in Spain it is called “cordel”, and in Montevideo and Buenos Aires “piolin”. Protagonist or mediator of countless metamorphoses – in its name, its drawings, its functions – the string that I call “piolin” is one of those elements that indelibly inhabit the museum of my childhood, and that throughout my life have remained in profound and inexplicable contact with my vision of things. And now Leopoldo Nòvoa knows it: I had only to see some of his works to decide the course and justification of these lines. Without telling us, it was like feeling that there exists in the world a nameless fraternity of artists and poets for whom string serves as Masonic sign, as secret cipher. Behind the myth of Arachne, perhaps, and the immense spider’s web of elective affinities; not just anybody, let it not be stressed, is worthy of the universal brotherhood of string.
It was almost as if by fate that, years later, in a last delirium of lucidity, a certain Horacio Oliveira barricaded himself in behind a terrible and precarious defence of string; and that much later, today, these words should find themselves face to face with the lengths of string that Leopoldo Nòvoa’s art raises like no-one else’s to its vocation of signs, of indications, of instruments for a navigation that respects other cartographies, that seeks the unknown lands of the reality that matters…
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