Thinking, Seeing, Taking Away:
Lidó Rico’s Strategies ofActivating Sculpture
Mieke Bal

Open the door and enter the space, look around, and the process happens: you are visiting art on display. Upon entering the Sala Veronicas in Murcia during the tenure in 2021 of the exhibition“Tu Vuelo, Mis Alas”,(your flight, my wings), of works by the prominentSpanish artist Lidó Rico (1968), many different sensations produce a sense of surprise, even dumbfounding. As a result, many distinctive questions pop into your mind. The title suggests the artist is going to take you on a trip; through the air, perhaps, with his wings as the motor. Transport of a poetic kind. And indeed, he does: he takes you on a flight through the landscapes of sculpture. But before you realize that, flabbergasting confusions already speak to you. Hence, the flight under his wings is a dialogue; an intellectual-artistic conversation, whether or not the artist is present during your visit. For, at any rate, his works are there, and they do the speaking. To sum these perplexities up, the simple question “what is this?” will have to do for now. My commentary takes that simple but fundamental question as its starting and end point. In answer to this question I will consider different works, aspects, and thoughts that together constitute this exhibition. They all speak to you, and compel you to speak back.
If we need a genre label in the way the artworld tends to categorize artworks, this artist is a sculptor – there is no way around that. But the work as exhibited here questions everything we know, or think we know about the art of sculpture – about sculpture as art.And yet, it all circles back to those presumptions which were safely ensconced in our intellectual baggage when we arrived. It does so in a convoluted way, so that you end up with a sense of relief – yes, this is sculpture after all. But oh man – after the flight on or under the wings of Lidó, the art of sculpture will never be the same again. For, during the trip we have learned to think, question, and discover the art of seeing anew. In this article I will bring up some of those questions, uncertainties, hesitations – in short, wonderments. My answers will always be provisional, expressions of my own doubts. But what I hope to convey is the incredible gain we can glean from encountering art through the trembling steps of not-knowing. And that is what Lidó’s art/sculpture gives us, as a gift we can take home and cherish for life. Dare to doubt, to acknowledge your ignorance, and you will exit the space, event, experience, as a different person…