Ruben Martin de Lucas: Stupid Boarders

Curator: Francois Cheval 

A 100 m2space outlined on the ground, located with GPS coordinates and with its own specific time period, inhabited by a human form. These are the objective and absurd data that define the physical, real existence of a nation. Ruben Martin de Lucas’ process is as minimalist as the titles of his series: “Minimal Republic” and “Iceberg Nations”. He is constant and persistent, inventing and founding imaginary ensembles. Like Aneas, the mischievous surveyor outlines his space and moves in. He is master of all he surveys, an omnipotent demigod, in control of machines as, he believes in reading and considers initial geographical observation to be a moral principle. People can only come together if they share the same vision of the landscape. This is how the spirit of a nation is perpetuated. The swift and ephemeral installation provides the only example of the overall visual perception of a country. While it took God himself a full week to create the Earth, Ruben Martin de Lucas only needs a day.


It only takes a few partial measurements and the map of the world is changed. The arbitrary nature of political geography has been justifiably questioned many times since the work of Élisée Reclus and Ruben Martin de Lucas’ representation of it is a form of spatial pantomime! Time and space, two quantities that can be evaluated, submit to his will. The minimalist definition of the idea of a nation is reflected by the minimalism of the landscape, the representation is idealised, a virtuous territory made from the same substance. Every  “Minimal Republic” makes the promethean dream of a cartographic ideal come true, by creating a perfectly outlined ensemble, with no otherness, and above all no ethnic, religious or social contradictions. This geographical farce laughs at the methodically drawn lines, drafted by experienced technicians and geographers, at the accumulation of details that are there to serve those in charge. Aerial photography, satellites and now drones mean that every spatial area can be photographed, and as such controlled. Science and the market have made Borgès’ prophecy come true by establishing the map of the whole world. We can now create a map of the Empire whose size is that of the Empire, and which coincides point for point with it. Sketching out a territory means, above all, outlining the map of rivalries.


版权所有 © 卢本·马丁·德·卢卡斯 


All Images 

© Ruben Martin de Lucas

Courtesy of the artist

About the artist

Born in Madrid, Spain 1977.

Graduated in 2002 as a Civil Engineer by the Higher School of Civil Engineers of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Rubén decided, after a long trip to India, to dedicate himself completely to art.

In 2001 he became one of the five founders of Boa Mistura, a multidisciplinary artistic collective with roots in urban art with whom Rubén worked from 2001 to 2015, doing projects in South Africa, Spain, Norway, Germany, Algeria, Mexico and Brazil.

In January 2015 he began his solo career developing a body of work whose focus is, what the artist calls: "landscape and associated behavior". Under this heading there is a discursive line that questions the behavior of humanity and its links with the territory, studying aspects such as: the gradual reduction of space for wildlife, “The Naked Trace“, the overpopulation, "Genesis 1.28", the artificial character of the borders "Minimum Republics", the liquid nature of the concept of nation: "Iceberg Nations" or the dichotomy between industrial agriculture and natural agriculture: "The garden of Fukuoka".

With strong roots in painting and urban art, Rubén has been evolving towards more conceptual processes, expanding his language to photography, video and actions in the landscape, resulting in his work in a rich range of languages.