PILAR COSSÍO. “Journal de la Seine”

In this fourth exhibition, which takes part of the second edition of PHotoEspaña Santander 2020, Pilar Cossío presents a photographic project consisting of a series of works, which are different from what she has previously done. This time, the inspirational action is located around the Seine, through Rêveries, in the purest sense of baudelairean term. The experience of the walker who abandons himself to the phantasmagorias of the place, to his dreams, entitled Journal de la Seine. In this particular oneiric walk the works are presented as fragments close to abstraction, like the scenes of dreams are often presented to us, in a diffuse transition of bright colours with earth.

“The faculty of dreaming is a divine and mysterious faculty, since it is through the dream that man communicates with the world that surrounds him.”
Charles Baudelaire


Pilar Cossío has always known how to combine being a contemporary artist with her vocation as a traveler and a nomad.

Always traveling to extreme places and, as Lord Dunsany confessed: “her fables and her works did not push her to sustain the certainty and the din of what she had lived, but the mist of what she dreamed of.”

The dreams of Pilar Cossío foreshadow in her work the verisimilitude of the object. Homer says about Ulysses that he was on the verge of discovering or revealing himself, of reaching his essence and being Ulysses entirely.
Pilar reveals herself… Indeed.

The fabrics, images and warps, artifacts due to the mind and hand of Pilar Cossío shine emerging, like something extra-ordinary, which when unmasked from all reality conceive the inconceivable, the palpable reality, grown within and beyond the appearances.

The pilgrimage not only physical but also spiritual that Pilar is now making with her series of works Journal de la Seine, means a new stage in her personal construction of language.

This time, her unprecedented movements take place in Paris, her city, and more specifically near its river, the Seine, which, as happened during her stay in London with the Thames, becomes (the river) the centre of her inquiries.


“Who knows how to create loses nothing. Who knows how to create, knows that it is necessary to empty oneself, for creation to take place. Making the void within oneself is the first exercise, the first stage in learning the magnificent art of creation. The blank page that awaits the drawing or the word constantly reminds us that creation is a struggle with emptiness. Things, creatures and their images were created ex nihilo.
There are many reasons for traveling: meet, run away, go to meet the unexpected, follow a trace, a perfume, an allusion. You also travel to write. Displaced, we will find in nostalgia the feeling that leads to expression. This is what poets and painters have done: they have abandoned their home in arrears and have set out on the road to language. Often the journey has turned into transhumance, traveling between two or three places, following the seasons, as herds do. In this way a new form of sedentary lifestyle has been born, a movement that takes temporary possession of different dwellings, never definitive. This is how our artist has done, Pilar Cossío has traveled the world, settling naturally in each of the chosen places, a brave, extraordinary way of elaborating her unique artistic language”.

Nadia Fusini, excerpt from her text El viaje de Pilar Cossío: Jouissance. London


Pilar Cossío has transmuted her artistic practice in three directions: light installations and ready-mades; drawing and writing like her last artist books Splendor Solis and Splendor Luna in Spanish, French and Arabic, and photography. She is one of the references of Spanish Contemporary art, being one of its most international artists. She lives in Paris, but she is always closely linked to Italy, the country where she lived from 1971 to 1999 -except two years spent in London (1990/92) at the Delfina Studios Trust Foundation, Contemporary Art-. Since 2010 she has carried out projects in Morocco and Lebanon. Selected for the Casablanca Biennale (2012-14-16), she has spent several months in the international residence for contemporary artists (Ifitri-).

Among her most recent exhibitions, “Caravanserail”, Galerie Weiller, Paris; “Caravanserai” (“Splendor Solis”)  at  Mashrabia Art Gallery, Instituto Cervantes  and Embassy of Spain in Cairo, Egypt (2016), Monastery of Subiaco  Monastery,Rome- Italy: Photographic project (2016), “Specular Space” at Faro de Cabo Mayor in Santander (2017). He publishes several artist’s books, highlighting “Splendor Solis” (2015), “Splendor Luna” (2017) and travel diaries (Paris – Beirut), which were presented in Santander, Paris, Tanger, León or Madrid. Among her latest projects stands out in 2018 “Fractal Sand”, at Universidad de León, Cultural Activities and Campus of Ponferrada / Paolo Tonin Arte Contemporaneo, Turin and in 2019 in Tangier, Instituto Cervantes. This 2020 she will participate in PhotoEspaña with Juan Silió Gallery and individual exhibitions are taking place at the Altamira Museum and the Central Library of Cantabria. Also in August 2020, she participated in the project “Video d’artista” –Tuk Music exhibition-  Time in Jazz in Sardegna, Italy.



1st October – 8th December, 2020
Pilar Cossío

Galería Juan Silió
C/ Sol 45, bajo. 39003 Santander.

Opening Hours:
Monday – Saturday,
10.30AM – 1.30PM
6PM – 9PM

Exhibition subsidised by Ministry of Culture and Sport