Eduardo Scalas house a rented apartment in Ávila outside the city that he calls base camp is a motley map of his life From the walls of the room that serves as his study hang many of his projects arranged in plastic covers from visual poems for the blind to a mural in Mexico City passing through a magazine in which the Queen is seen in Palma de Mallorca

The caption reads Doña Letizia wore a very informal look composed of white trousers and a black Tshirt designed by the poet and artist from Madrid Eduardo Scala for the Delirio publishing house where the word Kafka could be read

It costs 15 euros The print on that Tshirt is one of the portraits of writers scientists and thinkers that Scala executes in the form of calligrams biograms he says since in 1978 the method appeared to him working with the letters of Alfonso X the wise

That same system is the one used in the 16 portraits of artists Paul Klee Remedios Varo Maruja Mallo Mondrian for the show that can be seen at the Guillermo de Osma gallery in Madrid

The exhibition also coincides with the publication of Re tratos Books of Resistance a compilation of alphabetic constellations palindromes and space games arising from a very personal mixture of linguistics kabbalah and mathematics

Passionate bad things like a lot Poetry is another matterPHOTO GALLERY The universe of Eduardo Scala

The 75yearold poet and artist from Madrid believes that Doña Letizia bought the shirt at the 2015 Book Fair but does not remember it

He is more interested in chess queens Another of the walls of his study is full of boards and Scala admits that he would not have come to poetry or art if he had not been a chess player before He stopped competing at the age of 22 after becoming Madrid youth champion It was my language he says

The world of chess has a truth that the world of art does not There are no false prestige When they tell you that someone is very good you respond Lets see how he plays It is the gymnastics of the brain The first thing I do every morning is play a quick game on the internet to see how my head is doing

It puts me to work He left it because he was more an artist than a sportsman We were going to a tournament in Italy in a six hundred

Eduardo Scalas project on the wall of his house in Ávilaenlarge photo
Eduardo Scalas project on the wall of his house in Ávila INMA FLORES
When he left the competition he dedicated himself to teaching chess in Malaga and Mallorca thats what Ive lived through and writing about great games

In 1992 he covered Bobby Fischers reunion with Boris Spassky in Belgrade blocked by the Balkan war Three years later he traveled to the world championship that Gary Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand played on the observatory floor 107 of the World Trade Center in New York

Fischer was absolute precision a madman an esthete I treated him remotely For Kasparov he designed the covers of the five volumes of My Great Predecessors his particular history of the great masters Anand who lost seemed to him very humble an antihero

The Americans turned that into a fairground barracks he recalls but it is impressive to think that the first game was played on September 11 1995 and that the Twin Towers no longer exist

Scala traveled to Manhattan accompanied by photographer Carlos Tarancón They came back with 100 snapshots with all the micromanages from the players They were never published The magazine that had sent them El Europeo closed before they saw the light Now they want to recover that material in an exhibition and a book

Another milestone in Eduardo Scalas sports career was the game he played in 1991 with John Cage It appears in his biographical notes but he downgrades the literature I was in Madrid and they introduced me to it

He had a special aura He had come to chess through Duchamp a true master but he was no good I went through a critical moment I realized that I was playing with a saint with an innocent I offered him a draw and we left him

When Eduardo Scala left chess he began to write verses that he describes as strong blasphemous beat countercultural Then add another qualifier Garbage Overcoming shame he takes out a 1971 issue of the magazine Poesía Hispánica directed by José García Nieto and opens it with a Triptych to Pavese that bears his signature They didnt know me but they published me

If you go with passion ahead they applaud you Passionate bad things like a lot Poetry is another matter That was a position you want to be a writer and you put yourself on it

That same year he burned all his writings to arrive in 1974 at his first adult work Geometría del ectasis It was followed by titles such as SO L UNA based on the union of opposites orArs de Job a monosyllabic book that along with six more brought together in a volume published by Siruela It is his Canticle of Unity

At the same time he began working on projects described with labels that he drastically rejects despite the fact that they have secured him a place in the history of literature and art section unclassifiable Visual poetry From the first clay tablet all writing is visual

Once a blind actress performed my poems What is that Artist book Degrading ridiculousness A manuscript is a manuscript Experimental poetry Research with the alphabet does not begin in the avantgarde it has centuries I erase all my experimentation

I dont keep those documents that museums now like In any case it would be spiritual he adds citing Cervantes mixture between spirit and experience Im not interested in games of wit I try to get closer to the mystery that each word contains To the sacred

That is what has led him to study Kabbalah Buddhism Christian mysticism and Sufi Also what brought him to Ávila a city without temptations to which he arrived eight years ago after losing families and libraries along the way He rented a room and shared a flat with two passing teachers When they left he took over the entire rent giving up the superfluous Eight years in Ávila without heating

He says wrapped in several layers of clothing including a hat while he bustles around the camp It is not a heroic act I am annoyed by those who are heroes I am divine There is silence I work on my things go for a walk I go to the mystical study center Its always sunny in Ávila even if it snows

Beyond chess classes he has never wanted a job job Years ago he spent six months in a printing company and thats where it all ended If youre responsible you do things right Outcome They wanted to raise my salary

I took off It is selling your energy your life If you are going to have a crisis better be yours not the angry boss If you have to have problems they better be real Sometimes you reach extreme situations of necessity But you have to gamble its your game

By Wi Zi

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