beltzuria    The first voice is the animal’s. And then it’s mother’s. When did the first voice, the very first spark for this book light up?

Along with the picture at the start of the text: when an elderly woman walking on a beach says: Ah, what a Beltzuria (frown) is on its way! That’s when Beltzuria started, eight years ago.
It’s hard to say what what genre Beltzuria belongs to.

Amongst others, we’ve seen essay, poetry and documentary. It’s also something like a device. How would you define it?

It’s a text which brings together everything you’ve said. You can read the text taking anything into account: a picture, a person walking somewhere, an elderly woman walking beside the sea on a beach, a body moving, a picture, a score, a film. We can read all of those things and complete our interpretation using them. I use the word device in the last text in Beltzuria, it came out when we did the presentation too, somebody who was with me said that. I should add that I’m not particularly interested in single interpretations, or things which offer a unique interpretation, or the need some people have to be able to define things using a single word… I’m interested in materials which help to describe the complexity of reality.

It’s hard for readers to guess what’s coming on the next page. That’s attractive for some people, but other people feel insecure about it. And I get the impression that for you too, the writer, the process has been a bit like that. A book which you created as you were writing it... It’s written without being propped up on anything ... Is that right, or did you know what the direction and structure were going to be from the start?

The book is the process of writing in itself. But the script for Beltzuria was not written beforehand and there’s no type of initial scene setting which I had written and which takes me to the end. I start writing and completed the book as I wrote. I explain that in the text itself. Sometimes I create situations, there’s also a process of setting situations, performance, amongst other ways of creating things. It’s been a lot of work assembling and editing the material created. And the poetic side of things, which I’ve worked hard on, is beneath all of that.
All poetry has work behind it, a way of seeing the world. And, while that work is not wholly visible, the way it reaches the reader, listener or receptor is in one way or another. I’m interested in getting into all the areas which I don’t master when I’m writing. At the same time, everything in the text is carefully measured: silences, rhythms, sounds, resonance. In other words, the text’s inner play writing. Composition is a matter of conscience and responsibility
in my work, a clear position is taken. That’s why I don’t think the receptor is left without support. It’s true that the receptor has to take part, he/she has to take up a position with regards to the text. That’s the receptor’s freedom.

And I explain that on the first or second page. I’m well behaved like that, with myself and with the readers too. I take hold of the material and then the receptor creates the meaning using the material taken hold of. I don’t create all the meanings because I don’t want to. There’s also a position to be taken between writing and being the writer. Doing the opposite, controlling
the meaning and serving it up on a tray, is, I’ll say it again, manipulation.

Voices are particularly important in the book. It searches for voices for us. Where did you get that need to think and talk about voices?

From the practice of writing. A decade ago I started asking myself questions such as what is the relationship between the word, the body and the voice? What can that relationship do and influence in the artistic process? What is the influence of performance in writing? How can you take the word and the voice to space, to the stage, etc? Ten years ago, when I was getting my play Gau bakar bat (‘A Single Night’) ready for the stage with choreographer Idoia Zabaleta, those questions multiplied, so to speak. Since then I’ve written a voice, short texts and essays, articles...I’m interested in carrying out theoretical research and artistic initiatives about the voice: they’re both complementary in my work at the moment. Because the voice isn’t just words, we usually link it with language and meaning, it’s part of the language system. Words and meanings throw a shadow over the voice, they leave it to one side, marginalise it. It’s been that way throughout the history of thought, and that universal thought still has us tied down. But words are the voice as well as meaning, rhythm, material. And the voice is breathing, the voice which comes out of the body, something
physical, organic. As well as that, the voice is what makes us unique. Looking and listening to the voice in a complex manner opens up a fertile area for us. Or at least it does for me.

You present the form of the book, in terms of design, as a non-sequential narrative, leaving spaces between the texts and the story. Empty spaces and silences, as if they were moments for getting your breath back...

The book is an object which has not been published just any old way... The contents of Beltzuria themselves demanded that form. I try to combine contents and forms. So I pay a lot of attention to design. Because of the use of language, the attempt to lengthen the words, the way of using photographs which I don’t have... In that area I’d like to underline Bigara’s Itziar Aranburu and Jon Ander Garcia’s work: they opened many other windows for the book with their great sensibility.

We’ve reflected about images in the balde time and again. In Beltzuria you’ve not included images but the spaces for them emphasise them...
What’s that all about?

Not using images throughout the text enabled me to reflect about images and, later, to use two images which I had chosen during the writing process. About the disappearance of images. Are images disappearing? What happens when they disappear? Don’t they insist on coming back and isn’t that how they survive? To answer your question, the images and non-images I’ve used
are like glow-worms.

The book has two special sections at the end, instructions and coda (tail in Italian). Why are those two sections separate from the book?

Those two texts have another texture, they were created in a different way, using a different mechanism. Those two texts are somewhere between words’ rhythm and meaning, I wanted to get them both across in a special way. I didn’t see them in the main part of the book, not in the notes either. That coda may be a type of epilogue as well.