From the “everything is possible as long as it isn’t painting” attitude of the ‘90s we have arrived at “everything is possible as long as it is painting.” However, as art critics David Lillington and Benjamin Buchloh have outlined, we have returned to “a new classicism” that manifests itself in the return of easel painting and traditional values; and of which schools such as Leipzig, Dresden, and artists like Neo Rauch and Peter Doig are the clearest representatives. Maybe we should ask ourselves a basic question: what would Velazquez’s artistic practice be like today?
As we find more and more artists using interdisciplinary approaches in making their work, it has become increasingly difficult to categorize their art as simply painting, photography and video and so we have resorted to using the term “image”. It is this polysemic and de-constructive value of the image which has recently enabled a reformulation of the traditional pictorial techniques, materials, and genres, which, on the other hand, fitted very well in post-modern hybridization strategies.
Today our ability to access visual information is enormous as is our ability to disseminate it. If most information reaches us via television, Internet, I-phones, video consoles, Facebook, and other mass media, the way in which we manipulate and redistribute images should also be radically new. This sentiment has brought us to a place where the distinctions between the pictorial, the photographic, the performative, and the digital have blurred, generating a sort of “diffused pictorialism”. This in turn dramatically affects how we look at historical images.
In order to reference this new reality we could give birth in a speculative as well as practical manner to the concept “techno-referentiality”: a context where painting measures itself against its own history and myths while at the same time deploying interdisciplinary and digital approaches, and where the authenticity of an art work or the origins of the source material are irrelevant.
When does a painting cease to be a painting? How can we construct a painting that informs itself through the analogue and digital realms? Is a moving painting a perversion of painting? These are some of the questions that the exhibit When a painting moves…something must be rotten!… tries to tackle. The artists in the exhibition work in a formal, literal, or conceptual manner and play with the pictorial as “moving painting”, reformulating such classical genres as still life, landscape, and portraiture.
Participating artists include Alexey Buldakov, Myritza Castillo, Raúl Cordero, Raphael DiLuzio, Chus García-Fraile, Ori Gersht, José Maçãs de Carvalho, Fabián Marcaccio, Enrique Marty, Krisdy Schindler, Sam Taylor-Wood, Mariana Vassileva and Tim White Sobieski.
The exhibition opens November 18th at the Musem of Art of Puerto Rico (MAPR).
Text by Paco Barragán
Images provided by Paco Barragán and the artists