CIMBRA, installation view
An assemblage with concave and convex elements by Thomas Glassford prepares the viewer for a distortion in their perception about the indiscernible limits and differences between established, procedural, formal, abstract or conceptual in contemporary art. Artists working within the context of Mexico, free of the historical and social imperatives, provoke an anamorphosis of vision located in the fold of Being and matter. Much like an erotic act, they speculate through an intimate relationship of art and artist. Matter and intelligible code field converge recreationally as a reflection of the Self. Some features, discovered by the curator Josefa Ortega, operate as a common thread that bring together works by artists from many different lands and ages: analytical construction, unveiling of the quality of material, structural game, time investment, non-referentiality and minimal use of materials. Looking for an evolution in form, the artists here described delve into the archives of abstraction and trends since 1945 such as pop, minimal forms, Arte Povera and conceptualism, using a wide range of media from painting, video, sculpture and object art.
Ernesto Alva Médula
In a becoming-child an intense process of constant and repetitive actions implies a moment of trance, to the extent of blackout during the time spent creating the work of Ernesto Alva and Francisco Morales. The use of freedom without judgment between good and evil produces opposite results: Alva, in Meningioma 2009, transports to irregular mappings of an irresistible haptic sensation, you can actually feel the touch in your eyes. The geographical representation of chaos on synthetic material evidences, in his work Médula 2009, technical research and philosophical explorations flowing among life, the mind and experience. Morales, with a precise line in Trayectoria del viento 2007 and Colectores lunares 2008 bears the imprint of the artist in the work, the erosion in the creative act on a material with such intensity that it produces geometric spaces with an exhilarating optical effect. “The artwork is a substance formed; an immediate vision that affects us with their appearance”. The look of these works produces complex sensations through the enjoyment of the materials used.
A reflection on the interrelationship of space and time, with the intelligence applied to form, is an element that shares the work of Georgina Bringas and Gabriel Boils. Both, from an analytical construct, lead to a hyper-rationalization of matter. Bringas, in Colección del tiempo 2010, evidences the spatial manifestation of time from a monochromatic component of variable surfaces using material of VHS video tapes to plot the extent of its duration in time. Is it possible to see time? The inversion of the parameters of space and time in her work produces profound silence in the spectator. Boils, in Los Campos 2010, uses the temporal fractals in a spatial relationship to pinpoint and accurately translate color classification based on a puzzle of the wok of Van Gogh. Spatial relationships produce a form that gives the impression of a constant heartbeat; the rhythm and movement manifest a mysterious link among the sciences and art, which is far from a socio-political discourse, and approaches to Cosmology and Physics. The shape is similar to the intermittent electronic circuits of sound frequencies.
Mario Núñez, Gravity 0
A video circuit by Ale de la Puente, …esta tormenta seca no es estéril 2008, modifies the perception of an object in action: the steady decline of red and blue confetti on the surface. In speculating on the degree of clarity and cloudiness in the same image, the work reassures the viewer’s gaze by playing with the degrees of visual saturation. Intermittent clear and cloudy vision, changing locations throughout the video, goes from confusion to clarity and vice versa. Mario Núñez, in Gravity 0 2009, also plays with visual saturation through painting. Painting makes visible what is invisible: the small networks formed by a confluence of fine delicate drips of paint on the canvas uncover the texture of being, a portrait of forces and affections. The eye lives in the saturated texture of the canvas, where the repetition of simple forms, that with time becomes a complex shape. Martin Heidegger once wrote: “The thing is what is perceptible in the senses through sensations.” The festive atmosphere created in the dialogue between these “things” (works of art) produces pleasurable sensations that literally attack the body.
In the exhibition a playful space breaks the boundaries among industrial design, interior architecture and site-specific art produced by Aníbal Catalan: Morphological Zone 2010 as a composition that resembles a childlike spacecraft battle in a non violent space. Armed with synthetic materials, the objects float in an innocuous circular atmosphere: the battle does not produce any harm. Xawery Wolski also explores being, the ethereal and the unseen through pieces-mandala, which may reflect a living microscopic scene or a cosmic constellation. In a clear reference to outer space, his work Lunar I, II, III 2009 shows alien maps, unreachable places for organic life to which humans may only be able to approach through meditation and Buddhism, or any other spiritual speculation, reaching unrepressed feelings with mystical experiences. The works of these artists represent the extremes of the speculative form: from the depths to the surface.
Important pieces that function as universal connectors in the exhibition are those of Ricardo Rendón and Héctor Falcón. Both emphasize on the memory of the transformation of matter: a memory of execution. The work reflects the artist’s imprint on the subject; it reveals the fold between the understandable intention of the artist and the physics of the object. Rendón presents works that use the traditional felt conceptual element, as in Material pendiente 2010, decontextualized from its curative role allocated by Joseph Beuys and connected rather with the role of an office worker who constantly drills a surface to speculate on the full and empty produced by irregular forms, or rather, the work of a carpenter, which forms an allegory of the city made with wooden piles carved irregularly, constantly playing with empty space and the solidity of matter. Falcón presents the already well-known transgressed books that manifest the irreversible presence of the artist on the finished object, using a complete intellectual product as raw material to speculate on circular forms making fine cuts of varying depths.
The exhibition ends with another site-specific work: as a commission on a wall, titled Liquid Solid System 2010 by Fernando Rascón, the work represents an unstable solar system, the space of an explosion of color where a solid scandal happens that gives the sensation of liquid and implies an unconcealment of human relations and the machine as a system. The allegory of the global community and even an interplanetary one is reduced to a form: conceptual, abstract? The exhibition also includes works by Guillermo Álvarez Charvel, Francisco Castro Leñero, Fernando García Correa, Flavio Garciandía, Mariana Gullco, Luis López Loza, Ernesto Morales, Paul Nevin, Ricardo Pinto, Pablo Rasgado y Laureana Toledo. Is it possible to think that such differing works in this exhibition conform a distinct artistic practice? It is clear that nowadays the prevailing individualism is in direct opposition to any tendency that unites the artists in a practice; however, they all use material obsessively and give it shape from a concept. Polysemic, the works of the artists that coexist in this exhibition have an existential link with their creators that make them metaphysical assemblages, according to the repeated action based on a specific and constant concept, resulting in speculative forms.
-Alejandro Sordo Guzmán
The group exhibition Cimbra: formas especulativas y armados metafísicos, curated by Josefa Ortega, is currently on view at the Museo de Arte Moderno MAM of Mexico city from October 28, 2010 to the end of April 2011.
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 Martin Heidegger, The Origin of the Work of Art, p. 45