Exhibition of Jorge Feitosa. Provincial Center of Plastic Arts and Design. Luz and Oficios streets, number 362, Old Havana. Havana, November 2016
"Navegar es preciso"
Navegantes antiguos tenían una frase gloriosa:
"Navegar es preciso; vivir no es preciso."
Quiero para mí el espíritu de esta frase, transformada
La forma para casarla con lo que yo soy;
Vivir no es necesario; lo que es necesario es crear.
No cuento gozar mi vida; ni en gozarla pienso.
Sólo quiero tornarla grande, pese a que para eso
Tenga que ser mi cuerpo y mi alma la leña de ese fuego.
Sólo quiero tornarla de toda la humanidad;
pese a que para eso tenga que perderla como mia.
Cada vez más así pienso. Cada vez más pongo
En la esencia anímica de mi sangre el propósito
Impersonal de engrandecer la patria y contribuir
Para la evolución de la humanidad.
Es la forma que en mí tomó el misticismo de nuestra Raza
In the 1st century BC the Roman general Pompeu encouraged his sailors to be wary of maritime battles with his maxim: Sailing is precise, living is not necessary! Centuries later, the Portuguese poet Femando Pessoa expands the phrase from the poem that opens this text, affirming the act of navigating as a way to get rid of pre-established values. We have, then, two times and approaches (views) on the same urn, both emphasizing the notion of navigation beyond what is expected.
In a third instance and with a contemporary approach, Jorge Fei¬tosa reinforces the lithic sense of the actions "to navigate and live" and adds a new litter to his interpretation. Through photographic images, the artist uses visual poetics as a form of expression for his research, addressing issues of emigration and survival today, see the case of refugees who find the sea as a journey for a physical and utopian journey.
In a survey carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), between 23 September and 6 October 2016, nearly 14,000 migrants were rescued and arrived in Italy through the Mediterranean Sea crossing, 380 bodies were found and an estimated 430 bodies disappeared. What we have is the act of sailing as an indispensable action for survival, albeit with the real possibility of death. Here sailing is presented in a state of emergency, because it ceases to serve an ideal (Pompeu) or to circumvent a rationalist attitude (Pessoa). In this sense, Fei¬tosa uses the verb to navigate as a critical proposition, a risky one, one of struggle and, why not, hope?
Abraçado (embraced), is a series of photographs composed by emigrants living in Brazil. These are images that symbolize the moment of arrival of each foreigner's voyage, wrapped in metallic thermal blankets - popular in the rescue of people on the high seas - and looking attentively at those who receive them. They are people who left their countries in search of a better life, mostly because of wars or internal disagreements. They are images that create an "eye to eye" between Fei¬tosa and the portrayed, in a dialogue of trust between them, a real moment of identification and respect with the other. As we know, whoever leaves always leaves a family and friends in their country of origin?
It is with this care, in guarding and welcoming the other that Feitosa continues in her research, as for example in Disappearance (Disappearance). Here, the photographs cease to be of the artist's authorship, they are images captured from the Internet to which the artist intervenes with black paint, eliminating both the landscape (local of emigration) and the immigrant (own subject), maintaining hardly the metallic cover as evidence for the construction of a history. A story of people struggling for survival to avoid seeing their culture and ethnicity extinguished forever?
Here, sailing and living are synonymous? There is no way to distinguish one action from the other, because you can't navigate without life and you can't keep on living without navigating