Exhibition by Rodney Batista. Gallery Villa Manuela, Street H Nr. 406 between 17 and 19, Vedado/ May-June of 2018
which is to the living a sting and a promise.
I have seen Rodney Batista undo the parsimony with which receivers and contemporary artists please us (self). To consolidate a very deep aesthetic phenomenon that has its origin in particular sensitive experiences of him as an artist and as a man. Remain sincere to a whole line of compact creation and thought, aware that if your fellow men do not understand or prefer not to look, their task is to draw the veil.
Death as the supreme denier of life (in its western conception) always acquires a hopeful nuance in the artist's work. He could then define two fundamental cycles for understanding the holistic analysis he makes of that concept and its processes.
In the first instance, the understanding and acceptance of death in its pure immanence, precisely as a summit and inevitable consequence of life. I cannot evade the approach in this sense to the conceptualization that Nietzsche makes in this regard, after all I see in Rodney a clear intention of the same "transvaluation of death" that the Nietzschean principle proposes. For both of them, this final destiny does not possess the particularly pessimistic burden that has been attributed to it, but emanates from the lineage of a strictly existential decision. Only in such a way can man build his own end and with full acceptance of it. However, in his judgment on the rehabilitation of the human expiration, Nietzsche segregates faith as one of the components that wrench death from the immeasurability of life and makes it part of a given (religious) transcendence.
Rodney differs, giving rise to a second cycle of understanding of the concept and of his work, because he perceives in the resurrection (yes, because it definitely takes faith to believe in it) the beginning of that LIFE, the definitive one.
EPITAFIO, like any previous production by the artist, is an excellent consensus between both instances. However, in this approach there is a representational synthesis of the concept that speaks without a doubt of a maturation of its artistic language. Photography and sculpture, both excellently agreed in space, are articulated in a metonymic gesture of the "passing dream". This pilgrimage made by the young artist at the Villa Manuela Gallery goes beyond the quasi-thanatological gaze of previous works and leads to a sadomasochistic stylisation of a feeling of absence, of a departure that promises a peremptory return. The predilection for pre-prepared spaces (the cemetery precisely) and their reinterpretation formulate a new mausoleum in Rodney's symbolic universe. The specific selection in the case of photography, on a real scale as a portal that invites the "mutation of states", as well as the recreation of sculptural elements that it finds in passing, refer us to a direct and unpolluted dialogue that seduces the negotiation of matter by the spirit.
This call of attention of the artist on a longed for "posthuman" condition, claims the protagonism of a physical death, the only one capable of doing deserved justice to life. In any case, dying will be a find, a fullness, a summit? Living accustomed to dying. Death, like this, is not frightening. Life is assumed.
So be it!
by: Modesto D. Serpa
Rodney Batista Herrera
2018 Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), Havana, Cuba
2004-2007 San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba.
2014 World of my world, Servando Gallery, Havana, Cuba
2009 Journey to the seed. In Memoriam, Collateral to the X Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba
2008 Inventory, Ludwig Foundation, Havana, Cuba.
2016 Cuba Live, DOX Center for Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic
2015 Collimators, Contemporary Cuban Photography, Horbach's place, Cologne, Germany / Casa Nuestra Project, Collateral to the XII Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba / Ethics and Aesthetics, International Press Center, Havana, Cuba / No one knows what a body can do, Cuban Art Factory (FAC), Havana, Cuba
2014 POST IT, Galiano Gallery, Havana, Cuba / Dios los cría, Factoría Habana, Havana, Cuba
2013 Light to your own Chemistry, Ludwig Foundation, Havana, Cuba / Waste in small charms, Light and Trades Gallery, Havana, Cuba / POST IT, Collage Habana Gallery, Havana, Cuba / Stealing spirits, Fototeca de Cuba, Havana, Cuba
2012 Subjective, International Festival of Young Art (Arte +), Havana, Cuba / Apparent Identities. Hidden Subjectivities, Fortaleza San Carlos de la Cabaña, Collateral to the XI Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba / La Seducción de la Mirada. Body Photography 1915-2011, Hispanic American Center, Havana, Cuba / Shortcuts, La Acacia Gallery, Havana, Cuba
2011 November Photography, Casa Museo Oswaldo Guayasamín, Havana, Cuba
2010 Silk Edges. First session of miniMALismoD'ESTADO, Luz y Oficios Gallery, Havana, Cuba
2009 ART- MORTEM. Death in Contemporary Cuban Art, Casa de México, Havana, Cuba / Contemporary Cuban Art, Fundación de Arte Palacio Ducal de Medinacelli, Soria, Spain
2008 Marbella Fair, Marbart Galerie, Paris, France / Enthusiasm Chronicles, Luz y Suárez del Villar Gallery, Madrid, Spain.
 Volker Gerhardt: Friedrich Nietzsche. Editorial Latin Betuk, Debrecen, 1998, p. 116.