notes on amilkar feria of the collective exhibition in gallery Habana.
WINGS OF TREE
Collective / Gallery Havana
I begin to suspect, in no subtle way, that the lack of textual documentation, even if it is a symbolic phrase or sentence, is plaguing visual arts proposals in recent times. It's something like an interactive lucky shot, in which organizers, curators, and with them dragging the artists, risk testing the viewers to see if, at least, they sense what the museum budget of their offers is. For any connoisseur of the matter this matter could turn out to be, of being badly forged, even a hindrance. But keep in mind that most attendees to an event of this type do not attend just to drink for free, besides that they do eventually, they do not have a completed training and information, or are not very familiar with the environment. It is not necessary to place an extensive molar, or a theatrical style program, a discreet indication that directs the gaze of the profane would suffice.
I don't want to be absolute, but I don't think you can imagine the joy I experienced when I entered the Habana Gallery, the inaugural day of Alas de Árbol, and I saw that they were handing out postcards. It took me back to the days of childhood when, on birthdays, a set with hats, whistles and streamers was distributed to the guests. The postcard was very well printed, the truth, of such sobriety in the design, that it only contained the title of the exhibition, the list of artists and the staff of the gallery, as well as other data (date, address, etc.). Why not take advantage of the 15.4 X 19.7 cm of chrome surface (so valued by any artist in times of so much famine), to place at least one curatorial statement? / Homework.
It doesn't matter, I said, I'll manage with the titles of the pieces to make some clues clear... What do you say? What's not in the works? It's logical that people are on the hunt for drink. As I greeted colleagues and artists, I wasted much of my time, promising to return. But I didn't want to overlook the inauguration to guarantee a postcard, a footprint, something I could write on.
In the viable space of Galería Habana are the works of María Magdalena Campos, René Peña and Adonis Flores, a reduced list that shows very updated works of their work. The first of them exhibits manipulated and intervened photos, almost documentary records of small installations, and drawings by trade. The trajectory of this artist is one of the most persevering and recognized in Cuban visuality, since the plastic revolution of the second half of the '80s made known her work of rupture. The well-known photographer René Peña, who uses the medium to discuss issues that go beyond his own support, and to wield an iconographic, representational polysemy from an anthropological reading and a very personal cultural construction, shows images that reveal the self-consciousness of his work, in something that he would define as doubly self-referential. In the uniformed representation of Adonis Flores, identified by her military camouflage clothing, traditional African masks appear held in her arms (victims of colonial upheavals? dressed in contemporary powers for war?).
The works themselves, separated from one another, or from one author to another, respond to intrinsic languages that detain the viewer with the informer's claim to underlying codes, stopping here, there, at the seductive crossroads of a wisely constructed craft. Now, the discontinuity of discourses, and the lack of thematic correlation (Africa? Self-representation in different tendencies? Recent author creations?), is something that is obviously hanging. Finally, I couldn't get back before I wrote, and I don't think my radius of action will get there before the closing. The title fits me, it's very suggestive, earthly, ethnic, mystical...
Text and photos: Amilkar Feria Flores
Palatino Entropic Observatory / October 25, 2019, 1:25pm