Since the epic fable of Aesop, The hare and the turtle, it was clear to us that speed is subjective in terms of competition. Nevertheless the world goes round and gets transformed so fast that in occasions we don’t perceive the changes. What is sad is the fact that not only technology and health proliferate but also what is bad for society and specially violence, physical as well as verbal, they go in crescendo and threat to consume, like Saturno Goyaesque, the moral values of mankind till the last bite. The Cuban artist Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo (La Habana, 1984) goes over this topic, in her recent personal exhibition in the Island, Bala Perdida, opened the last February 24 at the gallery Villa Manuela.
Self-referring, the black pride, and the out and out fight for the feminine gender are some of the constant features of the artist; even more when the black females bear the heavy cross of social discrimination, where race and presumptive “weak sex” mark stereotypes and cultural prejudices. However, in this exhibition she seems to start from the classic romantic ideal of the man – now a woman- diminished facing nature. The latest represented through sea landscapes in Cuba, Gotland, Iceland, Martinica, Palermo, etc. and bucolic, which, due to its magnificence, and the rough end diminishing the human image, that feels smallness in relation to the context that is around. That presses it, and that is why it feels the need of escaping. Likewise , you perceive a woman facing up low temperatures ,rocks, as a challenge to mother nature , from which she comes out gracefully, in comparison to to the romantic stages which open her video-instalations.
The sea represents immensity, the infinite of a natural element facing the finite of the human life, but at the same time, the sea is a limit and a metaphor to talk about the exodus, about migration, about Diaspora, as well as the return to the home town, that as an island has the damn water all around it. Likewise, since the accurate and conscious use of the new media, the artist achieves an environmental true sound, that submerges the audience into the sea environment where the works were filmed, with the deafening waves at the shore. Islas is the name of the series, which up to the moment is a work in progress ready to look around the world for new marine scene to conquer.
Moreover, the exhibition has eschatological aspects, which face the audience through the use of the nude and the trivialization of some parts of the body that currently are a social taboo. Re–territorialización is a conceptual performance that uses the human body to talk about migratory problems, in which her body is the world and her vagina and her head two nations within it. Without the need of words the body abandons its erotic role to become into a place for visitors who abandon the South looking for the precious North. Despite the decades of post modernity that are in our backs, the performance keeps on been a contemporary, transgressor and misunderstood practice that stands facing the audience and put them next to a body that can be theirs , and takes part, agreeing or not with the ideas of the performer , and ends being another main character of the act.
The watch lady of the gallery told us as we went in: Is it that our conservative, sexist, committing society is not ready yet to consume this kind of art? Or is it perhaps a need to unprejudiced the mind to let this discourse get in? I think a bit of both is hitting us and is only a matter of time, and I said that at the beginning, everything is changing, who says that the way of thinking can also change.
The fact that the main tool of the author is her body , evidence the high compromise she has with her work, where her skin is the most active part of the discourse she wants to defend, directed to feminism, racial related issues , social problems, and so on. Bala Perdida goes beyond the gender photographic statics shown months ago at the same gallery as part of the exhibition Sabor metalico, because a body in movement always has more to say than a motionless body, no matter the rugged the landscape is, not even the challenge that it brings, getting away is an option, but sometimes facing it might be the right answer.