Artist trouvé*

/ 1 September, 2017

(…) It is not the time scheduled for the opening yet. However, when the elevator door opens, I find there are already plenty of people in the salon. My strategy of getting there early to see the exhibition all by myself vanishes.

A telemicroscope placed in the middle of the salon is pointing toward a remote space, is it indoor or outdoor? I cannot see it even calling on my supposed keenness of art spectator.

Somebody has covered the walls of El Apartamento (The Apartment) with words and through them all the walls have been related. Room by room, this monumental text must be read, like turning pages, to consume the exhibit proposal made by Yornel Martínez.

Among the greetings of habitual friends, unexpectedly I run across José Lezama Lima, Antonin Artaud, and Stéphane Mallarmé. They are names written in vinyl that impregnate the gallery surfaces. Are they just names though? It dawns on me that they have accompanied us on other occasions, like this one, with their familiar and spiritual presence—attentive on a corner of our sensitivity—to whisper in our ears a comment, a verse that would help us to overcome the obvious and find meanings in the appreciation exercise. And today the hall is also inhabited by Elvia Rosa Castro, Caridad Blanco and Abel González, all of them beneficial beings of this small artistic bubble. They are the friends we have met up with infinite times along these years to comment an exhibit in the Plaza Vieja or in some run-down cafeteria in Prado, or in the balcony of the magical studio located at 25th St. and 10th St. in El Vedado, a place of incredible confluences. Nowadays they are also references.

(…) Almost a century ago Cuban intellectuals were able to crystallize an effective and fundamental link between writing and the pictorial image, “circular brotherhood, Renaissance coincidence of painters, sculptors, musicians and poets” would be said some decades after when referring to this fact,[1] which made the cultural message acquire an unsuspected dimension of reception. As a result, the generations that composed the avant-garde of visual arts in Cuba were frequently linked to editorial projects in which visual arts and literature converged in a symbiotic manner.

For several years Martínez has researched these nexuses between the image and the literary text. His results lead to that old ideal of Orígenes, reaching a conceptual limit that has no antecedent in our medium.

The artworks developed by the artist during the last five years also involve the complicity of the written text as the most important cultural key, but this time—within the context of a contemporaneity absolutely dominated by the power of visuality— an even more radical algorithm is applied in this alliance: writing and plastic image are fused. This research together with the semiological analysis is articulated from two axes that complement each other: what is legible and what is visible. (…)

*Artist found.

[1] Areta Marigo, Gema. “Warnings and cautions”. In: Introduction to the facsimile of Verbum. Editorial Renacimiento, Spain, 2001, p.10.

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