From the Path to Eden, Ariamna

/ 1 December, 2015

I questioned the depth of the research made by Ariamna Contino and Alex Hernández, as a preamble to the production of the works integrating their project Camino al Edén (The Path to Eden), for Zona Franca, collateral exhibition to the Twelfth Havana Biennial. For some time the abuse of figures and statistics by politicians, the means of communication and even international organizations arouses my discomfort.(…) not a few artists have been frivolous and sensationalist in the use of numbers. Since mathematics and software suggest intelligence, they use them as part of the structure of their works, creating confusion, without themselves understanding the actual reach of the figures managed.

(…) All the pieces well done, correctly located, and a rather embracing and clear representation—with predominance of graphic elements—on various issues substantially linked to drug trafficking in Latin America. Cuaderno Negro (Black Notebook) deconstructed, with levels of engineering reach, the supports of the most frequently used transportation for the displacement of merchandise.

(…) Camino al Edén, with some large format landscapes made in openwork paper, reflected the geography and nature of the border zones relevant because of the traffic: El Lago Agrio (The Sour Lake), a corridor between Ecuador and Colombia, the mountains in the boundary between Honduras and Guatemala, the Campo de Amapolas (Poppy Field) between Culiacan and Tijuana, or the jungle region of the Loma (Hill), near the frontier between Ecuador and Colombia. All of them very beautiful because of the depth and details reached by white on white. And with a central protagonism, because of its location, sobriety and corporeal nature, the sculptural group of tombstone settlings, Plegaria (Prayer), which stimulated my initial concern, was there. Each of them—Ariamna and Alex explained—expressed totals of decapitations, destroyed bodies, secret graves. These were exhaustive figures found in reports from the press and specialized media, even military and from the police, of one of the most affected countries in the region because of the logic of production, reception and traffic of drugs. […]

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