Greta Reyna

Between the Hierarchy of the Accidental and the Draftswoman’s Psyche

/ 1 December, 2018

Whenever we take an unexpected turn, suffer a loss or celebrate a happy moment we ask ourselves, what is life? To the extent that we live we make partial summaries of our existence. And the fact is that the actions and events that comprise it can be described as cyclical. (…)

Greta Reyna (Havana, 1991) is a versatile, meticulous young woman in the preparation of her visual essays and generous in the arguments of the stories she tells. A graduate from the Higher Institute of Art in 2016, she has already trod a path that shines toward a prolific future (…). Some of her pieces tell that she has spent 18 days collecting rainwater in a bottle to pay tribute to her beloved grandfather; she has accumulated evidences for a year to create her own crime scene; she has tried to sketch time, trapped in the rocking of a means of transportation. And at present she has dedicated herself to transforming the daily into a reservoir of a spirituality that is not alien to us. That’s why and because her works are containers of an exacerbated poetics it is impossible to not feel a whirlwind of emotions when discovering her.

An innate need to accumulate, to decant references and connect lures comes from the procedural character of her works. This is how she threads together experiences of common people, of her family and her own. According to her, art is everywhere, it’s only necessary to find the correct way of purifying and sharing it with the rest of the world. In drawing she finds the weapon against the demons that try to plunge us into darkness. It is the structure that gives body to her adaptations of the story. It is a complement and support that purges the violent action of creating. (…)

The territory of the ephemeral is her field of action. Telegrama (2016) is an exercise of exchange that alludes to the intrinsic death of the traditional correspondence. (…) In Diario del dolor (2016), sketches, collages and instants of daily life come together. An old book is the receptacle of fluids that ooze from our body, caresses received and given, primary instincts of self-protection. Everything is raw material to detail the passage of days in gestures. Greta Reyna appropriates the onomatopoeia of a kiss, of the illusion of a light touch, of the explosion of a spilled drop of liqueur. She conjugates texts with images in a sort of play, in which drawing doesn’t represent a sign or describes a content, drawing then becomes the exercise of collecting subjectivities.

La complaciente y la especial (2014) is an old box of fans that bears the national banner. Through the woven threads the smell of humidity and the freshness of memory are conjugated. In the same way that she rescues in Telegrama the old style of receiving missives through the post, in this piece she alludes to the fan as the champion of corporal language. Any daily incident is a gift, a motivation to channel the paths of her artistic production. Her work, full of idealisms, does not know the institutional limits, preconceived vocations or skills of a late snobbism. Greta Reyna is not subject to what the tables of law dictate because her work is not nurtured from hackneyed concepts. It is nourished of memories that taste like clothes put away, of buttons, coloring pencils and plastic beads. It is perceived in the reflection of the yellow light that emanates from an old slide viewer. That habit of collecting like an erudite antique dealer allows her to recompose the scenes of the prodigious theater that is life.

Yudinela Ortega Hernández

Yudinela Ortega Hernández

Matanzas, 1990. She currently works in Villa Manuela Gallery. Art critic. Her texts have been published in ArteCubano, Revolución y Cultura, Noticias de ArteCubano and on websites Opus Habana, Habana Cultural and Habana Patrimonial.

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