At least, we get surprised…

/ 14 December, 2014

A flash between two different approaches on landscape


… That place, that site, at present, is the same where customs are enjoyed…

Aramis Quintero on Eliseo Diego


I confess I did not expect absolute surprise when knowing, only a few days ago, about the sample Enfoques (Approaches), conjunction of two paradigmatic artists in contemporary national scene, Jose Manuel Fors and Jorge López Pardo, as part of the second edition of the event Paisajes, Office of the Historian of Havana, organized by the Museum of Colonial Art and that, by taking place this month and having photography as priority, is also included within the event Noviembre Fotográfico of the Photo Library of Cuba. However, I noticed some curiosity to know how this relationship would be supplemented.

Both creators, although they are from different generations, have lines of work that characterize and differentiate them from the rest; however, the landscape has been a constant throughout their careers so it is understood to be the unifying element of this exhibition. In the case of Fors, we just have to remember those early works that already glimpsed a penchant for the subject. His Golpes de vista (1983), the spaces of his home covered with Hojarasca or the installative piece with the same name that now belongs to the permanent collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts and is located in the Building of Cuban Art. Meanwhile López Pardo, although generally prefers to demonstrate the broad domain of drawing in his paintings, does not disdain the pleasure that taking a good photo produces. Already in the Hall of Landscape, which was held at La Acacia Gallery in 2011, he competed with a photo of the series Cosas marchitas No.2 -very sui generis, unexpected, just beautiful, reaching one of the awards.

Now, with Enfoques , they both further demonstrate adherence to the genre they profess, but if this presupposes a strong link between the two, I think the biggest thing in common is the images captured by the lens of a camera, and that when returned as works of art reflect an unmatched flow of fictional creativity and fullness of concepts that dismantles any traditional scheme of the term “landscape”, understood from the artistic point of view as the graphical representation of extensive grounds.

So, on this occasion Fors presents a new Hojarasca as a photographic installation that integrates dissimilar fragments of his own archive, autobiographical (small boxes of printed paper by using the analog silver / gelatin technique), located, with harmonic sense, on a wall of the first exhibitive room of Lombillo Palace, manifest resource in some of his major solo exhibitions of the last stage as Ciudad fragmentada (2013) at the Museum of Rum or more recently Entre la sombra y en la pared at UNEAC´s Villa Manuela Gallery. But regardless of all, each event of this kind is always enjoyed as the first time as it invites to the poll in and from memory, both individually and collectively.

The second room takes us into López Pardo´s mythical world. It is widely known, by his previous work on the strong expressions and impressions that produce the contrasts of white and black going through an entire vastness of gray in the areas of light and shadow, which explodes at will on the set of five photographs taken between 2010 and 2012 that he shows today under suggestive titles like Atrapando nubes, Tocadiscos, Cañaveral, El llanto or Ciudad. Each of them was conceived with meticulous composition.

With these peculiar “approaches”, full of beautiful metaphors that allude to the landscape context, reinterpreted from another perspective, subjective, abstract, unnoticed to the orthodox view, the exhibition is open. It only remains the audience to attend it despite being warned from the beginning not to be surprised as they will have plenty of reasons to do it.

Alain Cabrera

Alain Cabrera

(Havana, 1980) Graduate in Art History from the Faculty of Arts and Letters at the University of Havana in 2008. From then until now he serves as editor of the magazine Artecubano, art critic and photographer. His writings have been published in national and international publications including Artecubano magazine, the tabloid Noticias de Artecubano and the critics’ website Saloncritik (created by José Luis Brea).

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