Raw/War is a visual essay curated by Joaquin Badajoz at Concrete Space on the crudeness of war—the raw—as a result of ideological conflicts in contrast with the superficial asepsis of the official Ideologies—the cooked narratives—. Following a minimalist aesthetic approach, Arnaldo Simon delivers a strong visual message about the dichotomy and symmetry of Ideology and Violence on the stele of Lévi-Strauss’s seminal anthropological essay The Raw and the Cooked (Le Cru et le cuit, 1964). The series included in this major exhibition point to the binary opposition of categories that disguise, camouflage and mirror themselves —the word Raw contains in itself the origins of the War when reads backward.
Born in Cuba and Miami-based artist, Arnaldo Simon is a graduate of Architecture in Havana, Cuba and had practiced for more than a decade. Simon has been working as graphic designer and writer for magazines such as Glamour and Newsweek, and for El Nuevo Herald newspaper in Miami. His artwork is in private collections and has been exhibited in Miami, San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), CANY (Contemporary Cuban Artist in New York) and at Zona Maco Art Fair in Mexico City.
My work is based on the deconstruction of historical and sociopolitical values assigned to military’s aesthetics design. It represents a critical vision of a series of heroic actions carried out by individuals, groups or countries involved in bellicose actions and how their motivations and consequences are summarized in the diversity of forms that are widely recognized by all cultures and nations.
With these works, I try to create a universe of references that leads the viewer to question the stereotypes of aesthetics, poetics and the seduction of design. It is, therefore, a question of investigating the relation of design to the manipulation of ideological tendencies, the exhalation of the past and identity and how this design influences the behavior of both the militaries and civilians.
The exaltation of hedonism with the use of the images, the grandiloquent speeches, the recurrence to nationalisms, the rituality, the revitalization of the symbols, the communion of ideologies, creeds and military forces have gained an unusually important in our time.
The exhibition will be on view through July 5th, 2018.