A giant silence

/ 28 May, 2015

Douglas Argüelles at Galería Habana

Giants or windmills, thoughts often have immeasurable charm. And sometimes the great artist or great idea is not precisely in the realm of easy reckless cry or voice that examines it in the public sphere. While acknowledging the merit that may possess some of which operate well, I appreciate and recognize who reveal other ways to move us. Also for having achieved to shape a speech beyond the anecdotic one, the recent proposal by Douglas Argüelles deserves special attention.

Un artista del hambre, exhibition opened in Havana Gallery last April 22, did not disappoint at the mere mention of its title and author (promising duality) already suggested me. It is a necessary exhibition for several reasons; firstly because it invites us to recognize our own greed, those we share with the artist.

How many times have we wanted to question along him the true essence of an art whose practice is often seized by agents who negotiate the sense of the artist and his creation ? To be fair, we are too accustomed to read the critical meaning of art from an inert recurrence to extra-artistic discourses. Douglas´ work thus dismantles the tyranny of the logos betting on intuition as an alternative to knowledge.

However, when these problems are revealed clearly in all the splendor of its textuality, overriding any mental foreplay, the Cyclops metaphor leads us to the danger of a unilateral and redundant question, whose only variation lies in the syntactic investment. The language, while meditative and reasoned, would limit the finiteness of the reach of word problems as complex as the eye strain of the “contemporary” or the true role of art in the world of culture. So the spirit of these raids is to be able to find another “logical” approach when reason is not enough.

The color strategy, managed with impeccable making, has deliberately not sought to usurp the sterile nature of the neat gallery space. The typical metonymy of exhibition space par excellence and silent witness of art as entertainment, self-reflective white cube becomes key in this sample. In that way, our stubbornness not remain unpunished because the more we worry about charting a mental image of the art object, the aesthetic instinct consumption while fully accepted, further are the role of the artist; our sensory cognition can (and should) know how to guide us to a quiet reading area, where the silence is overwhelming and compelling.

The series Gesto simple, six pieces of reality occurred in a sort of Parnassus, is one of those rare moments for a visual break in which the position of the artist, not without some humor and self-referentiality, combines reverence and philosophical evocation. In a way, ignoring the expectation that his surname suggests, Argüelles does not argue, doesn’t even present any questions, rather let us question ourselves images. That tactic of hiding his sowing the doubt: does not need today also rekindle the cynical perception, intuition or existentialism, paths able to offer possible responses to living art processes and man?

Perhaps the best art of the proposal by Douglas Argüelles emanates from its own discursive strategy. Transcending local looking for an aesthetic language, communicate from the wise silence and acute problems of the artistic field and the very essence of art is a profitable lesson we still have to learn.

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