Archive for December, 2008

Abstract: Triangulation Series 2006-08

December 8, 2008

Platonic Triangulation, bodycolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches, 2008

Platonic Triangulation, bodycolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches, 2008

I choose the golden ratio 1 = 1618 as a consistent format which is clearly inherent of the infinite, to breakdown a dialogue on the fluidity of the vehicle of painting and its geometry.  At the same time, I establish a triangulation of the bare plane of the canvas which reaffirms its paradoxical nature as an object: where the fictitious flatness of the plane plays in suspension with the illusory spatial depth of forms expressed on it.

Ricardo Morín

December 13, 2008

Art as a Byproduct of Neocolonialism

December 5, 2008

Digital Image created with Maya and Combustion Softwares”]Digital Image created with Maya and Combustion Softwares[/caption]

It’s like a goat tied to a post, who can wander only the length of its tether

Jiddu Krishnamurti, 1986

Anyone who aspires towards a career as a visual artist understands that the constraints for survival are questionable and that destiny often is one of the many factors that determines recognition. One’s mission is not about seeking recognition or even permanence, but about maturing and sharing one’s talent through exploration and inquiry. Congruency with one’s ancestry, identity, and oeuvre is not a matter of commercial interest for any given national identification. These elements  are irreducible aspects of signification, undefined against perspectives concerning conventional pieties–imponderable manifestations of one’s existence: neither up to meeting others’ expectations, nor up to appointed entities and their economic models used as marketing ploys.

Let me begin by addressing the frustration of visual-artists with dual nationalities, who sometimes suffer in the corral of Latin-American fundamentalism. Let me also question why their resulting frustrations are an order of business imposed by contemporary Medicis who seek to buy a parcel of history in the parochial institutionalization taking place inside these artists’ countries of origin. These merchants promote their wares by controlling, by and large, markets located abroad.

Certain philanthropic foundations—I speak especially of the Phelps-Cisneros—sell themselves to museums as influential and often Darwinian laboratories with their claims of heralding innovative programs focusing on Latin American issues and fostering its cultural heritage. The above cited institution takes its leadership from a wealthy socialite, and boasts about its founder, as an amalgamation of bourgeois society and contemporary scholarly erudition. Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, anthropologist amateuse and founder–deeply attached to her own ideas–, sees herself as neoembodiment of the 19-c. bio-geographer, Alexander von Humboldt: a man whom the contemporary Simón Bolívar (the Latin-American revolutionary and freedom fighter) cited as the real discoverer of South America.

Such portrayals, however, never yield balanced visions of pluralism. Only by peeling through layers of hubristic poshness, can one expose the foundation’s wish to create a dialogue about contemporary art with an historic nucleus set in Venezuela. But this desire simply reflects an aberrant fundamentalism; a rigidity whose aims are the preservation of certain regional traditions, which coincide with the institution’s own acquisitions. Undeniably, the preponderance of these cultural investments represents past meaningful movements, i.e., Kinetic, Op, and other neo-geometric derivatives. These movements, needless to say, are complaisantly popular, relatively noncontroversial artifacts among the political élites in Venezuela–from outright dictatorships, to feeble democracies, up to the presently evolving kleptocracy of the Bolivarian State of Hugo Chavez. They define as well the reoccurring themes coming out of this base which have found worldwide exhibitions and critiques. Contemporary art within this context exemplifies, nevertheless, exclusively the demagoguery of the ruling class’ claiming a national identity as stimulating and not one of imposed, antiquated historicism. This marketing ploy impoverishes both spontaneity and the local culture itself!

Succumbing to or courting this scheme is dangerous to artists and leads to alienation. Giving in promotes stagnation arising from these very institutionalized dictates. Such fashions segregate artists into a kind of regionalism and ideology, totally out of flux with the global community. Let me reflect on the raison d’être of any artist or, for that matter, of any human being; it must consist in a universal respect for dignity and freedom that cannot be sold, only shared. Let me underline that philanthropic societies that today yearn for an enforced authority through their wealth and through an enforced false sense of nationality and/or political or religious affiliation(s) are not only out of step with the transformative spirit of our times, but also with the globalized revolution taking placed in our culture, where the despotism of conventional borders and preconceived identities are lacking. This revolution is neither political nor economical; it is occurring within our very being, and it is the result of the change within ourselves of what is really important. We are dispensing with creative communities subjugated to a poisonous market place[1]. We have a new sensitivity and perception that will embrace cultural societies and producers alike. No simple answers arise; but we are growing in responsibility and self knowledge: we move to freedom and away from subjugation.

Ricardo Morín

(Edited by Billy Bussell Thompson)

[1] The mythomania of stardom by definition examines only the few. Complacency fuels scarcity of resources while alienating 90% of active artists and assigning value to market indices, thus staggering self-sustenance.

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