Fragmentations and other Parables
with Miguel Acosta, Alfredo Álvarez Plagaro, Ana Isabel Diez, Florencio Gelabert, Sonia Falcone, Mabel Poblet, Martin Pelenur, and Viviana Zargón
An exhibition curated by Aluna Curatorial Collective at Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Miami.
FRAGMENTATIONS AND OTHER PARABLES
By Aluna Curatorial Collective
Fragmentation is one of the phenomena characteristic of postmodern culture, as Baudrillard or Jameson noted. The vision of a fragmented world arises from the outbreak of the utopias of the 20th century, but is also associated with the logic of globalized capitalism, which affects the forms of representation and habitat as well as the forms of economic output and meaning. The urban experience is linked to the model of homogeneous recurrence –identical housing models and chain stores- that produces a rare disorientation, a strange fading away of the small differences that redefine everyday life.
At the same time, affected by the scattered universes of information – the vertigo-producing immersions into screens that take us from one scene to another in a matter of seconds –, we live in a world that is narrated to us, and then narrated by us, in a fragmented way. The immediacy, the discontinuity, and the bombardment of images generate a dizzying montage of fragments, a sort of broken syntax of the images that appear disconnected from context and history.
Fragmentation inserts itself even in the way we relate the deepest experiences—think, Barthes’ Fragmentos de un discurso amoroso. This aesthetic is also omnipresent in the visions that art reflects and provokes. Therefore, it is necessary to ask ourselves about its nature. Is there any continuity, a thread that will lead us to a reinvention of the senses in the modes of fragmented speech when it emanates from art?
Fragmentation and other parables, curated by Aluna Curatorial Collective (Adriana Herrera and Willy Castellanos) at Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery is an approximation to the recurrence, meaning, and the logic of fragmentation in contemporary artistic practices: Is it true that it disrupts the threads of connection with history or could it suggest other types of relations to the past and the present? What are the contemporary parables that suggest fragmentation in art?
In the processes of repetition and fragmentation, which can be observed in the series of paintings by Alfredo Alvarez Plagaro that are reflections of themselves, “identical” and multiplied to infinity; as well as in the abstract pieces that Martín Pelenur playfully manufactures with adhesive tape, the sense of creative play opens fissures in the landscape of contemporary uniformity. Plagaro mocks the unique character bestowed upon painting with his series of repetitive paintings, and converts painting into a mirror of homogenization and a liberating smile. Pelenur, sustained by what he mockingly called a “self-scholarship” (or the decision of paying himself for time invested in art), and the exercise of a stream of consciousness, tries the limits of constructive art. Sonia Falcone uses the photographic record of a natural landscape (similar to the one that marked her childhood) as a basis for the repetitive patterns of stained glass with which she builds windows, safe haves for contemplation as an experience and memory of that which unites us. Florencio Gelabert constantly expands the field of sculpture with formal explorations and conceptual plays on the parable of the time in which we live, creating an aesthetic that ultimately functions as an emotional metaphor. The pieces of segmented logs, burned and repeated, are a metaphor for the real measure of his own body, and for all the things that time and/or history throw into the fire.
Both in the vertiginous strokes with which Miguel Acosta returns to visited cities, and in the virtuous paintings of abandoned industrial architecture in which Viviana Zargon fuses photo archives and games of fiction, there are affective indissoluble threads, other ways of entering into the story and sneaking into the interstices that we see formally as blank spaces or as silent metal pictures. The subtexts of history that multiply in fragments of seductive formal beauty in the works of Mabel Poblet suggest aesthetic ways to assimilate sharp memories as a way of continuity in aesthetic production. Rummaging in the intermediate layers of her work, she continues an exercise of recoding that weaves together the pieces of the puzzle of the history of her country (Cuba) with visual fragments from her diary of continuous trips to and from the island. In the video and sculpture of Ana Isabel Díez strokes of fabric that are fragmented before our eyes and ears provoke (in two parallel mediums) the uncomfortable memory of what was destroyed and the possibility of subsequent forms of re-composition.
The paradox is that facing both the experience of discontinuity and fragmentation, and also the homogenization of urban models wrapped in clouds of information, there arise other orders in art, languages of the back and forth from the abstract to the referential, holding the tip of Ariadne’s thread: In the labyrinth of time and the knowledge of the contemporary world, where the parables of dispersion multiply, the fragments of artistic discourse may offer another type of cohesion; the thread of the continuity of memory and the affective and playful imagination that has the potential to enter and leave the past and present, attaching us to history in a creative way.