critical texts


Art is useful: Jorge Luis Rodriguez and Angel Madruga
Antonio Fernández Seoane
Art is useful: Jorge Luis Rodriguez and Angel Madruga
Two young artists, closely linked to Fine Arts teaching at San Alejandro, the oldest of our Latin Ameircan academies, have now joined their talent in an exhibition we may view -based on their own conceptual speeches- as fully contradictory, however, we can discover tangential aspects in postulates of each of them that will eliminate that the above-mentioned approach: they both hinge on elements such as their own components , which are fundamental for all artists, for example, the manual and the mental element. One of them, Jorge Luis Rodriguez, uses the former as vital support for his oratory, while Angel Madruga appeals to the latter to sustain his ideas. They capitalize on each other, they even use the visual component -apparently excluded here- But what is more, the name of the exibit -a lectured appropriation of the original title of the work by Benjamin Vautier: "Art Is Useless, Go Home-" could clear up possible doubts: Rodriguez and Madruga still believe -they stick to it- that art is useful, and to prove it, irrespective of certain "pessimissm" of the latter and the former´s assessment that a work carries a profound content (opposite budgets), let their respective narrations unfold and make people understand, at least they talked into it, that was not the purpose, as art is still -I wish it were forgood- fruitful.
The Hands What is art?, How is art accomplished?, that is what I seek to find out. A very personal and subjective view -as every artistic work itself- in which my reflexion is present (..)" Jorge Luis Rodriguez Jorge Luis ratifies what the great humanist, Leonardo, spoke in the Renaissance, referring to the main reason marking the work by this great artist in the current display, that "he whose intelligence does not collaborate with the hand, he cannot become an artist." In this case, Da Vinci vehemently answers the first question from the position of a person who does it; Jorge Luis himself will respond to the second question. Using photography, specifically "no longer used," or what is best, understimated because it is "black and white" (a blunder by those who ignore this roadblock), the artist depicts hands in different works related to art, like those of an engraver and his "operatives" or producers, and others, as he himself says, "honor the artistic gender in one way or another." In an intelligent way, Jorge Luis -like a portraitist unveiling the soul of his portrays- goes deep into the role of this physical element - "his" hands in his education, practice and technical moves, offering us well-designed and rythmical works that seem to be alive. Nonetheless, his proposal goes farther, as he steps into the mental aspect, and we state the artistic work, as a "useful" means, constitutes a tool of he who makes it or enjoys it, that is its "usefulness." Thus, it is about an analysis on how art is made, the art he has used as spearhead to give his hands the real place they deserve in this practice.
An Idea " There is nothing to be done. We are all artists who converge in a line that divides two parallel spaces ( )" Angel Madruga Through a trend encouraged at the International Association of Art Critics hosted by Venezuela in 1964, that of the death of art, and the death of it, one of the hypothesis or main approaches, that of treating work of arts like mere objects, based on the analysis of a specific social system by essayist, art critic and academician Adolfo Sanchez Vazquez, who stated that art increases capital by becoming a merchandise),Angel opposes this pessimistic stance but he makes us aware of his possible doubts by saying that an artist goes into an intermediate zone between two universes: that of white space and that of full colorful images, thus, questioning his position as artist. That is a very hard thesis, I believe, to be materialised in his artistic work. Then, like in a certain great broken facility, this artist uses numerous calculation rules to put up the pillars upon which phrases, signs and other shapes will rest (each person applying his own exegesis), and will hit the target of his diatribe and catch us to "calculate" -of course, we too, - to which extent this is true; like an "open end" so we can reach our own conclusions and I am in no way deducing speculations. Whether one seeks it or not, the work of Angel would be a good example of what art imposes on human beings and makes them reveal. When doing that, it will rebut the idea that we can use art to do some things, or many things.
Almost concluding. I would not dare share Madruga´s viewpoint that art "belongs to nobody", in that line dividing matchable spaces; I also disagree with Rodriguez, when he describes his work as "sober and discreet." The former firmly steps on "a line" that I am sure, will take him to new courses in his present exhibition; the latter, who is very modest, should be aware that his work unfolds to a topic yet to be known. They both must continue working -if they arewilling to keep on this undertaking- to reach a complete theory that does not take, apparently, a different road. Their analyses are valid, since the very moment they approach to us through this black-and-white and four-handed concert... In that case, the melody will be very easy to be discovered: Art Is Useful, RENTREZ CHEZ VOUS