critical texts


zooms (luis enrique camejo)
Frency Fernández Rosales
By:Frency Fernández Rosales
We are obsessed with the hindrance of modernity. The movement, the fleetingness, the untimely dynamics of what ineffectually indicates a progression may seem to place us in the alternatives which imply a time we have enjoyed and suffered somehow or dreamt too much. It is already known that we are a little of everything without noticing that condition has prepared us for many hazards. There is a vague point, kind of nowhere, between what it was, what it is and what it has not been, also between the fixed and the mobile -just as the permanent and the transitory- which it is affixed ontologically in a certain cultural consciousness we have. How many times do we think about the passing of something, which in the physical and temporal distance seems to be immovable? Likewise a minute may be the space for great events , while a year may be the lapse of time in which nothing important happens. A wise man(1), besides being a great painter from whom many have taken, had the clarity to deduce that it is worthier, for human beings, a little certainly than a big deceit. And being a creator, he knew he was between those extremes: truth-lie, reality-illusion. Because going back to painting , after so many reorientations and din around it, it is a delicate matter due to the problems, excesses and defects that its morphology and representational level presuppose. Pointed out as hostile to painting, any real concern I have manifested about it has been more for the respect I feel for it than for a personal divorce. And there is so much visual morbidity today, when there are more who like the pixels and screens, or “install” and “intervene” us with bodies and sounds which the one who takes the brush as a tool founded in tradition, without falling in the ferial traps but pointing higher, seems to swim as a stranger in our visual high tide. One of those away from the stream in which many want to sail, sort of “cheos” (not in fashion), who do not follow the temporal rhyme is found in the person of Luis Enrique Camejo. The possible stages, which seem to delimit his works, start from essential axes in relation to disquisitions of language, the construction of styles, the borrowing of these and their reinventions at times in which everything looks rehearsed. Before, with the obsession of the artist to claim, to dream bridges or wish different spaces and from the pictoric to model representational problems which, perhaps, are variables of other matters as the creative condition in moments of replacement and remoulding. Then, death from art which states the cycle where to die is like coming back. Later, the nocturnal which exaggerates that anxiety of ours to equal ourselves to the great centers of life, of apparent thought, of possible ¨culture¨. Even a stratagem in which we believe, the great metropolis, with its artificial lights and its twenty-four hours life erases the differences between day and night, becomes a symbol of life to many, of effervescence where that culture – as a symptom of the elevation of human beings over beasts – seems to be inherent to them. So the works of Camejo dispose us to a greater deceit than that of painting: to believe in the luminosity of the space with its invitations to swallow its glass windows, its neon, its excluding ads, its overestimated offers…, everything as if it were a supplier of human food. Our city, missing other lived moments, turns then into flies, official scenography in some of its sites, pretending to have a soul which reveals its melancholy. His paintings, already on the verge of synthesis of the gesture, where we discover the city scene which had been a suffocating love for impressionists and for the postimpressionists, an atomisation of its surroundings, aim at trespassing the documentation of common places to emule with the capture of instants almost uncatchable, now spectral which may be already part of another world, perhaps the one of ¨the others¨ (2). Though his true precedent unevenness, his work gradually became more solid form syntaxes he is done well in respect to times in which the appropriation sprang in him in a more evident way and subjected to critical revisions; because to be honest, I did not get quite well the manner, the way, in which Camejo transcripted his ideas. I always respected him for that certainty and perseverance, making evident the pictoric act still is an emission of energies already calced since the XIX century and taken subsequently to a climax with the informal explosion of the post-war. But the overstocking of his palette, with certain horror to emptiness which denotes a fear for the lack of spirituality, was part of very expensive elements for a time in which the painting as a medium was getting entangled with anguish. And behind those possible excesses in his work, he started measuring his vision of the landscape until he had us immersed in another apparently ¨light¨ panorama. Like those shops more or less the same where we become stunned with prices and products, like those avenues which are veins of a city where we play to find the trails of lights. Camejo sinks us in tunnels, with their darkness and their decibels, converted in fauces which raise a pretended social status(3). For us, one of those emblems that we show with proud as a symptom of past modern development, the tunnels of this archipelago, concentrated in the bigger metropolis, give us back certain temporal veils contained in the vehicles that use them. They are spaces where the author finds the speed controlled, that one consubstantial to much of his work and which accuses his obsession for modernity. The space was annihilating. And in substitution of the natural, those few trees and minor plants give way to human fatuity turned into artifices, machineries and lighting engineering printed again in canvas and cardboards. So in this way painting shines again, like all worthy art, as a mental action where Camejo plays at looking at the ghosts of a somewhat strange and deafening reality which reminds those metaphysical spaces – that is, mute, either without words or possible answers for us, so dear to Italian painting(4). In his notion of the landscape an iconic referents form photography is perceived. That is a hidden methodology which intends to overcome an apparent realism and direct his poetics towards grounds where the abstractions also gets a certain expressive space. Because Camejo has been getting detached of a narrative breath to create zones of sense as movement enhancers and conceilers of inaction, there something abstract too, for which it implies a certain lack of functioning of environment which represents, with that subtle remission, abstruse over the common context. An environment which reveals the routine full of monotony where tropes of Madagascar(5) are implied, with its pleasing effect, in this case pictorial and apparently visual, it hides sadness, the sorrow for an Orwellian space wishing what time took away.
1) I refer to Leonardo Da Vinci in one of his aphorism, number 32, related to the psychological. 2) Thanks to ¨los mundos paralelos¨ (The parallel worlds) of Amenabar, with the intense participation of Nicole Kidman. 3) There is an implicit social abiss which goes form the Chevrolet 52 to the Fiat Polski, to the Daewoo or to the BMW. 4) In a more evident way than the reference to Da Chirico, I remember to have seen, by Camejo, a self-reference work where two ¨he¨ painted each other continuously. A work with a poetic breath which led me to a similar one by Carlo Maria Mariani. 5) I refer to the scenes first and last of the medium-length film by Fernando Pérez.