critical texts


Visual Poetry
Toni Piñera
Visual Poetry

Maybe this could be the great secret of her work: an absorbed painting, silent, almost whispering, talking to us in a low voice, as if she were talking to herself... Like having a dialog with yourself below your breath, but stating realities like form and color, or rather looking around with her eyes of poet and even beyond time.

In Iliana Mulet’s work there is, obviously, a great dose of silence. We all take part in the silence given off by the objects and people that her city landscapes exude. A silence that invites us to think, to revive the dialog previously established by the artist with the subjects. A conversation almost exclusively made of looks that evolve with time, focusing over and over again on our city ―Havana. A look that knows how to be made richer with what it sees.

Now (...) she opens Puertas [Doors], where she has combined all the different meaning this magic word could have ―welcomes, good-byes, mysteries, joys, sorrows, memories, surprises, life...―, because it is at the same time an artistic game that allows her dealing with a thousand crazy ideas that also strike the spectators in their everyday struggle. The paradoxes of everyday life are behind those doors we can now go through.

Always washed by a monotonic light, without shrillness ―a light that sometimes we do not know where it comes from, but is always present in her paintings―, the pieces of this artist reach the mystic of an underground world y the passing of time, as well as those objects from modern times turned into fetishes with a highly poetic and metaphoric content.

In order to make the most “taste” of Iliana Mulet’s painting, you have to take space into consideration. And not only space, but also the body matter, the sign, the sound and the silence they all produce, the memory of the reality they raise. Her demand for a body sign space shows her belief in painting and her respect for it as means to express the thinking and the outstanding experiences of this author. Iliana really believes in what she does. And as a poet, she does not only pour her thinking and feelings into her paintings and cardboards, but also in put them into words, into literary statements, because a poet fights using all means, through all means.

In order to fit her fate to painting, she organizes a plastic space with a personal code. Without giving up the sensuality and the sense ecstasy reflected in her works, the artist talks about the way time stands still in the old buildings her eyes can see during her travels through the city. Convents, clocks, churches, colonial houses represent eclectic sources integrated into her formal conceptions, and where the codes from intertextual games, the distribution of light in focal areas that emphasize the singular atmosphere of her creations and those phantasmagoric effects she reaches through a skillful use of color and texture emerge. These are personal landscapes, light receptacles that allow her to build a space dwelled by color spots where the skilful use of the paintbrush and the hand gesture always become evident.

I said before that in order to “taste” Iliana Mulet’s painting you have to take space into consideration, and I corroborate that. Space need to be taken into consideration, as well as everything it happens on it: its cardinal limits, the verticality or horizontality of its development, the surface vibration, the central spaces, full of color sounds or empty, static pauses; the tonal rests, in the fashion of contemporary music’s sudden silences; the serial subjects, a complex, passionate dialectics she establishes with herself in the first place and hen with the public.

This dialectics causes tension between up and down; purifying rise, materialized fall, between right and left, opposition, invasion, between oil and acrylic ―the natural and the manufactured... In it, this Cuban artist reveals inner landscapes, a poetry that vibrates in her veins and comes out qualified by her tones.

Toni Piñera, 2003