– OVERTURE –
As in the whole earth,
also in Peru THE EARTH DIES.
On Earth itself and in history,
PROFANATED both without mercy.
But sometimes it REGENERATES.
In myth and in certain arts.
Those of repair, even HEALING,
gravely symbolized by artificers
as CARMEN REATEGUI:
unlike so much art today conventional, official,
their works respond to the VITAL need,
NOT TO SOMATIZE but SUBLIMATE
the disease of the times.
The documentary artifice becomes thus
– I –
Under that last word
this exhibition brings together
three ESSENTIAL moments
of the continuous inquiries of Carmen
about the SPIRITUAL in art.
From his initial vision, almost initiatory,
of terrible REVELATION,
in front of the magnificent alameda
of ancient trees
that a certain mayor of Chorrillos
ordered RAZE around 1999,
with a RUDE
that throughout fifteen blocks
it left only dead STUMPS clinging to the ground.
From the RESCUE of those trunks,
Carmen derived in 2002
one of the greatest works of our devastated times:
the impressive MURDERED TREE
whose remains the artist rescues and then INVESTS
to raise the cry to heaven
of its disturbed roots in CÁLIZ.
Or in KERO, that Andean ritual glass.
A MEMORIAL to the dying Earth.
To the land that is REBORN:
AGONY is not death
but FIGHT to the death with death itself.
And in the consciousness of that trance
the RELIGIOUS DRIVE emerges.
Which is also SEXUAL:
the struggle between EROS and THANATOS
where it is incessantly redefined
– II –
An art that sublimates or somatizes
and in the same gesture intertwines both effusions.
In those LIMINAR areas
Carmen’s unusual work is located.
Between the SENSUAL and the spiritual.
Or the MYSTICAL and the aesthetic.
Hence, perhaps, the attention to eroticism
––UNLEASHED and REPRESSED––
in the ideal of Catholic holiness.
Particularly SANTA ROSA of Lima,
whose extreme corporality
becomes the personification
of a spirituality
that you want RAIGAL and your own:
Creole, mestizo, even Andean,
in its multiple transfigurations.
Mystic and CARNAL.
CARNAL and ethereal,
like the bed of roses MUSTIAS
and the SENSUAL graphics of biblical songs
from which Carmen TRANSUSTIATES
the ECSTASY of the mortuary trance
of our holy Rose,
embodied in marble by Melchiorre Cafà,
the great Italian BAROQUE sculptor.
Or the BURNING rose that in Carmen’s painting
turns on the genital VORTEX
of the origin of the world,
painted a century and a half ago
by the French realism of Gustave COURBET.
His pictorial PRECIPITATE .
– III –
There is a surprising complexity,
secular and RELIGIOUS,
in such iconic journeys.
An extreme SENSORY art,
but reflective and THEOLOGICAL in essence.
Innovative and radical and truly SUBVERSIVE
in a hallowed era
of gratuitous profanations and banal SACRIlEGES.
they are those of another, MESTIZAJE
that of a mixed work too
in their CONDENSATIONS of senses,
of languages, including techniques:
photography, printing, oil, carving, gilding,
come together for a captivating reinterpretation
of the sculptural painting of Andrea MANTEGNA,
it’s almost STONE drawing,
crystallized forever in the admiring image
The fleshly body of Jesus
DISORDERED by Carmen
through pictorial infiltrations
of CORN that show through or appear
between your feet and between your legs and in the lower abdomen.
Till at last materialize
in the great SARCOPHAGUS of steel and glass
that under the picture contains another SHROUD
overflowed by marble corn.
The ANDEAN reaffirmation, subverted,
of the most serious illusionism in the classic MEDITERRANEAN.
The senses EXHUMED from the earth itself.
of the whole earth,
but above all from the BROKEN Peruvian land:
that bed of stony corn
is also the DISLOCATED,
of our ambivalent geography.
The COUNTRY, the MATRIA,
the MOTHER COUNTRY,
so many times broken by history
and recomposed by Art,
by the Myth, by the Spirit.
– CODA –
There is no Easter
Without a good friday
( GUSTAVO BUNTINX )