Abdul Vas / Alejandro Leonhardt / Alvaro Gil / Bel Fullana / Daniel Steegmann Mangrané / Ian Waelder / Joan Morey / Jonathan Meese / Marlena Kudlicka / Nuria Fuster / Pedro Barateiro / Pep Vidal / Rafa Forteza / Rasmus Nilausen / Secundino Hernández / Valerie Krause / Wilfredo Prieto
“Mathematical relations aren’t firstly referred in our minds in virtue of a conceptual process, but rather a product of some kind of purely quantitative intuition, and they are innate to those individuals, in the same way the number of petals, in virtue of a formal principle, is innate to a plant, or the num- ber of capsules that contain the seed of an apple.”
Johannes Kepler. Harmony of the world.
For some, mathematics are a natural language, present in most things, applicable to multiple aspects in our daily life. For others like me, maths are something abstract, hard to understand and that in a practical sense are only useful in relation to finances or cooking. I don’t mean to underestimate the importance of maths, instead, I want to make room for the idea that us, human beings, innately have completely opposed sensitivities through which we perceive the reality that surrounds us. Just like a mathematical mind sees numbers as a language capable of establishing infinite bridges in the physi- cal world – even when invisible to our eyes-, making underlying realities appear, for a mind like mine it’s aesthetic forms and words that innately form my image of the world, originating dialogues and connections that I perceive as the natural ways of contact with reality.
Johannes Kepler, German mathematician, claims that intuition is what rouses a mathematical view of things. Likewise, intuition is what wakes the aesthetic perception that drives the artist to determine the definitive shape of a piece. Under this perspective, mathematics and art would be two different languages mediated by the same intuition, which brings me to think about wider borders for lan- guage, where each one of us, as individuals, possesses the potential to create completely different and original ways of expression. I say potential because our development is not simple enough to put it only in formal terms, and not all of us get to develop our own language in a way that is recognized by our peers. In art, it is the development of that potential that allows an artist to call himself that, as well as, obviously, many other factors related to their culture, origin, personality, relationships, etc.
The artists gathered in this exhibit all have in common that they are developing languages that, for L21, symbolize a critical point of view, from which they take a stance on reality and the present context. In the exhibit, these languages are stressed, they are distorted as they are interpreted, and they are transformed as we dialogue with each other. Each piece evokes different reactions, each voice unchains a series of situations sometimes strongly linked to the impossibility of apprehending reality, or viewed from a different angle, to the deterioration of living in a fictional world. When I enter an exhibit room, I don’t expect to gaze through a homogeneous space of subtle connections, instead I expect it to completely dislodge my natural and intuitive logic, to make place to the emergence of other forms of vision beyond what we know. Some of the exhibited pieces are formally minimal, with little use of color and extreme simplicity, others are casual and explosive, with strident colors. In many of them the presence of shapes and objects repurposed from their usual functionality make me think in the transvestism of languages, in their capacity of being two at the same time, recognizing their original condition, and not without some erotism and perversion, seducing us with their new contextual display.
Most languages, if not all of them, exist to measure the world and at first are always reductive, they try to convey a large amount of information with the least amount of words and digits possible to later expand their meaning. In contemporary art this happens naturally, the artist creates, borrows or marks an object, performs an action or leaves clues of things it’s constantly doing along it’s path around the world, that’s why I consider them to be the resulting forms of all these artistic signs, one of the most potent and effective linguistic expressions to alter and with it transform our vital conditions.
LANGUAGE gathers the languages of seventeen artists, with a number of completely opposed innate sensitivities, combining both mathematical and aesthetic intuition, both logical and symbolic, in the creation of works that question the politics of representation and the language of art itself. Now it’s the time to restart the path that goes from one art piece to another. They have been set as clues, as letters that eventually form words and, in turn, a text, or maybe numbers, that combined into a spe- cific mathematical operation can clear the way to realities never seen before.
Carolina Castro Jorquera
Curator and investigator
San Felipe, Chile