Priscilla González: An aesthetic of everyday life
"I've been working the cutting paper technique for 5 years. My work has always had a focus on femininity, the domestic life and the erotism of intimacy. It vacillates between the idea of beauty and its perennial symbols; the woman and the ornaments. I love paper, its versatility and its fragility. "
The word aesthetics was appropriate by Alexander Baumgarten from the ancients in 1735 to designate a perspective of philosophy whose parameter was already established from classical Greece: the intersection of passions, tastes, feelings and morality. In his philosophy, the emphasis of the Greeks on the idea of sensation turned to another interpretation, giving it its contemporary meaning; that is, the human capacity to receive stimulation from the senses, or the science of what is perceived and imagined. Contemporary aesthetics does not refer to beauty as much as to feel, or feel affected and become a part, through action, in various cultural processes. The feeling, the activation of the perceptual world as experience and proposal, becomes a guideline of the contemporary world.
"This new work seems very close to the previous work and yes, it drags all themes in which I have been working. However, it arises after a family tragedy. A 3-year-old nephew dies in an accident. Hard ... very hard, I was in a limbo for several months. This is the point where this series arises ... "
One of the singularities of aesthetics is the way in which empathy with others makes us grasp to certain feelings and dynamics that are oriented towards action. This characteristic emerges in the work of González, in the form of mourning. This finds form in its way of attending to the dynamics of interpersonal and transpersonal sympathies to make them part of a work whose purpose is communicative when addressing the public. This is the dynamic vision of the world, where feelings provoke the creative act, where the most intimate feelings become part of a creative culture of daily life.
"A doily that I had falls on the floor and I find it interesting, I take a picture and pick it up. It falls again from the same height and it creates yet another totally different composition. I do it several times, documenting the process. I print the image on a piece of paper. And I instinctively begin to cut the negative area; the process of cutting is liberating.
"I cut 4-5 hours a day, as a way of mourning. And suddenly, after 60 hours of cutting, this first image appears. Something fits inside me: facing mourning is a slow process. It is not about understanding, but accepting the loss and only then can I look at the whole spectrum and find beauty where there was only room for pain. "
In González's work, separation is represented in a domestic object, which was originally the product of weaving, a typically feminine manual work. After World War II in the United States there is a silent revolution whose effects expand dramatically in the Anthropocene; it is the massive and repetitive production of consumer objects. The corruption of the concept of 'original' as an effect of mechanical production was pointed out by Walter Benjamin, who dictated the loss of aura from the original work of art in "The work of art in the era of its technical reproducibility".
New keys appear to approach the work of art such as chance, so loved by the surrealists and Marcel Duchamp; serial repetition, one of the strategies used by Andy Warhol to highlight the potential of infinite reproducibility. Finally, the central scene is mourning and melancholy, two themes that are close to all the culture of the 20th century, whose resonance continues to this day. That diffuse nostalgia becomes part of everyday life, of the desire to recover a world of intimacy before the accelerated overflowing of visual communication in current times.
"The image is beautiful, it plays with the eye of the beholder and the perspective. At first glance, it looks like a photograph, then when approaching, it is understood that it is paper and facing it is perceived that it is a flat image. I frame it in black alluding to mourning. "
"By continuing to cut the following works as a meditation, other issues arise that make the project even more relevant to me. The cutting process is thorough and slow, contrary to the era of instant gratification and immediacy. I long to go back to the basics and to the simple and in these works I remove pieces, instead of adding. "
"In its apparent fragility, simplicity, and lightness, the work reveals powerful energy that seems to offer me a lesson on existence itself."