Throughout his career, Antioquian artist Jorge Marín has used art history and the history of images as a privileged resource to show the lights and shadows that underlie the archives, narratives and identity and political symbols of the twentieth century.
Precursor of Storms, a title derived from a "deviant" verse by Russian novelist and playwright Maxim Gorky, turns to the enthusiastic symbols of an aesthetic renovation that was almost never accepted by the revolution in power. The aesthetic ideals of the avant-garde, called into question by regimes that the artists wanted to serve in their beginnings, are questioned by Jorge Marin through simple but powerful operations such as paradox, extrapolation and contradiction in extremis. The monumental and the funerary, the identity and the representation of the charismatic leader obtain a new place in art, under the revealing shadow conferred by their gratuitous inclusion in the series of symbols tolerated by control and censorship.
Geometry, the lingua franca of the avant-garde grammars of creation, appears this time loaded with irony. Chess becomes an elliptic of struggle. Translation appears as an opaque space of concealment. Architecture is a form of illusion. Sculpture is an art, but at the same time a sophisticated social procedure. Fire is a form of purification. With all this, Marín challenges the attempts at aesthetic control historically associated with the omnipotent power of the State and confiscates representations, forms and resources that were thought to be unpolluted. Acting with the tools of fiction and free play with representations, state power and artistic power overlap in unexpected ways. Precursor de las tormentas investigates and resignifies the prevailing strategies of creation in the nationalist imagery of the 20th century to use as creative options the stories of its rise, subsequent decline and dissolution.
The result of a work of observation of the monumental and documentary ruins of the revolutionary enthusiasm in Eastern Europe, where the artist traveled during 2019, the works in Precursor of Storms start from the idea of a suppressed or fragmented nation. The observation and analysis of the residual aesthetics of the communist utopia allow us to find in the historical annulment and silencing of artists and philosophers a kind of vindication. This is the indefinable and endearing "Triumph of the Artist," as Tzvetan Todorov calls in one of his latest books the survival of the work of artists and writers who had conflictive relations with the revolution.
This intervention asks questions about the fate of the artist, the prudent silence of his voice or the resounding sound of his actions. Hence, the exhibition has taken the Soviet Union as its starting point, posing the struggle between figurative and abstract art forms as a correlate of the struggle between political and economic systems. The ephemeral transit through history only seems to tolerate an agonizing social experiment that is repressed, and where each movement is calculated with the sole purpose of prolonging its plausible sinking into the shadows. Hence, this exhibition has characters: Ana Akhmatova, Isaak Babel, Kasimir Malevich, Garry Kasparov and Nikita Kruchev come together in an unexpected confluence of utopias, defeats and endless struggles.
In this autumn of artistic consciousness, akin to the visions of a Babel, a Malevich or a Maldestam, it is the artists who are the true triumphants, as they endure the anguish generated by distancing themselves from the aesthetic reactionism of the political revolution, the obligation to distance themselves from the propagandistic ambitions of the oppressive system or fanning the flames of a social transformation that, although believed necessary, will lead to the suppression of creative freedoms.
The sacrifice and achievement that this project intends to envision shows the conquest that advanced aesthetic and artistic positions had over, and in spite of, the servitude of the State. Just as storytelling and creation become the only possible victory of the vanquished, art, literature, creativity and political action appear as the only ways to last in the face of repression and nihilism.
by Jorge Marín.
Curated by Efrén Giraldo.