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Opposing Harmonies

By Viridiana Gutiérrez

The possibility to harmonize in the difference of the encounter with the “other” is the most important task of our days. This is how Lena Bartula and Alberto Lenz manifest the framework of a common search in their artwork, converging for their exhibition “Opposing Harmonies,” in which they relate to construct a paradigm of senses in permanent transition.

“Opposing Harmonies”
By Lena Bartula and Alberto Lenz
Fri, Dec 16, 6pm
Berlin Bar & Bistro
Umarán 19

Lena Bartula seeks to establish communicative relationships encompassing the conceptual, the material, and the experiential, to manifest the reality of a society that is confused but at the same time hopeful. In it, she manages to provoke through subtlety, raising a political dimension that offers us a glimpse into a deep discursive content from its aesthetic nature. Her work confronts us with the great anxieties and paths of our time. In her “Huipiles,” she interweaves social relations and connections in the ambiguous state of moving towards and at the same time being inside a convoluted labyrinth. It is a reassembled fragmentation, understood as the remains of the human construction by a destructive act or process, or as remnants of the past that find the way for reconstruction, giving the opportunity to generate a new project, new utopias.

Alberto Lenz, on the other hand, reinvents the striking plasticity of a San Miguel, based on its heavy monumental structures and the colors of a semidesert that have been the scene of struggles for freedom, and its walls, which have been a refuge and an opportunity for the known and strangers. “Locality is the most universal,” said Alfonso Reyes. Here the concept of locality provides him the tools for the conformation of a community with infinite possibilities of existence and sensitive experiences. Also, with his work he reevaluates the symbols of the historical tradition of the Bajio region and of endowing it with a new life; where the architecture and the landscape will become a space of memory, reflection, connection, and dialogue for the creation of a sense of community. The wall, as a metaphor, is the “evidence” presented in the manner of the poetics of neominimalism. Its evidential aesthetics, and the universe of associations and analogies that explodes, become the rules of the constructive and mental game of a sensitivity and a sociological vision that projects critical aspects while articulating an affirmative and vindicating imaginary, by facing a partner in which the differences between variant segments yield to a reality in greater balance.

In both proposals, whether through abstraction or assemblage, one perceives the material and human “deconstruction” in Derrida’s sense, not as a pointless end, but, on the contrary, as a range of possibilities. Both artists teach us to turn down the structures so we can learn to live in regeneration and constant transformation.

Works with these characteristics place the viewer in relation to things in the way of being. It is art as an autopoietic* entity that creates a stage where the artist plays the role of a historian in his own land and as a memory catalyst for the reconstruction of the past, the visualization of the present, and the presentation of new forms of future. Bartula and Lenz become witnesses and militants through visual language determining the beginning of a “repolitization of art,” with the interest of making community and “constructivist projects” from culture and art for the common good.

*Autopoiesis refers to a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself.



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