Arts & Entertainment

Exhibit at NYC’s Cervantes Institute celebrates art’s power to communicate

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

New York, Jun 25 (EFE).- The Cervantes Institute of New York will inaugurate an exhibit next week featuring various works by five Hispanic artists that celebrate the language of art and the multiple forms of expression beyond speech and the written word.

“There’s a magical language in the substance of things. There’s a shape, (there are) languages that aren’t the type of language we’re able to understand like we can speech,” one of the two curators of the exhibition, co-founder of the digital curatorial platform La Pera Projects, Clara Andrade Pereira, told Efe.

The exhibit titled “La Creacion Muda” (The Silent Creation) will run from June 28 to Sept. 10 and bring together seven artists from Spain, Colombia, Cuba, Chile and Puerto Rico whose works – including ceramic and photographic art, sculptures and paintings – “suggest different types of language.”

Set to kick off four days after the expiration of New York state’s Covid-19 State of Emergency, visitors will not need to make reservations before attending.

In this first of a series of curated projects involving Hispanic artists working in the New York City metropolitan area, a painting by Colombian artist Daniel Mantilla shows the mute tension of a conversation that is frozen in time and unfolds in a claustrophobic space.

“My work generally involves accumulations and confinement. I often have figures who are interacting in enclosed spaces, whether in gardens, on rooftops or in domestic settings,” he told Efe.

Two figures are holding a conversation in his painting, but the discourse of one speaker drowns out the other and even overflows the bounds of the canvas.

“The work is called ‘Monologue’ because even though they’re apparently having a conversation, in reality they aren’t listening to one another,” the painter said, adding that he prefers to use “colors that scream” to convey tension and an idea of confinement that is emphasized with repetitive lines that “create the sense of imprisonment.”

The exhibition’s curators were inspired by German philosopher and essayist Walter Benjamin’s book “On Language as Such and on the Language of Man,” published in 1916.

That revolutionary text sees language as a “spiritual medium” and describes the magical language of certain situations or works of art that “convey things we’re often not even able to capture in writing,” Andrade said.

A pair of untitled paintings by Chile’s Hernan Rivera Luque, meanwhile, express language’s rich array of accents.

“They’re fragments of advertising posters that constitute a whole, and when split up they represent the changes in the language, the subtleties of the different accents, of how the various countries use the Spanish language differently and how the pieces come together and form a new whole and represent how language changes,” Blanca Pascual Baztan, co-founder of La Pera Projects and co-curator of the exhibition, explained.

Other works that form part of the exhibition include Laura Jimenez Galvis’s “Templo, Pagoda y Torre,” which alludes to what remained of the Great Library of Alexandria after it was destroyed.

The New York branch of the Cervantes Institute, a non-profit organization founded by the Spanish government, says on its website that the exhibition is a reflection of the “infinite possibilities that exist for generating dialogue.”



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