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Inspection and Contemplation

by José Cori
Artist

“Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.”

The tables turned. Wordsworth, 1888

With enough distance from Romanticism we can try a different thought, and I mean precisely a new incursion on the relationship between art and nature.

The dissections that we find in the works of Arbórea, wooden profiles of acacia and pine, answer both to the bare presentation of the material as well as to the image that it sustains, embodying a precise economy which adjusts medium and message. It is significant how the works of this exhibition argue directly what was proposed by Wordsworth, and not redundantly in the means which the romantic postulates have been typically contradicted, but –how in a way it was already depicted in the poems title– from a castling which represents a review and not a denial of its treaties.

Here the transversal cut as a reiterative operation doesn’t remit only to a scientific procedure but also to a construction of symbolic character. In the dissection there is an image that is revealed to us. We could then say that it is the conjunction of both perspectives, scientific and artistic: the transversal incision –made by a meddling intellect– is the same action that reveals a hidden image, showing as an ideogram. It is a form of edition, and in that sense a form of organizing reality as well, of exaggerating perspectives in the means of creating a language which will always force us to compose.

In the assembly of the discourses here present we also find the notorious constant of its author: the artistic investigation concerning phenomenon of perception, geometry, the modular, and their link with a sort of ethnography: the creative behavior of some originative and antique cultures. The association is fairly relevant when we realize that it doesn’t work as an appropriation of the native imagery, but as an adaptation of a modus operandi that grazes an epistemological entailment in the sense that it inquires practically through the same creative and conceptual processes.

Although the interpretation of these concepts, for example, of cave art where vegetal and abstract geometric motifs have always been found, is something in constant dispute; the transcendental character, where there was not yet a sure qualitative difference between the notions of reality and representation is a widely reasserted hypothesis. Clearly the objective is not returning to a proto-rational state but to search for complementarity in our observation of nature. It is like this –through a temporal and perceptive outreach– that we understand that art is also a method of observation as well as a practical measurement of the relations of reality.

The series Fallen Acacia and Conscience of trees, besides from withholding a sense of anecdote in their titles, they impregnate the space, as if the wood grains reverberated generating notorious optical effects. The geometry exposed works as an echo, something that repeats itself, that insists creating the notion of a weft or interrelation of the works in display, but from the stillness and silence almost (or totally) proper of a totem.

The discursive crossing of this exhibition is in fact effective in a last version: the undeniable relation –that yet again is here patented– between organic nature and mathematics which also link in the correspondence between the sensible and intelligible, always configuring the experience of an intimate ambiguity, or in the case of Arbórea, the dispositive precision of an ambivalence which is not presented now as a problem but as an artistic proposal, conciliating maybe in the point where inspection and contemplation become one.

Santiago, 2015