We do what we know before we know what we do
Edgar Orlaineta
We do what we know before we know what we do
Edgar Orlaineta
23
.
01
.
2020
07
0.
03
.
2020
Edgar Orlaineta
We do what we know before we know what we do
Edgar Orlaineta
/
23
.
01
.
2020
07
.
03
.
2020

El tacto y la sombra

por Rafael Toriz

Ofrecidas a la vista como extraños animales, nada sabemos de la vida interna de las manos, salvo que late en ellas un terror antiguo, que es otra forma de nombrar al pensamiento: pulpos instalados en el extremo de los brazos, modelan entre sueños al lenguaje, dando forma inacabada a nuestro paso por la tierra.

Su lugar como creadoras de la especie las emplaza en un lugar impreciso entre utensilios en sí mismas, forjadoras de objetos y su desdoble al instante en que el tacto deviene caricia: capto la seña de una mano y veo que hay una libertad en mi deseo escribió Jorge Cuesta y uno intuye que el sentido pleno se revela cuando somos reconocidos por el espesor de la materia.

Esta muestra de Edgar Orlaineta, uno de los contados artistas contemporáneos con un lenguaje íntimo reconocible y por ello universal –algo que recuerda los albores de la especie en el momento de la aurora, vestigios de civilizaciones paralelas que semejan arquetipos orientales, venus rotundas, escrituras del ritmo y la cadencia: aquellas primeras trazas volumétricas de cuando las palabras se cargaban con los brazos– es singular por varios flancos, no el menor de ellos es que haya vuelto a la pintura luego de años, hasta décadas ensayando con las formas modernistas, reconocibles y biomorfas que le han provisto de sus huellas digitales por las que transitamos los páramos de su obra, desplegada menos como un cuerpo y más como galaxia: las esculturas de Orlaineta no tienen otra funcionalidad que poner en jaque la idea misma de función, liberando a los objetos de la tiranía del sentido para ofrecerlas, infinitas, en su suavidad como potencia.

Heredero sintomático de la Escuela de La Bauhaus, su obra pone en entredicho los límites entre el artesano y el artista, donde lo que se palpa son los procesos de pensamiento encarnados en el diseño, que incide en el entramado del mundo y las interacciones sociales. Maestro de las transfiguraciones, los elementos que articula inciden en la manera en que percibimos y pensamos el ambiente, puesto que la pared en que leemos, la ropa que vestimos y todo el mundo que habitamos es un diálogo –aunque a veces una guerra y casi siempre una imposibilidad– con la ineluctable modalidad de lo visible.

Las piezas que aquí acontecen –sonrientes como caritas totonacas, zoomorfas como murciélagos papaloteando un cuadro, fosilizados como relieves ictiológicos que se fugaron del océano– develan un conocimiento pero sobre todo un contacto íntimo con los oficios manuales, donde prima sobre la forma y el fondo, la materia sensible que transforma la intuición en una lengua: los límites de su mundo, entre la levedad y la gracia, son los elementos de una sintaxis que se resuelve en el reconocimiento con los otros: materialista y consciencia actuante, Orlaineta nos recuerda con sus arquetipos mestizos que la especie piensa porque tiene manos.

Nutrida y variada como es la muestra, acaso sea en el resplandor de la madera donde mejor se exprese la condición dúctil y flexible de su maniobra (tallada, quebrada o retorcida, nada como la madera ante la servidumbre de la mano). Consciente de la fuerza primitiva con la que se hicieron las primeras efigies, morteros, superficies y pistilos, más que un profeta de una civilización venidera o un gramático remoto en soliloquio con su oficio, sus composiciones sintonizan con el oriente y el silencio a la manera de Tanizaki en su Elogio de la sombra, pero también con extraños retablos paganos contemporáneos: con las cajas como elegías de Joseph Cornell y los collages en madera de Luis Wells, señalando que no hay nada descartable ni un afuera para una obra que es movimiento, interioridad y sugerencia.

A la manera de las manos que hablan sin precisar de boca, las creaturas de Orlaineta y su lenguaje aparecen como la sombra delicada de un sonido.

Touch and Shadow

By Rafael Toriz

Presented to our gaze like strange animals, we know nothing of the internal life of the hands, other than that latent in them there is an ancient territory, which is another way of naming thought: in the span between one dream and another, the tentacled creatures attached to the ends of our arms provide a model for language, giving unfinished form to our passage across the face of the earth.

Their place as the creative force of our species puts them in an ambiguous position: they are instruments in themselves, makers of objects that unfold at the moment when touch becomes caress. "I grasp the sign made by a hand and see that there is a freedom in my desire", wrote Jorge Cuesta, and one senses that full meaning of this statement is revealed when we are recognized by the thickness of matter.

This exhibition by Edgar Orlaineta, one of the few contemporary artists with a recognizable and therefore universal intimate language —something that recalls the dawn of the species at the moment of daybreak, vestiges of parallel civilizations that resemble oriental archetypes, rotund Venuses, scripts of rhythm and cadence: those first volumetric traces from when words were borne in people's arms— is unique on several count, not least of which being that he has returned to painting after years, even decades spent developing the recognizable modernist biomorphic forms that have provided him with the fingerprints by which we move through the wastelands of his oeuvre, which unfolds less like a corpus and more like a galaxy: Orlaineta's sculptures have no other functionality than to put the very idea of function in check, freeing objects from the tyranny of meaning in order to offer them up, infinite, in their softness as potentiality.

Clearly indebted to the Bauhaus School, his work calls the limits between the artisan and the artist into doubt, such that what one feels are thought processes embodied in design, affecting the framework of the world and social interactions. A master of transfigurations, he articulates elements to affect the way we perceive and understand our surroundings, given that the wall on which we read, the clothes we wear and the entire world we inhabit are forms of dialogue —albeit sometimes at war and almost always impossible— with the inescapable modality of visuality.

The works presented here —smiling like Totonac heads, zoomorphic like bats flitting through a picture, fossilized like ichthyologic reliefs that fled from the ocean— reveal a knowledge of but also an intimate contact with manual trades, where what takes precedence over figure and ground is the sensuous matter that transforms intuition into a language: the limits of his world, between lightness and grace, are the elements of a syntax that gets resolved in the mutual recognition of others: an active, materialist conscience, Orlaineta's mestizo archetypes remind us that human beings think because we have hands.

Robust and varied though the show is, perhaps it is the resplendence of wood that best expresses the ductile and flexible condition of his handiwork; whether carved, burned or twisted, there is nothing like wood subjected to the hand. Cognizant of the primitive force with which humankind's first effigies, mortars, pestles, and surfaces were made, rather than prophesying a civilization to come or coldly soliloquizing on the grammar of his art, Orlaineta arranges his compositions in symphony with the Orient and silence in the manner of Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows, as well as with the strange contemporary pagan retables: with the boxes as elegies to Joseph Cornell and the wooden collages of Luis Wells, signaling that nothing is expendable and that there is no outside for a work that is all movement, interiority and suggestion.

In the manner of hands that speak without clarification from the mouth, Orlaineta's creations and their language are like the delicate shadow of a sound.

No items found.
Hokku
,
2020

Wood (American Walnut, Wenge, Cottonwood, South American Walnut, Beech wood) vintage book, acrylic painting, oil and plywood

40.31 x 41.14 x 7.48 in

Men-bu
,
2019

Wood (Amer, Walnut, Wenge, Cottonwood, Rosewood, South Amer. Walnut, and Beech wood) vintage photograph, acrylic painting, plywood and rattan

39.37 x 39.37 x 9.25 in

Patrono
,
2020

Wood (American Walnut, Wenge, Cottonwood, Rosewood, South American Walnut, Beech wood, Cedar, Okume wood and oak) vintage photograph, acrylic painting and vintage book

39.25 x 39.57 x 6.69 in

Tokonoma
,
2019

Wood (American walnut, wenge, South American walnut and beech wood) vintage postal, acrylic painting, plywood and chinese ink

41.14 x 39.33 x 5.98 in

Naturaleza muerta
,
2019

Wood (American walnut, cedar and coffee) on MDF, acrylic painting and oil

19.84 x 13.54 x 5.98 in

Naturaleza muerta
,
2019

Wood (American walnut, oak, wenge and coffee) oil and acrylic painting on MDF

17.48 x 13.78 x 4.72 in

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