Los Sintítulos

The Untitled

2015

Specific Installation "El Público", a show curated by Virginia Torrente for Centro Federico García Lorca, Granada (SP)

Series of sculptural paintings. Acrylic on silk, bleach on canvas, beech wooden structures

Variable dimensions.

A series of panels or frames lined up one after another like a Lorquian parade presents multiple ideas that radiate a sense of joy, that childlike innocence, unprejudiced and open to interpretation, which the poet never lost and which lives on Belén`s work. Seemingly banal referential motifs create a little theatre where we are not mere spectators: we are obliged to participate, to stroll about and explore its front and backstage, to loiterin the wings, to discover what is hidden in the game of superimpositions that the artist has invented. From the puppet shows Lorca liked to put on for his family and friends as a boy to the Surrealist avant-garde theatre he helped to cook up at the Residencia de Estudiantes, Belén remembers Lorca through the years of his life and his artistic output, with all his contradictions and thin-skinned hypersensitivity.

 

Isabel García Lorca, speaking of her brother, recalls, "For Federico, the everyday was almost always something fresh and new [...]. Many people have likened him to a child. Much has been said, and with good reason, about the importance of children in his work  [...]. All this makes me think that my memory of him is something very close to joy, surprise and enthusiasm..."

 

Belén´s work is driven by a free-flowing investigative impulse, and in that freedom her initial ideas become concrete materialisations where anything and everything is valid: canvases, easels, videos, writings, meteorites, films, music and countless other elements which the artist´s capable hands transform into liquid poetry. It should therefore come as no surprise that she has found it so easy to channel the Lorquian spirit, which breathed magic into everything it touched. Games, triviality, amusement and partying are also part of that spiritual connection, downplaying the transcendental aspect of artistic representation. 

 

This connection between reality and fantasy is established by eye that is keen and incisive yet also innocent and pure, one focuses on the extraordinary vestiges of the ordinary and lifts it up to a place of visual prominence for others, the spectators, to enjoy. A piece of cloth worn ragged by the sun, bits of plastic waste that float in the water and are eventually washed up on the beach, the mould that slowly devours a scrap of wet cardboard, the perfect grid lines of a notebook for learning to write, the waving of a flag… nothing escapes the notice of Belén, and once it is in her sights she appropiates it as poetry.

 

Under the potential of the artist´s strong hands, her selected materials, both new and recycled, are distorted, divested of their original purpose and transformed into little gems, creating a paradox that makes us see the familiar in a different light. This method has the evocative power of a nostalgic emotion which, although it is the artist´s own, takes us back to our own childhood and our own memories, frozen in time, and also connects us with Lorca´s memories, which are omnipresent in the pieces re-presented here.

A simple rag for drying and cleaning brushes becomes a new painting; the leftover scraps of unfinished works are transformed into vibrant sculptures and installations. They are like capsules of a long poem, administered in small doses, where the material and the spiritual unite to form a single expressive body. Belén explores detritus, turning a perceptive eye to the little things we consider beneath our notice and barely even look at throughout the day, searching for and finding the artistic in the commonplace. In the process, she reconstructs a new Lorca in her imagination and shows him to us. The author´s magnetism is reincarnated in the artist´s work.

One of the artist´s sources of inspiration for Los Sintítulos was a phrase spoken by Lorca during a lecture entitled “The Mechanics of Poetry”, and the echo of those words resounds in every canyon and crevice of Belén´s personal homage to the poet: “Art must advance just as science advances day after day, in the incredible region that is credible and in the absurd that later becomes a pristine ridge of truth”.

 

Virginia Torrente