Printer Friendly

Federico Guzman.


The first impression one had upon entering this exhibition of Federico Guzman's works was a feeling of confusion. On the walls, separated from each other, an uneven group of pieces made of asphalt and paint on canvas presented signs that alluded to the boundaries of writing and public relations; perhaps this was the remains of a more complex network of symbols now nearly reduced to minimum expression. To what did that network of symbols refer?

For some time now, as a result of a collective project in which he participated in 1992 called the Capsula de tiempo Cordoba (Cordoba time capsule), Guzman has observed, scrutinized, and analyzed daily archaeological space. Within this space he did not attempt to tally or compute the endless elements that produce industrial waste; instead, he dealt with picking up, metaphorically speaking, that diagram of at times imperceptible energies that make up the social strengths of human existence. And in that diagram, according to Guzman, the detritus, the sacrificed object is joined to a perception of time and space that is subjected to insurmountable fluctuation and anguish. Could it be that, deep down, Guzman--who has explored with great zeal the notion of geography, space, and time, in relation to Guy Debord's idea of drift--is trying to point out the impossibility of grasping or capturing the human universe? Could this be the disheartening message from an artist who, for years, has forced himself to be a conduit of communication, cutting into the channels of language?

Guzman's vision is full of ill-fated omens. In a sense, the drunken boat of disordered senses, proposed by the young Rimbaud, has been traded, more than one hundred years later, for the slippage or displacement of values, for the loss of a guiding principle, of a direction. We find ourselves in a sociocultural and historical context quite different from that inhabited by the French poet. Human activity in our era is inscribed into a few bits of space, into a scattering of ruinous concepts and sensitivities. That drunkenness of the senses that long ago aspired to a total experience has changed now into a flow of diverse currents similar to those rays or lines that extend beyond the edges of some of Guzman's paintings (e.g. Pizarra conversa |Convex blackboard~, 1993), leaving the heart of the work empty. The future has lost its raison d'etre; the present is ill and hobbles like a wounded beast, and the past, the past that Guzman describes in his archaeological model of Tollund Man and Elling Woman (individuals from the Roman iron age, preserved in a perfect state in the peat bogs of northern Europe until their discovery in 1960), is covered, like a ragpicker, with strips and more strips of Letraset.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Artforum International Magazine, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Reviews; exhibit at Galeria La Maquina Espanola, Madrid, Spain
Author:Aliaga, Juan Vicente
Publication:Artforum International
Date:Jun 22, 1993
Previous Article:Alberto Heredia.
Next Article:Marco Lodola.

Related Articles
Jose Pedro Croft.
Madrid letter.
Jose Maldonado.
Interpretations of the Renaissance in Spanish historical thought.
Circa 1600: Spanish values and Tuscan painting.
SEARCH FOR A MISSING CHILDHOOD\Artist evokes loss in 'Hadrian's Room'.
Spain March 2003.
The value of an MBA from old Europe.
Spain January 2004.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters