The Vast Ocean in Which the Woman Swims
curated by Ché Morales
September 7 - October 3, 2021
Rachel Uffner Gallery is pleased to present The Vast Ocean in Which the Woman Swims, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Bernadette Despujols, curated by Ché Morales. This body of work features Despujos’s recent series of paintings and sculptures that confront the objectified view of the female body as informed by her own perspective and experiences. Despujols explores themes that go beyond the expected identity of a woman drawing inspiration from the many dynamic women that have played important and personal roles in her life including her Mother, Grandmothers, sisters, nieces, cousins, friends, and even colleagues that have shaped who she has become.
Despujols takes a seemingly sculptural approach to painting as she vigorously fills her canvases with thick and energetic brushstrokes, that at times are also retracted and scraped away to resurface the underpainting. These textural portraits invoke emotional and profound imagery reminiscent of artists such as Alice Neel or Jenny Saville.
With these paintings, she portrays various women in all possible scenarios and stages of their lives such as: A collection of portraits of women as young girls, mothers, children, elderly, healthy and sick. Despujols states, “I want to explore the vast ocean in which the woman swims, (one that I am yet to fully understand) one that goes way beyond those absurd expectations of what women should be.”
At first glance, some might find it strange to place a “sexualized” sculpture next to the painting of a child or a mother with her children, or an older woman. However, Despujols wants to remind the viewer that the “sexualized” woman was once a little girl that would eventually become an older woman. That a woman is not just one of a certain age, women are of many ages and many faces. She wants to remind everyone that the patriarchy wants to separate women into specific, uniquely stereotyped stages.
For example, Despujols represents how the perception of ideal femininity is ingrained from an early age with the painting of Cassandra and Gala. Here, one figure wears a Smurfette t-shirt referencing the artist’s own childhood memory of watching the cartoon aptly titled, “Los Pitufos” or “The Smurfs". She would always wonder how despite the many male characters with their countless personalities be it sleepy, grumpy, surprising, old, or funny, there was only one “girl,” and she was simply characterized as “pretty”. Despujols transforms this formative memory into one of many visual examples to emphasize the dismissal of the female identity.
Many of her paintings in this show are based off of photographs —some she has taken herself, she has found second hand or were sent to her by friends and family. Despujols finds the process of painting these images as a sort of translation, from one language to another. In this translation, many details may go missing, change or mutate. The image that she produces does not attempt to look photorealistic, or realistic in any way. It is its own version of reality, existing in a realm in which fact and fiction do not exist. A story with a reality that now solely exists on the canvas.
A selection of sculptures in the center of the room completes the exhibition. These sculptures are from Despujols' Inflatable Love Dolls series and are comprised of five female busts fabricated from soft latex sex dolls filled with concrete. The inflatable love doll she uses is a representation of the female body; it is both figurative and abstract, as it tries to reproduce the female figure, yet remaining true to its origins as an inflatable structure. Through her practice, Despujols reclaims these agent-less inflatable objects into something completely new. As the concrete begins to set, the weight responds to gravity and transforms the shape of the once static doll into a more substantial human form. Though it is evident that their extremities and heads are missing, the sexual orifices still remain, highlighted, in their original yet impenetrable pink plastic.
Through their transformation, these torsos have now become symbols of an impossible objectification or abuse.They are no longer possible to penetrate, and their pleasure-inducing cavities have been filled. Instead of soft objects with the sole purpose of fulfilling the desire of men in their solitude, they now stand firm like a truncated contemporary version of Hellenistic torsos. Despujols references the Greek goddess Aphrodite as an example of this mythological presence. Aphrodite also embodied themes of love, beauty, pleasure, passion, and procreation. Despujols hopes that the viewer will find these same themes and complexity of character within the portraits surrounding gallery walls.
Bernadette Despujols (b. 1986, Barquisimeto, Venezuela) studied Architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), where she graduated with honors in 2007. Soon after, she continued her education at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where took classes in architecture, cultural exchange, morphology and anatomy before beginning her endeavors in art making. Despujols taught Architectonic Design at the School of Architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela before moving to the US to pursue her MFA in Visual Arts at the California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in 2010. Despujols’ artistic practice is highly expansive, as she incorporates a wide range of different media, including painting, sculpture, video and installation. Her current work revolves and questions historical allusions, myths and references regarding the perception of women, sex and contemporary life. She shares her time between her architectonic firm and her art practice. Despujols lives and works in Miami since 2013.
CURRENTS: An Overwhelming Response
Curated by Carmen Hermo
Mimi Bai, Sera Boeno, Nikesha Breeze, Becky Brown, Caryl Burtner, Bernadette Despujols, Priscilla Dobler, Debora Hirsch, Elektra KB, Nsenga Knight, Le’Andra LeSeur, Nikki Luna, Stefana McClure, Rosemary Meza- DesPlas, Nelson Morales, Pamela Rush, Alicia Smith, Caroline Wayne, Connie Zheng
January 10 – February 9, 2020
A.I.R. Gallery is proud to present the 6th edition of CURRENTS, an open call exhibition series in which artists respond to current topics, with this iteration addressing the theme of gaslighting and manipulation.
The 19 international artists in this exhibition, CURRENTS: An Overwhelming Response, represent a plurality of voices exploring and pushing back against experiences and ramifications of gaslighting—or manipulations of reality—on individuals, communities, and culture. The title is drawn from Le’Andra LeSeur’s video work, An Overwhelming Response, which tracks the dismissals, denials, and violent backlash to Black women reporting sexual assaults. This title also evokes the artistic responses to the show’s open call, and the exhibition includes a diverse range of media encompassing sculpture, video, photography, painting, textile, and works on paper. Many of these artworks model healing and shifts in perception to bolster self-knowledge and solicit community support in the face of trauma.
Gaslighting undermines, isolates, and divides. The term comes from the 1938 play and 1944 film Gaslight where a woman
is manipulated by her husband to paranoid extremes of self-doubt and anxiety, though she is ultimately vindicated. In the exhibition, Stefana McClure’s accumulative graphite transfer drawing of the film’s subtitles creates a visual field of that emotional turmoil. In vivid color, Becky Brown’s watercolors explore emotional ranges of numbness and revolt, judgment and concern.
In today’s global culture of nationalism and neo-fascism intertwined with misogyny, “fake news” and “straight talk” by men in power foster violence and abuse. Nikki Luna’s bathroom mirror activation and marble sculpture quote Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, in his crass, sexist public comments on rape and women’s bodies. Caryl Burtner takes a scissor to American politics, using anagrams to reveal the duplicity behind members of the current administration. Connie Zheng’s two-channel video narrates U.S. media’s manipulation of perceptions of China and its environmental conditions, especially in the artist’s hometown of Luoyang. Nsenga Knight’s video documentation of a performance restaging speeches by Malcolm X with contemporary African-American Muslims, reveals that the meaning and intentions behind X’s speeches were grossly misstated by U.S. media and leadership. Bernadette Despujols’s disturbing paintings bring wider attention to the violence of Venezuela’s current crisis, where non-governmental media is censored and reality obscured.
Many of the artists in this exhibition explore gaslighting’s impact on relationships with others as well as understand of ourselves. Sera Boeno’s delicate bronze adornments refer to Ottoman-era edicts declaring women as the “ornament of her house,” visualizing women’s silence over the centuries. Debora Hirsch created a mirror in which one’s reflection is gradually overtaken with insistent, insidious verbal and emotional abuse, showing commonplace and life-ending violence in a continuum. Caroline Wayne’s intimate, bedazzled object illustrate dream scenes produced by childhood abuse and trauma bonding. Elektra KB constructs a Survivor Medicine Cabinet out of remnants of an abusive relationship, pairing it with a textile letter alluding to abuse in queer communities. Pamela Rush’s video performance reenacts the words of misogynist, self-hating women in mass media, and LeSeur’s An Overwhelming Response shows the violent skepticism of mass media and internet commentators. Rosemary Meza-DesPlas uses the greyed hair of a lifetime of experience to embroider an image of rage in What You Whispered, Should Be Screamed, and that same sense of power and loss is abstracted in Mimi Bai’s sculptural Ghost.
Importantly, select artists in the exhibition establish new pathways for communication, self-knowledge, and healing through care and by prioritizing empathy and lived experience over traditional notions of expertise. Nikesha Breeze’s Ritual: Visceral: Memory uses ablution, touch, and the recitation of healing text to reclaim bodily knowledge and power. Nelson Morales’s photograph MUXE is a portrait of an elder member of the artist’s muxe community in Oaxaca, Mexico, where this third gender is valued and celebrated. Alicia Smith’s two video projections insist on the realities of trauma with repeated calls of “I Believe You” and by honoring indigenous Xicano women. Priscilla Dobler uses indigenous weaving traditions and sound to herald a rebirth of society through storytelling.
The work on view in CURRENTS: An Overwhelming Response represents the final selection from an overwhelming response
to the open call itself, attesting the importance of naming and visualizing all forms of gaslighting and abuse in 2020. By presenting this array of works, A.I.R. Gallery continues to build on expanded conversations about feminism in art, allowing for the works of these powerful women and gender non-conforming artists to foster connection and communication.
LVL3 presents, Circle Within a Square, a two-person exhibition featuring Bernadette Despujols and Brittney Leeanne Williams. Despujols’ violent, painterly style confronts contemporary mythologies of women while Williams’ transcendent use of deep red nods to generational and embodied feminine roles.
Williams’ paintings feature black women prominently in the composition, blending foreground and background, landscape and subject. The bodies are bent: their postures suggest a state of rest, a burden carried, lovemaking, being anchored. Williams uses these figures and their positionality to reference her own relationship to family history while at the same time speaking about chronicled female characters such as Naomi and Ruth from the Book of Ruth.
Despujol’s sculptures and paintings speak about the female body in today’s cultural and social contexts, questioning and embracing notions of objectification and intimacy. Despujol’s compositions depict naked sitting female-bodied figures in their home, on a bed or sitting on a man’s lap; forcing a viewer to question whether the scene depicted is intrusive or empowering. Similarly lonely and internal, Despujol’s interruptions of objects and furniture designed for the body are transfigured to become the body in question.
Bending, sitting, propped on chairs or inside a vast landscape, Despujols and Williams’ figures disrupt space through their dynamic expressions of womanhood.
December 3, 2019 – March 15th, 2020
Curated by: Adriana Meneses and Yuneikys Villalonga
Carole A. Fewell Gallery and Abraham Gallery, Coral Gables Museum
Miguel Acosta, Paul Amundarain, Uaio Antor, William Barbosa, Rafael Barrios, Alberto Blanco, Muu Blanco, Milton Becerra, Nadia Benatar, Carola Bravo, Starsky Brines, Nahila Campos, Amalia Caputo, Maria Cristina Carbonell, Ivan Castillo, Alberto Cavalieri, Pietro Daprano, Bernadette Depujols, Elsa Este, Nina Dotti, Leslie Gabaldon, Gabriela Gamboa, Juan Henriquez, Corina Hoher,Lili(ana), Andres Manner, Yucef Merhi, Andres Michelena, Mariana Monteagudo, Rolando Peña, Rafael Rangel, Sidia Reyes, Jorge Salas, Ines Silva, Karen Starosta-Gilinski, Patricia Van Dalen, Abigail Varela, Tony Vázquez, Lisu Vega, Tona Vegas, Julia Zurilla.
FOR NOW… brings together key Venezuelan artists who have settled in Miami throughout the last twenty years. From different generations, and working on a great variety of mediums and topics, these creators are part of a complex, ever-growing art scene that has made a huge impact in South Florida.
Some of the works in the show relate to the experience of the Diaspora. They explore topics such as memory, silence, and the complexities of the nation left behind. Another group of pieces pose formal concerns. In them, there is a visible dialogue with the strong Venezuelan tradition of Geometric Abstraction. Yet others are more in tune with broader concerns within the local and the international art scene.
per•verse /pɚˈvɜrs/ adj.
willfully determined or disposed to go
counter to what is expected or desired; contrary
persistent or obstinate in what is wrong
turned away from what is right, good, or proper
Graham Anderson, Johanna Bresnick, Bernadette Despujols, Brian Galderisi, Robert Gregson, Crystal Heiden, Robert Chase Heishman and Megan Schvaneveldt, Meredith James, Kyle Kearson, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Esteban Ramón Pérez, Robert Narracci, Jeff Ostergren, Jessi Reaves, Chris Ruggiero and Nina Yuen.
Artspace is pleased to present Perverse Furniture, a group exhibition that upsets conventional notions of furniture to explore a range of materially expressive and emotionally intelligent “designs for the body”. Organized on the 100th Anniversary of the Bauhaus, this exhibition explores how three generations of U.S. based artists grapple with the German school’s legacies and ideological roots. The artists include: Graham Anderson, Johanna Bresnick, Bernadette Despujols, Brian Galderisi, Bob Gregson, Crystal Heiden, Robert Chase Heishman and Megan Schvaneveldt, Meredith James, Kyle Kearson, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Esteban Ramón Pérez, Robert Narracci, Jeff Ostergren, Jessi Reaves, Chris Ruggiero and Nina Yuen.
The practices on display share Bauhaus’s core concern to understand humankind’s place among machines. But rather than strive for the possibility of a perfect marriage between art, technology and industry, they interrogate the ways that objects serve our physical and psychological needs. Looking broadly at overlaps in art, architecture and design today, the works are aesthetically antithetical to the iconic objects of Bauhaus design.1 In their quests to humanize design, they are inefficient, weepy, oddball, excessive, loud, legible, performative, humorous, participatory, kitsch, impenetrable, impractical, non-functional, overbearing, multicentered, uneven, empathetic, multivalent, and sometimes so perverse as to be nearly alive.
Artspace’s galleries at 50 Orange Street are especially fitting for this show, as they formerly housed Chamberlain’s Furniture, a Civil-War Era storefront and furniture factory. Even from the outside, viewers can glimpse at the surprises within. Unpredictable elements bubble up from under the carpets and upholstery in works by Ramón Pérez, Ostergren, Cerqueira Leite, and Reaves, whose broken tools for “living-with” resist the psychological ill-effects of past utopias, and celebrate bodies at rest and in motion. 4 Industrial thrones, cagey mega complexes, obtrusive paneling, and wooly underbellies in works by Kearson, James, Anderson and Despujols, defy our perspectives, turning the tables on power structures of functional design. Aspirational assemblages by Galderisi, Heiden, Bresnick, and Chase Heishman and Schvaneveldt are fraught with tension, absurdity and laughter, signaling that there is hope.
As the 100th Anniversary of Bauhaus is celebrated by major institutions around the world, this exhibition seeks to recognize how the school’s design principles, utopian philosophies and promise of new beginnings have played out at the scale of the city, specifically in New Haven. 2 From the 1930’s to the 1970’s, New Haven became a laboratory for well-known Bauhaüslers in exile, who occupied teaching positions at Yale and nearby Harvard, as well as schools further afield in Chicago, the woods of North Carolina and California.3 Their architectural contributions command attention: among them, the Marcel Breuer building, curiously perched on 1-95, the Paul Rudolph parking lot, which serves Bowtie Cinemas and businesses on Temple Street, and “The Whale” hockey rink built by Eero Saarinen. These urban interventions rejected America’s Beaux Arts tradition practiced in the field and taught in universities. Less obvious are some of the building’s origin stories, filling in bulldozed and reorganized sections of the city under Mayor Richard C. Lee’s aggressive urban renewal campaign of the 1950s and 1960s, often times with little to no community buy-in.
At the core of the exhibition, a specially curated zone explores the mixed reception and nuanced effects of Bauhaus-inspired modernist design in New Haven from the 1950s to today. One section, curated from materials in the Photo Archives and Manuscripts at the New Haven Museum by historian Jason Bischoff-Wurstle, accounts for some of the bizarre spatial mysteries we encounter throughout the city. This section also tells lesser-known stories of early city planning and the implementation by the unique confluence of public and private entities in the remarkable years after World War II. Another section, organized by Robert Gregson, addresses alluring encounters with the hidden glass prisms of residential Connecticut modernism. A third section looks to Yale University’s foundation course on “The Chair” as an example of how American students of architecture are still taught lessons in direct material engagement, scalability and authorship via the Bauhaus tradition of “learning by doing”.
In 1911, the French philosopher Henri Bergson wrote, “We shall see that the human intellect feels at home among inanimate objects, more especially among solids, where our action finds its fulcrum and our industry its tools; that our concepts have been formed on the model of solids; that our logic is, pre-eminently, the logic of solids.”6 For Bergson, our comfort with inanimate objects leads to a dense web of making discovery after discovery, a process which makes it impossible to determine where one discovery ends and the next begins, or where the animate ends and the inanimate begins. Here, human and object are fully enmeshed.
This exhibition is co-curated by Artspace Curator/Gallery Director, Sarah Fritchey, and New Haven based architect/artist, Aude Jomini. It was made possible by the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation of the Arts, New Haven Museum, Yale University School of Architecture, and Friends of Artspace.
Supported at its Ends—Hanging by its Weight - LAZO
Jan 29, 2019
A line that loops around itself holds things in place—pull its ends and it opens into a line again. Geographies are inscribed with lines, imagined and physical, that shift naturally and from human intervention. How do we create ties across continents?
In geometry and physics, a catenary is the natural curve created by gravity acting on a rope or chain when suspended from its ends. Does an egg cupped between two hands hold the same strength as a bridge?
A rope can be knotted and tied, gestures of gathering and interweaving. Ancient Andean cultures developed the Quipu, a system of knotted strings used to keep records, communicate information, and represent traditional stories and poetry.
Perhaps it is through these elemental forms that we can continue to navigate distance.
Supported at its Ends—Hanging by its Weight is the first exhibition for LAZO (in Spanish: ‘link, tie, or knot), a platform and resource for contemporary artists of Latin American and Caribbean descent. The show, organized by Claudia Cortínez and Alva Mooses, brings together fourteen artists based in NYC and throughout the Americas and is part of a series of events to be hosted in the coming months at The Loisaida Center.
FREE! interrupts and activates public spaces in the shopping center based on three core principles: FREE! Public, FREE! Play, and FREE! View. Each sector addresses notions of healing, empathy and connectivity; to inspire, reflect and encourage participation from the public.
Participating artists: Troy Abbott, Nathalie Alfonso, Elysa D. Batista, Cassils, Patty Chang, Franky Cruz, Rev. Houston R. Cypress, Francisco De La Torre, Cara Despain, Bernadette Despujols, Giannina Dwin, Genevieve Gaignard, Guillermo Leon Gomez, Micol Hebron, Amanda Keeley, Sinisa Kukec, Taja Lindley, Justin H. Long, Carlos Martiel, Wangechi Mutu, Tameka J. Norris, Michelle Lisa Polissaint, Cheryl Pope, Michele Pred, Emanuel Ribas, Norberto Rodriguez, Emilio Rojas, Stefan Roloff, Misael Soto, Naama Tsabar, Antonia Wright, Octavia Yearwood, and Slim 007.
FREE! is a convergence, a message, a uniquely immersive experience.
Miami-based cultural producer Anthony Spinello, founder of gallery and creative house Spinello Projects, conceptualized FREE! with investigations into nominal concepts of race, gender, nationality, sexuality, and religion through experiential and participatory installations, video and performance. Borders and divisions, both physical and ideological, are explored by these artists. Lines are endlessly drawn, redrawn, erased and replaced in an effort to create deep rifts in our society and culture - and yet lines may also be wires, threads, streams and scars which can activate, bind, and bring us together. FREE! reimagines the traditional art fair model by providing free access to the public and space to create site-specific interventions in a commercial, non-traditional venue. Nothing is bought or sold, in opposition to object-driven consumerism.
Nov 16th - Dec 14th, 2018
Featuring NARS Fall residency artists
William Miller (USA) | Charlotte Lagro (Netherlands) | Bernadette Despujols (Venezuela) | Leah Hewson(Ireland) | Shihori Yamamoto (Japan) | Rhonda Weppler (Canada) | Erin Gleason (USA) | Claudia Cortinez (USA) | Linda Loh (Australia) | Elizabeth Moran (USA) | Jemila MacEwan (USA) | Jean-Pierre Mot (Canada) | Miranda Blennerhassett (UK) Frédérique Ulman-Gagné (Canada) | Sanié Bokhari (Pakistan) | Valérie Hallier (France)
NARS is pleased to present Sixteen Memos for the Next Millennium, an exhibition featuring the works of our 2018 Season IV artists-in-residence. The exhibition takes its title from Italo Calvino’s ‘Six Memos for the Next Millennium,’ a series of Charles Eliot Norton Poetry Lectures he was invited to give at Harvard University over the course of the academic year between 1985-1986 regarding the literary values he identified as being of most importance for the coming millennium. He had intended to deliver eight lectures in total, but at the time of his departure to Massachusetts, he had written only five of them, which are teeming with references to stories of folklore, mythology, philosophical thought, etc. The sixth, his wife Esther Calvino revealed in the forward of the book, was planned to refer to Herman Melville’s story of ‘Bartleby,’ the scrivener who ‘preferred not to.’
Calvino denoted the values as follows: Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility, Multiplicit
And the 6th was intended to be ‘Consistency.’ The exhibition as an adaptation of Calvino’s poetic values refers to any type of poetic communication, whether in the sense of the literary, the musical, and more specifically in this case, the visual. These values resonate across the multi-disciplinary practices, mediums, and concepts in which the Season IV artists in residence at NARS have engaged with as part of their creative processes as we transition into the new year, and toward the end of their residencies.
September 14 - October 21, 2018
Maria Barbist Aurora Molina, Julie Davidow Desireé Moore, Elaine Defibaugh Sharon Norwood, Bernadette Despujols Jee Park, Rigoberto Diaz Edison Peñafiel
Michael Dillow Lisa Rockford, Nicole Doran Donna Ruff, Santiago Echeverry Maricel Ruiz, Rosa Garmendia Troy Simmons, Lorna Galloway Jonathan Stein, Lisa Haque Bethany Taylor, Alex Ibsen Star Trauth, Elite Kedan Amber Tutwiler, Kandy Lopez Jill Weisberg, Cynthia Mason Almaz Wilson
The 2018 Florida Biennial features 68 works by 30 artists who were selected by juror Sarah Fritchey from entries submitted to the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood. The exhibition opened on Friday, Sept. 14 with the announcement of awards for the Juror’s Pick, Edison Peñafiel, and Honorable Mention, Lisa Rockford.
This ninth edition of the Center’s Juried Biennial received applications from 291 artists living in 85 cities throughout Florida. In all, juror Sarah Fritchey reviewed 2,050 works from artists working in any media. The 2018 Florida Biennial focuses on exploring multicultural identities, discussing ecological issues, and imagining a robust cultural climate for Florida within the global economy.
RECENT WORKS. -Solo Show - 2018
O, Miami Poetry Festival 2018
O, Miami builds community through literature, produce a poetry festival, a publishing imprint, a poets-in-schools residency, and other programs that democratize access to literature and re-think the role of the literary arts in American society.
Project by Bernadette Despujols
We can fight with weapons, we can fight with strength, we can fight with words. "Fight me with Words" is an interactive poetic pillow fight. A pillow fight is a mock physical conflict using pillows as weapon. In this case each pillow has a word or phrase. Participants are invited to fight and create their own messages or find the pillow with the word or phrase that better represents them for this fight. The idea is to turn words into objects for direct contact, materializing the spoken word in weapons for combat.
FABULAS DE ROJO
Solo Exhibit, Caracas 20118
Curated by Lorena González Inneco
El arte como compromiso frente al “gran teatro del mundo”
(…) la escritura normadora forma individuos vigilantes y vigilados. La mirada del juez, del maestro, padre y médicos se disemina en múltiples otras miradas que controlan continuamente la más leve transgresión de los límites públicos, privados e íntimos. Por ello se cuidarán las formas, las apariencias, la contención de las emociones, el contacto de los cuerpos, las retóricas del buen decir, porque el ojo del otro recuerda permanentemente fronteras que sólo son imaginarias.
Beatriz González Stephan
En su ensayo “Economías fundacionales. Diseño del cuerpo ciudadano”, Beatriz González Stephan explica que las nuevas estrategias civilizatorias de los entes hegemónicos contemporáneos, están relacionadas con toda una gramática formativa e instructiva elaborada con la finalidad de establecer la norma y obtener el control sobre los destinos y el movimiento de las vidas de los ciudadanos. Al respecto apunta que el ejercicio del poder en las sociedades actuales se logra a través de la proliferación de una serie de instituciones (talleres, escuelas correccionales, hospicios, manicomios, cárceles) y de prácticas discursivas como constituciones, registros, censos, mapas, gramáticas, diccionarios, manuales de urbanidad y tratados de higiene; un conjunto de “tecnologías especializadas” e instituciones del orden público que coercionan, controlan, sujetan y regulan con docilidad el movimiento de los cuerpos para hacer de ellos subjetividades domesticadas, neutralizando al mismo tiempo el peligro significativo de los agentes descentrados.
La obra de la artista venezolana Bernadette Despujols es un campo dinámico de re-significación que se inserta dentro de estas consideraciones. Arquitecto y artista de amplia trayectoria, las investigaciones de esta creadora han estado profundamente enraizadas con la revisión constante de los campos de valoración del sujeto contemporáneo en sus relaciones con las legitimaciones del otro: referencias, estereotipos, deseos, cuerpos, historias, modas y mitos que respiran y subsisten en un mundo tan mediáticamente integrado como absolutamente polarizado. Para Despujols forman una matriz central de deliberación todas aquellas variables que parecen estallar livianamente a través de la desestabilización constante que insertan las formas comerciales de aproximación del mundo global. Con un expresionismo casi onírico la artista excava en este espectro efímero y volátil, esfera sombría donde lo público y lo privado exoneran sus responsabilidades frente al surgimiento de paradójicas diferenciaciones que estimulan ese quórums en apariencia anónimo que ahora decide entre el bien y el mal, la vida y la muerte, lo bello y lo feo, lo exitoso y lo deplorable, lo permitido y lo ilegal.
Para ahondar en este núcleo de inestabilidades la obra de Despujols se arroja con desenfado sobre la pesquisa y mixtura de múltiples códigos. En el aspecto formal, recurre a técnicas y materiales diversos con los cuales configura propuestas visuales de una gran fuerza escénica: pequeños dibujos que conviven junto a poemas impresos, pinturas de gran formato que desbordan en rasgos narrativos, notables instalaciones e inusitadas esculturas que perforan el espacio con sus indescriptibles volúmenes. En todas estas escenas formales la obra irrumpe como una ambientación sobre los símbolos tradicionales de la cultura y altera los rasgos ancestrales de la memoria para devenir hacia los linderos de una figurada irracionalidad. A través del enlace de elementos dispersos o absurdos, abre la posibilidad infinita de un choque poético, una construcción que alejada de la representación lineal de la realidad se detiene y se toma el tiempo de esculpir sus zonas ocultas y revelarse en un impronunciable caudal, despertando en el espectador las resonancias de un trasfondo significativo —a un tiempo develado y oculto— que anima la vitalidad de nuestros temores, deseos y miedos más antiguos. En este paso, la creadora asume el riesgo y también se apuesta como individuo crítico ante el entorno que nos rodea. En un intento por analizar la compleja existencia del sujeto social a través de la imagen y la palabra, revela y resguarda la proliferación de nuestros sentidos y la reinversión de los nuevos protocolos logocéntricos que hacen vida en este ambiguo escenario de la iconográfica turba contemporánea.
El término logocéntrico en el estudio de González, escrito a mediados de la década de los noventa, remite a un mecanismo centralista regido por el logos —gramático e institucional— del campo hegemónico que controla el devenir de la sociedad, el cual refracta y extiende su poder hacia los órdenes periféricos, marginando y excluyendo a los grupos e individuos que disienten física, estructural o psíquicamente del logos dictado por el orden establecido.
Casi veinte años después nos encontramos en un entorno donde ese “gran teatro del mundo” al que hace referencia la investigadora, ha extendido sus líneas de ejercicio y legitimación no sólo a través de textos y texturas estatales dominantes que imparten, estructuran, rigen, controlan, reparten y organizan entre sí campos de identidad nacional, territorialidades públicas, zonas privadas o canales de comunicación, sino también mediante las prolíficas y dramáticas visualidades que empantanan hoy la inabarcable sociedad global del espectáculo. ¿Quiénes somos en este abismo sin norte, en esta irradiación de sentidos, en esta verdades y ficciones asentadas por los likes de una sombría mayoría?
En cada una de las piezas de Bernadette Despujols parecen levantarse constantemente muchas de estas inquietudes. Su obra es un compromiso que ha firmado con la vida y el arte de su tiempo, un contrato vital que en su profundidad también abarca la responsabilidad asumida frente a la mirada del espectador.
Lorena González Inneco
January 5 – February 4, 2018
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 7, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Curated by Barbara Zucker
Adrienne Jenkins, Alexander Bernon, Amy Cannestra, Amy Finkbeiner, Anne Ferrer, Audrey Anastasi, Bernadette Despujols, Cali Kurlan, Catherine Hall & Meg Lipke, Charlotte Woolf, Christophe Lima, Coco Hall, Cristin Millet, Cynthia Winika, d’Anne de Simone, Dani Sigler, Danielle Siegelbaum, Deborah Wasserman, Devra Fox, Divine Williams, Dottie Attie, Elaine Angelopoulos, Elke Solomon, Ellen Jong, Eugenia Pigassiou, Gina Randazzo, Grace Burney, Greta Young, Heather Saunders & Cassandra, Heather Weathers, Ilona Granet, Indira Cesarine, Irene Gennaro, Jane Zweibel, Jessica Nissen, Julia Kim Smith, Julia Buck, Justine Walker, Karen Meersohn, Kathy Grove, Katrina Majkut, Lannie Hart, Leslie Fry, Leslie Tucker, Megan Pickering, Marie Tomanova, Martha Edelheit, Martha Fleming-Ives, Maureen Connor, Mira Schor, Nadine Faraj, Nancy Hellebrand, Nancy Lasar, Nina Meledandri, Parastoo Ahoon, Pat Lasch, Perri Nerri, Rachel Lindsay, Rachel Portesi, Robin Adsit, Robin Jordan, Robin Tewes, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Ruth Owens, Sabra Moore, Sooyeon Yun, Susan Carr, Valerie Hallier, Virginia Carey, Yael Ben-Zion.
A.I.R. gallery is proud to present its 5th edition of CURRENTS an exhibition in which artists respond to the theme of ABORTION. In this turbulent moment in history, abortion remains a signifier of women’s ownership over their bodies, being as urgent a subject as any of the issues that now consume us.
The exhibition includes depictions of choice, loss, and anger; works of fecundity, disease, shame, and pain; images of helplessness and images of power. There are pieces that reach into the past to demonstrate ways in which women used abortifacients as well as work that is pro life and religious. All these proposition are united in the space of the gallery under the premise of listening.
“Fábulas de Sangre y Rojo” 2017
artista Bernadette Despujols con la producción de Cerquone Projects y texto de Amalia Caputo.