April, 2001

CAROLINA OTERO: FRAGMENTED VISION OF THE PLANET OR THE SPIRITUALITY FROM THE DISBELIEF

By María Elena Nuñez.

 

Introduction to an exhibit co-sponsored by Asociación Ateneo de Aragua, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Maracay Mario Abreu and Asociación Nacional de Institutos Educativos Privados ANDIEP.

I am encouraged to write this resemblance asking to myself how much modern or postmodern is contained in Carolina Otero’s work. After visiting her workshop, take a look at her recent work and chat with her, I took the time to reflect several days. I have reached the conclusion that the modern in her, that is to say, her values regarding modern art (a direct legacy from her parents Alejandro Otero and Mercedes Pardo), are treated as a postmodern perception: shred, strip and mix freely, but paradoxically, without lessening the value or intention.

 

It is as if she loved scraps, that is, whatever is left from the apprenticeship of modern art, but in a fragmented manner: a brush stroke from Matisse or a very particular yellow from Van Gogh, or the way to build the space from Mercedes Pardo (her mother), besides the torn picture of an ice skater, or a fishing net like the used in eastern side of the country.. All this memory is deconstructed and re-organize a vision of the planet, of a planet that is multiple and diverse, contaminated, for which we should care more and better. In this way rebuilds her walk, since her work is like a traveled road, with signals or footprints of what is understood, produces emotion or hurts, but only wants to show itself for the plastic/artistic expression and with images.

Her work always says more, much more than what I can decipher: it lets us bare, bereft, because after it gives us all, it takes it away again. That is why I believe her work is postmodern, since even believing it ends up disbelieving (after all, a cat is a cat, but most surely it will be more than just a cat). What do we do to keep believing? Work in the workshop, trace, shred, there is no other way. To find a solid footing, otherwise we would get lost among so many broken things and, from there, I believe, wood as a precious base, analogy of a tree, of earth, of the planet. Again, believe to disbelieve. Because, the wooden canvas is neither a tree, nor the earth, nor the planet. It is like too much. That’s why the work expands outside the edges; it floods us and leaves us a little empty: who are we? What did we come to do in earth?

 

Therefore, we derive to spirituality from the disbelief, from the fragmentation. At that moment, she enters into modernity again, and then leaves again in a short while: a game of illusions, optical optimization, with so many fragments, shred, shred, and shred more and more. Script?, Landscape?, Views of earth from a satellite?, Lattice?, Texture? Other interpretations are possible: some with the view of modern and others postmodern. Thus, I conclude that the artist moves between one and the other extreme, between respect and love to the legacy and the understanding of new situations that have removed the base of the legacy. Carolina’s youth and personality assure that she will builds her road with detail, she will destroy to build again, she will combine the precious with the scraps in a shaky mix, that like a hammock reminds us our native cultures, who invented a different way to rest, dream, conceive, sleep…

 

María Elena Nuñez

Caracas, April 2001

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