Between The Lines : AIMEE GARCIA

CUBA – AIMEE GARCIA’s SUPREMATIST SPEECH – LOS ANGELES

 Couturier Gallery

AIMEE GARCIA, Cuerdas, 2016, Inkjet print, newspaper, thread on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

AIMEE GARCIA, Cuerdas, 2016, Inkjet print, newspaper, thread on canvas, 22″ x 33″
Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

cuerdas, lectura, alas – strings, reading, wings

By Rosanna Albertini

Put the title in your mouth. Strings, reading, wings : a bird screeching, in anger or pain. The wind is stronger, faster than his flight. The bird doesn’t stop, resting doesn’t fit his American temper. Try the Spanish mouth. Cuerdas, lectura, alas. Words that bring a feeling of  whiteness, calm. A large page with no resistance waits for history to be forgotten.

Aimee, the artist’s name, melts the two sounds into one. In my Italian mouth, Aimee is a silent moan that doesn’t slip into the throat. It doesn’t need voice.

In her Cuban isolation, Aimee Garcia has transformed in art flowers of intelligence, never complaining. I could see myself in her collages, or any of the humans living on earth. We are all shredded by the same storm. Really the past could teach? As languages, politics, internet, financial games, advertisements tie our lives into the same bundle of voices fighting for primacy, believing takes the place of the dirty window we look through. We don’t know what we really know.

So I thank Aimee for her suprematist speech which is a portrait of us all like flies tangled in the news’ spiderweb. But her images also are, strongly and gracefully, the portrait of a possible flight out, a non-objective getting away from the written reality toward secret, inner transformations. Between the lines, the artist. Very much like Simone Forti who reads the news only noticing and remembering them as they slip into emotions, digging ponds in her heart.
(See Flag in The Water, https://albertini2014.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/flag-in-the-water/)

AIMEE GARCIA, Lectura 2016, Inkjet print, newspaper, thread on canvas Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

AIMEE GARCIA, Lectura, 2016, Inkjet print, newspaper, thread on canvas, 31″ x 24″
Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

Aimee’s speech is made with colors and embroidered into the paper. She is threading herself, and looking at us from behind the cuerdas : her hand works like a cursor: ploughing into words, while sowing that “primacy of pure feelings” that Kasimir Malevich called SUPREMATISM about one hundred years ago. “The visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves, meaningless; the significant thing is feeling; as such, quite apart from the environment in which it is called forth.” (KM) When she reads, Aimee visits her own mental field that is not necessarily the same as Cubans’ or, as far as I don’t know, a simple acceptance of a theory married to Russian revolution as if both, ideas and political upheavals, were a block sculpted by time instead of myriads of crumbs and broken steps.

AIMEE GARCIA, Suprematist Speech, 2015, laminated collaged newspapers, threads Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

AIMEE GARCIA, Suprematist Speech, 2015, Laminated collaged newspapers, thread 15″ x 12″
Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

And yet, I believe that Aimee recalling the old suprematist credo right now, the old regime facing the last days, finds a personal way of telling that a past life is in her hair, her skin, her face and in her mind. Up to us to read the change, to try her wings.

Life doesn’t disappear mutating in nothing. Automation devours objects, suits, furnitures, the wife and the fear of war.
If the very complex life of many goes away and we are not conscious it is gone, then it’s like if it had never existed.
Here we are, in order to bring back the meaning of life, to “feel” the objects, to see that a stone is stony, we have what we call ART. … a way to feel how the object becomes something else. The already done doesn’t matter.
VIKTOR SHKLOVSKY*

AIMEE GARCIA, Resistencia I, 2019, oil on canvas, 24" x 28" Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

AIMEE GARCIA, Resistencia I, 2009, oil on canvas, 24″ x 28″
Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

This is a flower painted by Aimee Garcia : Resistencia I, 2009. It is the last moment of beauty before the petals wither. Natural beings are lucky, they fall apart, molecules. Ever heard of a ghost flower? History takes a longer time to disappear, but in the end it does, ghost and monuments, forever. Art is for now.
If the object survives, the same doesn’t happen to its meanings : meanings are parasites of the living.

…just this way just this one time. Incidentally, we human beings also belong in part to this class of unique events.
ROBERT MUSIL**

AIMEE GARCIA, Alas, 2015 Inkjet print, newspaper, thread on canvas Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

AIMEE GARCIA, Alas, 2015 Inkjet print, newspaper, thread on canvas, 22″ x 33″
Courtesy of the artist and Couturier Gallery

*Viktor Shklovsky, Theory of Prose, 1929, English translation 1990 by Benjamin Sher. Dalkey Archive Press, Illinois State University, 1991.

** Robert Musil, Precision and  Soul, originally in Gesammelte Werke edited by Adolph Frisé, 1978. Edited and translated by by Burton Pike and David S. Luft, The University of Chicago Press, 1990.

 

THE OTHER SIDE OF TIME

 Rosanna Albertini about KORAKRIT ARUNANONDCHAIs installation

Letters to Chantri #1: The lady at the door/The gift that keeps on giving

At THE MISTAKE ROOM, 2014

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 U-topia? Non-space? Not at all. Korakrit is from Bangkok, now he lives in New York. He is as young as a heron, he found the way to survive and make art in the marsh, the unsteady ground stamped by the hallmark of our uncharitable lack of moral strength or hope for a future. The price he pays, is a “peculiar sense of contingency” and a fragile sense of beauty threatened from every side, first of all from the visitors’ frequent, almost inevitable misunderstandings: “What a wonderful experience!” “That’s a simple metaphor, a ritual of purification.” No blame on anybody, for these are reasonable reactions of humans attached to reasonable expectations.

The strength of this art piece is emotional and symbolic. My heart bumped when I entered the first time and again when I reentered the Mistake Room space. A pleasure fed by fear. It was like standing on a tree pulled up by the roots, no ground, no sky. A fountain, hands offering a bar of soap, transparent, translucent. A collection of hybrids: mirrors that are changeable paintings, a passage between two groups of mannequins all alike: a patrol of white statues, and projections that are reflections of a personal journey from confusion-isolation to clarity to social smile and applause. The mare of the night was galloping in my ears.

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Disquieting space. Darkness is the poetic touch. We all become shadows to one another as we look at our backs, because we all turn when instructions are given and still we see the back silhouettes of those who are walking out. The only magic light is on hands offering the soap. Yes, it sounds banal. Who’s afraid of banality? Watching TV, reading papers, phones, screens, we multiply illusionary thoughts: seeing is not understanding. History we live in is invisible. The past is out of reach. Therefore we really see nothing. I’m sure the artist found in himself some winding existential feelings to build his goal of cleaning his own soul as a message for other humans.

Is there the “white elephant” behind his obsession with white? In Thailand white elephants, chang phueak, are sacred animals, they can’t be used for work, they are also called chang samkhan, “auspicious elephants.”

So he replaced the arrogance of tradition and intellectual foundations with “the open-eared attentiveness of the child: expanses; solitude; being led; letting reason grow out of things and into man; a more universal, more conciliatory, but less precise mode of thought in place of ethical-activist brusqueness.”*

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 KORAKRIT ARUNANONDCHAI (feat. boychild)

Letters to Chantri #1The lady at the door/The gift that keeps on giving

The Mistake Room, Los Angeles, CA 2014

Photos: Peter Kirby

The moment we enter his territory we can’t avoid cringing. With the best intentions, Korakrit has made his message as messages are made today by the long hand of the market: formally perfect images of eternal youth. Apparently they correspond so perfectly to the rules and meanings that different societies, in the east and the west, have already accepted and digested, that one doesn’t even feel the need to think about them. They are a ‘natural representation’ good for everyone. Except, they are exactly what the mercantile wisdom has discovered and spread beyond control. Here the artist walks on a shaky bridge: he embraces the aesthetic of “a special form of violence shockingly flexible, highly developed, and creative in many respects,”** the aesthetic of capitalism. But he also offers the gift that keeps on giving, to expand his desire of simple, clean human connections.

It might be the other side of time, a chapel maybe, or a raft in the ocean. I like better to think of Korakrit riding a white elephant, while adjusting the glasses on his nose. On this side of time, I would be grateful for his auspices.

*and ** ROBERT MUSIL, Essays, 1918-1933