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Inmaculada Jiménez Caballero, , Professor at School of Architecture of the University of Navarra, Spain

Bad times for the lyric


Mon, 21 Dec 2015 11:15:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

It is difficult to define art. One of the most accurate definitions I usually use is that of a brilliant academic who states that art is "that which allows us to go beyond what is seen". The time that has passed since the controversial performance, not installation or performance, of a local artist allows me to analyze it better. Art always aspires to beauty; sometimes it is sought only in form, in aesthetics, and the result is an art that can be banal. Other times, like the times in which we live, it is a beauty that aspires to truth, the truth of man disoriented in the world; art in those cases can leave images that are horrifyingly hard and difficult to look at, but that always move beyond what is seen.

The gaze is never trapped in the material object of contemplation; it leads us to personal worlds suspended from the laws of physics and foreign to the passage of time. In the case of the aforementioned performance, everything happened exactly the other way around. The performance could have been a performance that denounced a reprehensible conduct in any person, even more so in someone whose life should be an example of virtue. It could have moved the visitor to think about human weakness, about the history of the Catholic Church with much more somber stages than the present one, about the inexplicable nature of its survival. It could have made one think of the contradictions within the church itself with some living exemplary lives to the point of martyrdom and others so caught up in passions; of the current head of the church crying out for mercy in the midst of a territory full of enemies, it could have ... Well, no! The author brought us back from the world of art where we were "seeing beyond" to the materiality of the action: this is not a pipe, these are consecrated forms subtracted with premeditation, malice aforethought and deceit; suddenly, he himself shattered the artistic experience. He did not have to explain his work -as contemporary art sometimes demands-, he needed to explain the material support because it was the support that mattered and it only spoke of the condition of its author. Is there anything poorer in someone who wants to consider himself an artist? Is there anything more contrary to the very nature of art?

The artist never seeks to unveil himself, what he wants is for us to unveil ourselves in his work. I would like to ask those responsible for these programs to be more demanding in their work. That they practice the same excellence they proclaim.

For all citizens, especially for those who honestly make art their professional ambition. They travel alone through unknown and inhospitable territories for which a good preparation is necessary. Also, as a Catholic, I ask for the only essential requirement for coexistence: respect. I have often heard Antonio Lopez say: "when intelligence does not go hand in hand with goodness, it only generates monsters". Let us not throw fodder for Saturn to devour his children.