09.06.2018 - 10.06.2018
Ever since technology began to transform the world it has had a catalytic effect on our day-to-day. Its effects determine different aspects of our lives, from the way we work, travel, and communicate, to the way we perceive the world, others, but more importantly, ourselves.
Technology also allows new scopes for art and, at the same time, generates reflections on its use in the creative process. It opens questions about concepts such as authorship, creativity, value, original and copy. It is from this thought that the current project of the Colombian artist Saúl Sánchez (1977) comes into being.
For this exhibition, named Painting and Invention, the artist takes over the pages of a book about the history of machines, published in the 1960s. The text recalls how mankind, after realizing that hands could be more than limbs, developed tools and machines to facilitate production, such as the telegraph, the assembly line, and the electric motor. The peculiar thing about the selected folios is that they are intervened by a series of scribbles made by one or several anonymous readers who once had the book in their hands and decided to inherit new doodles to the next reader.
Sánchez reproduces some of these pages and, through the overlay of oil and printmaking, accentuates the lines that invade them, and then singles them through painting and sculpture. Thus, the artist seeks to emphasize the pictorial qualities of the scribble – of the manual, instinctive, childish action – that invades an image that has been reproduced mechanically.
This idea is emphasized by the title of the exhibition, which takes its name from a caption of an illustration that says: Morse, Painter and Inventor, that focuses on the relationship of the doodle and the book, and exemplifies the nexus between the creative gesture and the mechanical production. In addition, it speaks of the contrast enclosed by the free lines on printed paper and the nostalgia of the idea of progress evoked by the book.
Hence, we understand the metaphor as a sign of protest, it is the human facing the machine, the spontaneous creativity against the directed consciousness, the experience of the unrepeatable versus the homologation. In this way, the exhibition is articulated through pieces that dialogue with each other, where the doodle is the center of the statement, symbol of creativity and human superiority.
Furthermore, Saúl Sánchez confronts us with different products that are the result of the same creative capacity of the human being: the book, the machine, the scribble, the painting and sculpture. With this, he constructs different narrative levels of various interpretive dimensions, however, everything is visualized as a virtuous circle, where invariably we return to the starting point: the creative instinct.