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Estructuras para pertenecer, 2018-2019, vista de la instalación.

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El coleccionista de formas, collage, papel sobre madera, 150 x 125 cms, 2018

Estructuras para pertenecer, hormigón y cerámica, 71x35x35cms, 2018

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Lo que concluye, Collage, papel y acrílico sobre madera, 150 x 125 cms, 2018

Estructuras para pertenecer, hormigón y cerámica, 125x45x36 cms, 2018

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Sin título, Collage, papel y acrílico sobre madera, 100 x 70cms, 2019

Estructuras para pertenecer, cerámica y papel, medidas variables, 2019

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Sin título, Collage, papel y acrílico sobre madera, 150 x 125 cms, 2019

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Estructuras para pertencer, vista de la exposición, 2019

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"Estructuras para pertenecer (Structures to Belong)” 

Text by Susana González

Estructuras para pertenecer (Structures to belong)" (2018-2019), presents the last work of Vicente Blanco in which the interest in the processes of identity construction, already seen in previous projects, remains. Although it can seem distant from other works of the artist, in which to produce images he used mainly video and animation, this proposal surprises for the ability of Blanco to articulate the theme and to formalize it in a multidisciplinary creative approach. In this case through low-reliefs made of paper, concrete and ceramic pieces, and a serie of diagrams with geometric shapes.

The project shows an alternative iconography through an imaginary of a rural nature identity, sometimes disappeared or in ways of extinction, and that moving between what’s real, what’s fictional, and what’s imagined, expresses his intention to give value again to the local and its memory. Vicente Blanco looks back at the surroundings where he lives and interested in aspects related to his traditions, his customs, his language and the modes of behaviour of his people, he recovers different elements associated with it: architectures, tasks of women and men of the countryside, natural or vegetable elements.

It is a fact that as a consequence of the prevailing neoliberal models, traditional rural life is experiencing a loss of its essence and culture, of all the cohesive components that unifies it and makes it unique. In this way, generating a dialectic between past and present, between arts and art crafts, between reality and fiction, Blanco makes reference to a context, to rethink it and to approach its reality, often replaced by a hyperreality, associated with the concept of simulation[1] by Baudrillard, in which representation prevails over what is represented through a construction remade, recreated and therefore adulterated.

The formalization is produced through fragmented narrative elements with the appearance of a monumental frieze. There are some utilitarian hieroglyphs, incised volumes in the concrete in an indecipherable form of writing, perhaps like these, Blanco intends to "save the sacred" through these imaginary signs. But there are several historical references that can be formally mentioned and that can tell concrete historical-social contexts. In this case, its aesthetic points to a certain taste for Art Deco architecture, in the period between wars, a time characterized by the mechanization and to which components of Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism or Rationalism of the Bauhaus are added. There is an interest, just like Blanco, for the sublimation of the geometric (cubes, hexagons, octagons, spheres), for symmetry and for the straight line.

These friezes used to represent labour activities of that time based on the belief in progress and a utopic future. Continuing with the analogy, men are portrayed always looking strong and women participating in the production chain. It is curious to notice that the style was used not only by artists, decorators, artisans or architects, but also shared by Vicente Blanco. Maybe his goal with this work is not to make a piece that will respond to this reality, but somehow will give visibility to a fact, and in this case particularly, not only to the transformation and reconstruction but its destruction and therefore, the disappearance of the symbolic and conceptual elements of it

On the other hand, it gives value to the artisan character in the formal character of the pieces presented. The process becomes reflexive instrumental and puts in evidence an attitude with which claim the manual work. With low-reliefs made through the geometrization of different forms, using three-dimensional polyhedrons of folded paper, in a form of a millenary expression, Blanco’s work makes reference to the invention of paper and it gains importance among forms symbolism of work, the ceremonial and the therapeutic. This practice was not only carried out in the East. Characters like Miguel de Unamuno, who some describe as the paradigmatic Origami maker, practised this hobby continuously having even written a treatise about the practice of Folding-paper. The term used Cocotología was doing an allusion to the elaboration of the Origami Cranes. Paradoxically, his descriptions of rural Galicia of that time have little to do with the current picture.

But returning to handcrafted, Richard Sennett[2] highlights the loss that represents the devaluation of certains professions in contemporary society, based on the premise that "to do is to think" and therefore, a significant part on the creation of knowledge. In this way, the author maintains the interrelation between tacit and reflective knowledge led to the fact. The industrialization of tasks and the subjugation of concrete personal experience has not only been denounced only by him, but also John Ruskin advocated for the revitalization of the craft as an artist. First the Arts & Crafts movement and then the Bauhaus, revitalized and valued these methods. Just like Blanco that influences the situation from two perspectives, of revaluation and denounce of its disappearance.

We cannot forget another obvious reference, the representations of the rural space made by the vangardist Galician artists, that from exile continued making portraits of women and men of the countryside. For example Louis Seoane and his plan schemes in which the figuration would have more abstract characteristics or Maruja Mallo than in the serie The Religion of Work of 1937, he conciliates symbol and nature.

Mainly from a aesthetic perspective, Blanco decodes and fragments his narrative to encourage its revision and even though the relationships may be less immediate a priori, the receiver decodes the message through the sequence of signs and their perception. The interpretation of the piece is completed by the spectator as an active element, result of his aesthetic experience. As noted by John Dewey[3] will be the result of the interaction with the work, where analytical and synthetic elements will activate the cognitive processes. However, the experience will pass from the collective repertory to the memory to configure an individual symbolic unit according to the personal experience of each one, allowing to be as many interpretations as spectators.

To conclude, I highlight in Vicente Blanco’s work the sufficiency of hybridization of different resources, modes and significants. The ability to incentivate thinking and to highlight its meanings. His multifaceted aptitude and will to protect allows him to speak about the collective, what is individual and about the contemporary to extol the traditional, the identity, associated with the emotional ties and the sense of permanence.

[1] Baudrillard, Jean. Cultura y simulacro. Editorial Kairos, Barcelona. 1978. [2] Sennett, Richard, El artesano, Ed. Anagrama, Barcelona, 2009.

[3] Dewey, John. El arte como experiencia. Ed. Paidós- Barcelona. 2008