August 24, 2012

Juegos de la memoria - José Luis Arbulú (Galería Yvonne Sanguineti)




my drawing / mi dibujo

Dear Friend (2011) 
Directed by Sophie Boyce & George Fox

Christian and James are best friends and spend most of their time together. Unbeknownst to the other boy, Christian has deeply fallen in love for his friend. There are boundaries, however, that according to some unwritten norms should not be crossed. So even as Christian wants to go beyond the limits of friendship, he is aware of his friend's obedience to the nom de pere, the name of the father, id est, the fatherly authority that has the final say. When Christian tells his friend "You don't have to do everything your old man says" he expects James to, effectively, step out of the father's commands.

But how can one subvert the mechanisms of power? There are rules and categorical imperatives out there, and somehow we must learn to survive without bequeathing upon ourselves our true nature. It's 1965 and Christian knows that homosexuality is technically illegal in England. However he finds within himself enough courage to surpass the pre-established limits. As philosopher Alan Badiou would define it "Courage is the name of something which is not reducible either to law or desire. Courage is the name for subjectivity which is irreducible to the dialectics of law and desire in its proper form". When the two boys arrive home a bit drunk and lay together on the same bed, Christian attempts to kiss James. 
José Luis Arbulú

James reacts badly and Christian decides to sleep on the hallway, away from his friend. The next morning, the two boys have quite a heated argument about what happened. Christian assures his friend that his feelings must have been obvious "Like you didn't know", are his words. James, nevertheless, feels uneasy and insults his friend, calling him queer and sick. Christian's father arrives just in time to see the boys arguing, and then James shouts "Your son is a poof". The revelation of Christian's homosexuality will come as a shock to the father, and of course, his reaction is as bad as one could possibly imagine. 

Determined to abandon the house, Christian packs up and leaves. However, remorse and guilt had weighed greatly on James so he decides to return to his friend's house. It is in that moment that the two of them coincide. After an initial outburst of violence, there is a final embrace between the two boys. They have reconciled with each other and, more importantly, they have reconciled with the truth.

With stunning visuals and clear story-telling, Sophie Boyce's short film successfully turns a common dilemma into a more appealing material. Let's not forget that in today's world we seem to be eternally concerned with an ideology of happiness. The imperative is clear: Be happy and enjoy your life and so on. In artistic creation we often see the opposite of that kind of ideology in the obsession with suffering bodies, the difficulty of sexuality, and so on. Nonetheless, we need not be in that sort of obsession because the question of art is also the question of life and not always the question of death... And if something remains undisputable in the short film's conclusion is that life is all that matters. This is, indeed, a reaffirmation of life.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1869363/reviews
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edición autografiada
El miércoles en la noche se inauguraba la muestra “Juegos de la memoria” de José Luis Arbulú en la galería Yvonne Sanguineti. Con una propuesta cuidadosamente desarrollada, el artista nos presenta una serie de retratos subsumidos en un mundo de juegos. Tenemos, por ejemplo, los típicos soldaditos de plástico que todos los de mi generación llegaron a conocer, así como referencias a los primeros juegos de computadora, como el tetris con su geometría pulcra y sus líneas exactas. Sin embargo, la verdadera fortaleza de Arbulú está en sus rostros anhelantes, en las miradas que refulgen -como si fueran llamas votivas- y en los gestos faciales. El conjunto, rostros, soldados, juegos, colores, tratamiento pictórico, nos dejan impresionados.

En la inauguración me encontré con mi gran amigo Marcos Palacios, y me quedé conversando con él toda la noche. También nos encontramos con Pablo Villaizán, Hugo Alegre, Carmen Alegre y Joseph de Utia, entre otros. Marcos y yo, en algún momento de la noche, entramos en franca competencia para defender nuestros respectivos récords de copas de vino, y debo decir que la competencia no fue nada fácil aunque entre él y yo debemos habernos tomado mínimo un par de botellas de Hardy’s. Como debe ser.

Los dejo con uno de mis bocetos para The Gathering (ejemplar que será publicado en unos meses), un fragmento de uno de los cuadros de Arbulú. Y la edición autografiada de “Sala de montaje” un extraordinario poemario escrito por mi amigo Alberto Schroth Prilika. 

A continuación, algunos fragmentos del talentoso poeta Alberto Schroth:


el autor tuvo la gentileza de escribirme esta simpática dedicatoria
Romanza (adagio molto)
IV
Mientras duermes,
mis dedos dibujan nuevas rutas sobre ti.

No hay mejor momento para llevarme tus trazos
y aprenderlos de memoria,

La pequeña punta de mi lápiz 
conoce ya todas tus líneas
[…]

Obituario: un retrato a distancia
I
La geografía urbana de Lince me recibe
con los gritos de sus caseras
Una puerta suelta una carcajada de óxido
y en la prematura nocturnidad de la casa
los objetos permanecen silentes
[…]

Cuentos del cosmos acuáticos: los hombres de agua
I
Eran infinitos,
sus costados y espaldas podían confundirse con la marea.
Su historia inicia con el fino estruendo de una sola gota
sobre la caleidoscópica mar
de vientre y sonoros primitivos
[…]

Matanza
I
Serás rodeado por espaldas de agua perversa,
ellas ahogarán cada uno de tus días 
con gotas fúnebres de blanco sobre blanco.

Los mundos que conociste 
o devoraste mientras dormías
prensarán tu piel de alta mar.
te convertirás en un difunto hombre de tierra.
[…]

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