Monday, March 16, 2009


Nora Iniesta
Mercedes Pinto Galeria de Arte
13-27 February 2009 - extended

In this latest exhibiton, Iniesta celebrates Love, Love, Love. Or so it would seem, from these (at first glance) naive looking constructions, collages, and readymades. But look again, and a virulently discerning intelligence is in full evidence, laying bare the constructs of the collective sur-consciousness. The addictive depravity of our populist amelioration of love into a heartsick sugar-sirupy toothache is highlighted by the act of repetition: one fuzzy bear with a pillow bearing the words, 'te amo' we can internalize, but two? never mind.

There are two corazones, one for our hero, a singer of popular songs, and one for Her, our favorite actress, living the love we all want. These corazones promise perfect people, a good life, travel, fame, added saintliness, and love, love, love: all the things we want. Hook up with the right person and it´s all yours, they seem to say. But can we find that person? That´s the game; that´s the story of...
It´s intersting to note the surface naivety of these works, and my sense of dread (not knowing who Iniesta was) at approaching the window and seeing “another housewive´s fancies...” By reflecting those fancies with awareness, and I think, compassion she throws light on the hopelessness of our celebrity worship, yet without destroying the sheer magnificence of those public lives.

Then there are the altered dinner place settings, three laterally, the central one a "tropical" nightmare of love, love, love, all lushly colored beads, baubles, and games of chance; the two at the side more pristine, white, "pure." But that's the trap: they draw you into the center, the heart of darkness where the jungle reigns supreme, the fever dream rules all, and engorgement leads to utter moral turbidity and chaos. Yet one wonders if it is inevitable after all.

Although not directly related to Saint Valentine, the horizontal collages included are again an attempt to make sense of the chaotic multiple levels of perception/reception we are bombarded with daily. Our sense of self and reality is so compressed and mediated by outside commercialized content that we can at times wonder what to feel, and if what we do feel is authentic. Iniesta dares to confront the babble of voices and identities by mirroring it, accepting both the outside and inside cacophany of internalized wish, received opinion, ersatz fact. The densely packed melange of comic strip and hand-drawn advertisement faces make for a trip to the lucha libre of the inner world, actually an enjoyable sort of frenzy of cognition, mentation, and self-ideation; but that's the nature of realization: know the truth and it will set you free.

Within limited means, Iniesta says much about our contemporary faces, and makes her point with elan. There is a somewhat timeless quality about these works even though they engage the late 20th and early 21st century, a sense that we know all this already and only need to be reminded gently, humorously, and pointedly. Iniesta's surreallity can make you feel better for all the right reasons.

Nick Thabit
Bs As, Marzo 2009

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