CANON - Marina Núñez
17 July - 4 September
THE DREAM OF THE OTHER’S
THE LATEST ON TIME
ÓSCAR ALONSO MOLINA
Contrary to what it might seem at first glance, anti-humanism is exactly the opposite to nihilism: where the latter recognizes everything at one and the same level, the former puts out some differences that cannot be eliminated: on one hand there is man and his weaknesses, his idiosyncrasy and emotions, on the other there is thing, the calm beauty of matter, the metaphysical aspect of the world.
-Mario Perinola: Enigmas-
That is a country of fairies. Everything happens because of Electricity.
-Villiers de l’Isle Adam: The future Eve
The world as we’ve known it until today has become somewhat unviable for Marina Núñez.
I suppose that this explains the ostentatious effort to make the fact of imagining other forms of life and other cosmic models displayed in her work over these past years, when not possible, at least realistic. Although no one can be absolutely sure that it is all about a projection of the only world we know with certain depth and since not so long ago, the truth is that their design has too much in common with it as not to suspect that we are witnessing some kind of apocalyptic visions or futuristic speculations by which present time becomes the past, and we ourselves are turned into the distant ancestors of those worrying creatures (of what is) yet to come who features her images.
Once we are placed there, far away, in a future time that nevertheless keeps turning and blinking towards what was (from Leonardo to the gothic, from historical expressionism to Babylon or Egypt), one might ask what remains in such a distance to what is human? What I mean is, to what extent do we still recognize ourselves under our current shape when we look into the disturbing and distorted mirror (time changes everything!) placed in front of our faces by the artist? It’s surprising and quite instructive to realize that from the fanta science perspective, such a portrait of the present is more incisive, and I’d say almost less incredible, than many of those other contemporary attempts to capture the “authentic” image of our life, so often carried out in a very poor way from aesthetic standpoints followers of naturalism, realism, costumbrismo, and etcetera.
And it doesn’t seem like it will be the picturesque accents or the mimetic gestures, nor the attachment to reality or the recognizable (self) images that we, today’s men, would want to be remembered for when we no longer walk the face of the earth. No, and just as Marina Núñez’s work points out very clearly, our time displays a satanic desire to contemplate – and to contemplate itself, I’m afraid, as - the worst. Hence the irresistible, the terrible and fascinating in not being able to tell where the monster begins and where we end; or how ambiguous it is here to distinguish between culture and savagery; even that paradox by which her post-nuclear landscapes and the wish for an Universal Burnt Land seem as attractive to us as before Paradise itself.
But aren’t those burnt bodies in a stage of indescribable metamorphosis that fly over unlimited deserts and seas in her infographs in fact almost angels?
On the other hand, hasn’t the air of those rarefied ecosystems of hers actually recovered an ideal clarity, the light a blinding shine and the water an almost synthetic purity that we should recognize as paradisiacal? And isn’t so, that it’s hard to imagine all that horrifies us and all that marvels us about the world set in greater proximity, in indissoluble alloy, than in these creatures and the landscapes they occupy? I have spoken very consciously of “occupying” instead of “inhabiting” the environment, because the adjustment of the forms and functions in Marina Núñez’s digital territories takes on a highly futuristic shade, where whim and luxury, gratuitousness, or the attractive enhancement of the surfaces of the world seem to be intended rather for the eye of the external spectator than a result of the evolutionary adaptation of the very occupants of her scenes.
As for that humanity without human presence, you could state – to put it in a dechirican way – that it was born above all to be watched at in the distance, as it would have to be in a prophesy… a Baroque display of the will to be seen as an unavoidable condition in order to be understood, as an identity mark. This means that persons are turned into objects in these images: everything becomes landscape, and the eye remains, ostentatiously, outside that distant time and space. The effect, based upon science fiction and metaphysical aesthetics, of turning life into an object is increased by the continuous technological references that comes up everywhere, always as pure ruins: testimony of the general catastrophe of progress, the marks of man, and the material leftovers of the encyclopedian triumph of distopia.
Marina Núñez aspires to the prophetic and cryptic voice... Someone who foresees and announces the vision of things to come. Even though we are aware of that just as inspiration, every forecast is bound to be made on the edge of blindness. The transformation of the body into a mutant and cyborg, the ecological cataclysm, genetics as destiny, the possibility of a post biological femininity, the recreation of artificial worlds, the monster, the ancient grandiloquence of unprecedented cultures and civilisations, biotechnology as a radical transformation science; these are the main terms of her personal investigation in recent times. And now that I've said it, "recent times" would in fact be what the scatology carried out by the artist is all about! Times that aren't really less sinister than the ones we are already witnessing; though if I tell you the truth, dear reader, I'm not sure yet that the artist herself believes in her speculated universe as in fact the possible, or inevitable, future world's habitat for mankind; obviously it is not the most suitable one. Even though it's clear that Marina can't completely conceal her interest in making it ambiguously attractive. And I must say, to finish up, that I wouldn't mind going there one day myself just to see what it's like, or at least in order to learn whether the implacable precept from the Cabbala is carried out: "whoever pretends to be a ghost eventually turns into one".