2020 | Museo de Arte e Historia de Guanajuato | León, MX
Curated by Viviana Kuri
Jose Dávila’s work confronts the fundamental forces of nature and affects the reality; it contains the power of the essential, the weight of raw materials. He sculpts in tangible objects, in simple and clear geometric shapes, the complexities of reality, the negotiations that we face with the world, with others, and with ourselves. His pieces are not simply what the eyes see, they break the order of the apparent; they are not naive, they are fragments of the world in which he is involved; he is not objective, he only intends to be honest. The philosopher Marina Garcés says that being honest with reality is not staying true to one’s own principles, but to expose oneself and getting involved. Not only to participate but to enter the scene, take a position and shake the validity of what is established.
How are we in reality? As, how do we think about it and how do we transform it? The fact that works of art deal with political issues does not imply that they deal with reality. Honesty within reality is not defined by its themes or by its processes, but by the force of its involvement within it. “In dealing with reality, it is not simply the action of a subject enforced on an object, measured only through cause and effects. In dealing with reality there is a way of being, of perceiving, of holding, of having in one’s grasp, of locating oneself. Dealing with it is taking a stand and at the same time a delivery that modifies all the parts at stake. Dealing honestly with reality means entering the scene.” (M. Garcés)
The name of the piece Fuerza Bruta, refers in the first instance to the forces that dispense with all reason, to the movement that annuls the intellect. Within that context, isn’t the meeting of willpower in a decisive gesture that makes possible the creation, destruction or alteration of the established precepts? Getting involved and taking a risk requires an act of brute force, the force of honesty, will, and courage to question one’s vision and position in the face of reality, to listen to other voices, exercise new alliances, take sides with others. Yes, in choosing to go against our own interests, our identity and our securities will be the first to be affected, to stop being desensitized, and to stop living as if we were not part of the world ourselves.
Something is unsetting and captivating to us in Dávila’s work, we cannot understand how it works, it escapes from our familiar universe. As it turns out, a decision has already been made without anyone knowing it yet. The artist, as a good tightrope walker, takes the risk of suspending his works as well as what could be a perceived notion about himself: “the suspension is not time stopped before something happens, but it is the event itself; the entry into that intimate time where in reality the decision has already been made… ”(A. Dufourmantelle).
Taking the risk of being in suspense, being suspended in a conceptual thread and not trusting any prefabricated notion, being as far away as possible from prejudices, from the curd of other people’s interpretations and certainties. To suspend is not to wait, it is not to differ in the face of fear: it is an event in itself, in its effective non-action, it is to doubt our own identity, to suspend judgment, to rethink, to think for oneself. One of the functions of the aesthetic idea is to make the imagination question its own understanding, forcing it to think more, to think differently, expand the possibilities, and then enlarge the environment with new knowledge and understandings, which ultimately free us from ourselves.
Text by Viviana Kuri