'Perhaps the only thing one can do after seeing a canvas like ours is the total revolution', says the conceptual artist at the beginning of 1968, at that time already consecrated, Daniel Buren. And it is not strange that he thought in this way, since Buren himself and many others and many artists while experimenting seeking to disintegrate the art of elites, at the same time demanded to disintegrate the foundations of the old conservative society. In May of the same year, some simple but at the same time cryptic striped posters appear stuck in the streets of Paris being one more voice in a polyphony that demands imagination to power.
Some years ago, in the moments after the Russian Revolution of 1917, Vladimir Maiacovski sentenced in ORDER No. 1 To the armies of Art: 'Start the old from the heart! / The streets are our brushes / The squares are our palettes.' Maiacovski was a futurist poet who, together with constructivist, productivist, rayonist artists, etc., integrates the movement supporting the revolution, putting his knowledge at the service of the proletariat, with the aim of transforming and influencing the production apparatus.
Despite the geographical and political differences, both artists raise their voices from a liminal place, a moment of beginning and end where everything is possible, everything is yet to be built. It is those occasions that can be seen as small glares, flashes that life can be lived differently. Utopian impulses that still serve us as a guide. Those same impulses go through the work of Magdalena Jitrik. But, we must think of the utopia not as a No place , following the etymology of the word (u-moles), but as a happy place (eu moles), as a place to reach, a place where every wise man heads , according to the poem that starts Utopía by Tomás Moro.
In Overcoming war pictorial pieces from the 1990s and works of the last years they are presented. I am interested in an approach to early works from the current ones, taking them as the crystal by which to look at the past, thus avoiding a relationship of temporal linear progress between them.
The paintings farthest in time reflect a manufacturing that refers to Russian constructivism of the early twentieth century. Fires, fires that invite you to kill, that shelter, that call to action, to start over. Spirals that remind us that there are machines and that there is progress, but at the same time that life is circular: where today we feel the weight of failure, tomorrow we will build the foundations of a new world. Barbs that will not allow us to forget that there are sinless punishments and sins without punishment, and that we can fight against it. And recurring ghostly images, perhaps the dream of the total revolution that Buren alluded to.
From the connoted in the nineties we are going to denote it today. Marx texts, constructions and agitprop phrases . Claims of justice, this time said aloud, in the manner of post-revolutionary Russia and as in 1968 when Paris was saying goodbye to young Gilles Tautin, drowned in the waters of the Seine escaping the security forces, so painfully close to what happened almost two years ago with Santiago Maldonado.
Because we are in a national and international moment where neoliberalism and late capitalism do not seem to stop occupying places, we appreciate these windows of struggle and hope that Magdalena opens for us. And although Buren's canvases now decorate large museums and form part of the mainstream art, we still stand.
Because, citing Maiacovski,
In the book of time,
they haven't been sung yet
The thousand pages of the revolution.