Joaquin Badajoz

The gold of the times creates sinuous lines, abstractions of that incomplete eye that focuses on the minimal synedoche insisting that the message of a detail can encapsulate the DNA of an entire complex ideology. Abstraction of the fragmented letter, landscape of violence, architecture of repression, José Ángel Vincench (Cuba, 1973) has mimicked like no one else the debate between image and power in a totalitarian state.


The weight of words, which is exhibited at the Thomas Jaeckel Gallery in Chelsea, is a fascinating door to that mosque of silence, an amazing madrassa that the artist has erected piece by piece, in which the entire symbolism of power is reified, stripped of its visual aggressiveness and converted into concrete matter, an elegant geometry of golds and whites.


To understand how Vincench has mastered that alchemy that allows him to transform political lead into gold leaf, one must travel two decades back, to the works of the series The symbolic footprint, in which the artist already dismantled with sarcasm and lucidity political rhetoric.

Since then, I have noticed a circumstance that I have referred to in other essays: “that the Cuban is not only imprisoned in a natural, physical prison; he is also guilty of conscience of an ideological structure, of a world of semantic constructions. This implies that there is no real liberation without the unmasking of the reactionary essence of these ideological discourses of submission ”.


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March 17, 2017