Plataforma2 is pleased to present an exhibition of the expressive and personal works on paper by the artists Alaia De Santis, Marium Habib, Frank Jimin-Hopp, Caitlin Cox, Angel de Leon, Alek Mechlinski, Jan Vallverdú, and Juan Uribe. Through their eclectic mix of mediums and themes we see the bombast of modernity condensed onto the surface of a simple piece of paper.
We don’t need to be told about the intimacy of drawing; if you’ve read it once you’ve read it a thousand times. A work on paper is not a monument, it lacks the tension of a stretched canvas and it does not have the mass of a marble statue. It is something that can be held, picked up, manipulated. No large tools are needed, even a print becomes a personal object. This has been true since paper was invented, it’s just as true today, and these artists explore this through these diverse pieces.
Now, through these adventures in craft, the analogue workings in the age of the virtual world, we see the garish terrors of our upset era reeling forth. Over-saturated expressions of the ironically unironic existential crisis. We engage our minds and bodies with these phenomena, but has the spirit flown off? Or do nihilism’s true believers find a syncretism of mythic thought in this disenchanted time? Nikolai Tesla perhaps didn't realise that his prophecy of "man-made horrors beyond comprehension" would be manifested in all the mirriads of cartoon insanity and martialist loonacy that spill out on social media. Endless distortions of mentality.
Each generation fails to understand the next, as well as the last, and as we face the acceleration of hypernormalisation we become aliens at home, strange even to ourselves. Evolution being pushed aside by the transhuman advances. For the new, rootless, generations human nature has been painted over with the “blank slate”, but the scrawlings on this recently virgin chalkboard are strange, erratic, and it seems the paint might be peeling. Now we’re living life in a digital collage, painting a picture of our delusions. Here it’s hard to tell whether the myths of the ages are coming together or being blown apart, as the ambient stress goes through the roof. So we pick our sides as we’re picked apart, pop goes the mind, pop goes the world; how could our art be anything other than a blazing riot of themes and colours?
In making art in present circumstances do we express our understanding of reality or our aspirations for another way of being? For, if art is truly imitating life we are in strange times, to say the least, and these paintings and prints are the testimony. Unlike each digital image and thought, which flies by at light-speed, unelaborated. Perhaps, these few works are our modern mandalas, objects of meditation, a way of understanding our digital gods, globalist hierarchy. In this age, when the dystopian authors are being proven prophets, the only way to tell the truth is through fiction. Things are not now as they once were, and tomorrow shall not be as today, but as art must inevitably become history perhaps there is some truth to be found in the creations of the artist’s mind.
Words by Thomas Cormack.