Pablo Linsambarth – “The crossings and the Red Jungle”
Reception: February 2nd, 2023
_VIGILGONZALES Cusco - Pampa del Castillo 455, Cusco
Curated by Victor López Zumelzú
Pablo Linsambarth (Chile, 1989) has been building in recent years a solid and powerful work, clearly critical of the social and historical narrative that precedes him. In his paintings, and even in his videos, he has been able to fuse the various forms of sociability, through exercises that generate different narrative planes and that reveal the visual and political memory of a personal archive in continuous construction.
If in his previous pictorial works we could distinguish a diversity of elements in the midst of wide areas of color: landscapes, faces, silhouettes, animals and still lifes, ghostly fragments of a family photographic album alternating in different perspectives and planes like buried layers that reemerge again and again depending on our gaze; Today his painting plays with his own vocabulary at ease with formal and narrative structures to provoke changes in the anthropophagic manner of meaning in the image, thus generating a densely constructed network of meanings that attempts to observe and account for cultural codes or clichés of the Latin American context that proliferate and change, as well as the ways in which the visual symbols of language can undergo transformations when exposed to cultural codes often indecipherable by the viewer.
In this sense, should all Latin American narrative be understood as a form of transmission of meaning? What are the benefits of a communication system that defies translation and only creates fragments of an unfinished present or memory? What is the pictorial relationship between representation and language from the Global South? From this place of questions, Pablo Linsambarth’s paintings in this new series “Los cruces y la selva colorada” (The crossings and the red jungle) conceived for the Vigil Gonzales gallery (Cusco, Peru) reflect on the strategies of production of the Latin American, and its forms of circulation. If this same reflection crossed and encouraged the left in the 60s and 70s, materializing in different radical movements that politically activated the debates on the local and the global, the intimate and the public, including from the visual arts in their production avant-garde experiences that traveled from the biographical, the erotic, the chromatic, the tactile and sound, thereby expanding the reflection of the alternative subjectivity of this part of the world; Today these same visualities emerge in Pablo’s painting as a critique of the solidification of this becoming and a staging of identity where popular iconography and social struggles are ambiguously combined to create forms of social sensibility. This context serves Pablo as a test notebook to stage different erased myths, unknown oral histories, close and dissimilar narratives that claim a special place in the visible archive of the Latin American that is being built from the hegemonic centers of power; even the color palette used in this series is marked by strong tones of green, red, yellow that generate a theatrical disposition of the Latin American experience of the landscape at the same time ironic and reflexive where questions arise about identity, immigration and the cultural clash product of capitalism.
To think or rethink these paintings by Pablo Linsambarth from this political perspective of landscape and its conformation into narrative means not to think of the Latin American landscape on established lines that demarcate subordinate identities that materialize under colonial coordinates. But to think of the landscape itself as an “event” that cannot be reduced in its density. Everything in these works travels to a poetic geography of language, an experience of becoming much more abstract and difficult to define: vessels, crosses, autonomous bodies that move, observe, collide, animalities, all this makes up the archeology of signs that Linsambarth presents us as territories of power where identity is activated.
There is no event but a body that receives this form of experience, just as there is no image without an event, Pablo seems to be saying at every moment, so to speak of the Latin American in these paintings is to understand that as Latin Americans we do not have a center, it is to understand that events and our history do not develop in linear chains, and rather than reality what we have before us are a load of complexities and claims, since there is no heart, only difficulties in the distribution of the problems. It is perhaps for this reason that in order to understand Latin America as this series by Pablo Linsambarth proposes, we do not have correct plans, nor stable architecture to support us, everything we try to represent is nothing more than a vanishing point. This form of landscape that for years we understood as Latin American is changing, and our own overflowing geography no longer has an order like the one that traveler painters like Rugendas tried to demonstrate or map. The political distortions today ask us for another image and not to simplify the events in historical lines, since life and landscape happen before us like these paintings at every instant, at every moment as an overflowing event.