7th Havana Biennial -  Home November 2000 - January 2001Home
José Alejandro Restrepo - Statement
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Extract from a text by the artist

"If we did not close our eyes, we could not see what there is to see. That is: the eyes open to observe, stare to reflect and close to meditate."
Simón Rodríguez

Many eyes have jumped out of their cavities since the bloody struggles between iconophiles and iconoclasts in the Byzantine era of the 8th century. In the year 787, the Nicene Council clearly states the finer points, but it does not solve the problem when it states that the images deserve honor and respect but not worship. From this point on, the triumph of the images has been overwhelming (confirmed by the Council of Trient and the baroque apotheosis up to the days of the event society). However, the quarreling parties have not lowered their vigilance but rather have refined the image carriers, tactics and ideologies.

In the contemporary society, we can easily find enclaves in which the iconoclastic controversy is in full swing. But just as in ancient times, we are witnessing a conflict of odd complexity in which the image cult is not in direct inverse proportion to its rejection. We are dealing with uncertain and paradoxical terrain: iconoclasts defending the real image; images that are iconoclastic in their content and their efficacy; forms of "idolatry" which in light of certain ideologies are iconoclastic, yet seen from other perspectives are associated with iconophilia; "enlightened ones" who become iconoclasts in view of continuous vision; iconophiles desperately seeking the ultimate image and the borders of the visible; gradual transitions or abrupt collisions between one position and the other; detachment via destruction...

See the  complete text in Spanish.

(Translated from the German version by Rebeccah Blum)
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© Text, images on the right:
José Alejandro Restrepo
Portrait: Apex Art (thanks to Steven Rand)
Translation: Gerhard Haupt & Pat Binder,
Universes in Universe
Restrepo - 1 Tour

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