Blog - Ciudad de México - Mexico

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“Certezas/Incertidumbres” by Jeannette Betancourt at Museo de Arte Popular, Mexico

Mexico City
May 26, 2021 – August 8, 2021

Jeannette Betancourt’s work reveals a double and pressing sensibility, both for the forms and problems that afflict our society. With a solid training as a sculptor, it is not enough to surrender to the sensitive game of forms, but it is necessary for her to imbricate and involve her practice with the historical moment, without losing sight of that any reflection or commitment must be made through the image. We therefore, have a work that moves in two complementary registers without restricting or sacrificing any.

At first glance, Jeannette’s work seems to appeal to a mere aesthetic delectation, but this is unsaid by reading the titles of her pieces, which serve as a trigger for unforeseen readings. Nothing here is what it looks like. Her pieces throw us into an uncertain space where in order not to be deceived we must be very alert; attitude that Jeannette seems to point out, should be extended to everyday life where deceptions multiply on the agenda of corporations, politicians and the media.

The natural and the human are in constant contrast and conflict in her work. The artistic act of imposing an organization on natural elements has in this context a metaphorical dimension: talking about the traces that human intervention has left on Earth. Her work is therefore, a painful awareness of the beam and underside of this culture, for the seemingly heroic and foundational act of taking on itself as a free and self-determined subject, eager for knowledge (cogito ergo boom!), faced the correlated separation and distancing of other beings and things, a split where today’s exploitation and devastation is rooted and of which art is inevitably a part of, becoming deeply problematic.

Membership into a culture gives individuals an area of certainty to organize social life. Faced with a bleak picture and, in a culture that has undermined each and every step of the handles, there is only left but to multiply uncertainty by opening up uncomfortable questions and pointing out unpleasant realities in the hope that in the process we will be able to build another social order. In the world of post-truth, such an endeavor is difficult or frankly suicidal, but when argument fails, when logic becomes murky, there is still another way to proceed: through the concreteness and specificity of images whose power of communication and conviction does not pass through the usual instrumental channels. At that intelligent, non-focused or one-way look, but empathetic and resonant, are you, dear reader/viewer, guest. And not only to appreciate the works that make up this exhibition, but to make it extensive where it is most needed: out there.

—Curatorial text by Víctor Sánchez Villarreal



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