About the CIFO artists
Francisca Aninat, although young, is already well established in Latin America and USA. In 2006, she was awarded the Chilean government scholarship to complete further study at Central St Martins, where her installation Interior/Exterior Field was bought by renowned collector, David Roberts, for display at his forthcoming Public Art Museum in Camden.Aninat’s work is created by painting, tearing and re-stitching canvases, to create a large fragmented whole. The resulting works draw attention to the core materials of painting – paint, canvas, thread – and draw attention to the process of making art, standing in between the two-dimensionality of traditional painting and the three-dimensionality of sculpture, revealing the weight, fragility, transparency, and density of a painting.
As well as paintings, Aninat has developed a series of hanging sculptures, which play on fragility and heaviness. The repetitive acts of collecting, piling, sewing together and stapling, to create her artworks, establishes a relationship with the everyday tasks that we constantly perform, awakening the tactile dimension that the ‘hand-made’ produces. Aninat’s work may be considered as bridging high art and low art, as engaging with Clement Greenberg’s theories on abstraction and as fusing the typically feminine practice of stitching and craft with the male dominant tradition of abstract painting.
Her current practice involves an exploration of nature as a concept colonized by language, and consumed in a massive scale through images. The artist uses a variety of media in her production including installations, video, drawing, text, public interventions and photography. Her work process is crossed by a series of questions that links economy, territory notions, transit and politics, with actions that touch everyday life, and that generates a heterogeneous frame in her production discursively.
Bonilla is equally concerned with the human procedure of dissemination of the image, which is often interpreted according to societal norms. She is fascinated by questions regarding socio-political issues and opinions and how they are exposed through artistic expression. Milena identifies with John Cage, the subject of her works, in that he directly used the sounds of his environment in order to compose his work and performances, knowing that there exists always an element of chance or chaos that explains the unpredictable alteration to what we create, whether that is an artistic work or a social structure. Milena has conceptualized this element of chance in her pieces that through their careful balance, but equally careful fragility, expose the importance of the space in which they are represented and the necessary support the space provides for the work to remain in equilibrium. Each of the pieces will present for the viewer a different interpretation of chance: a suggested harmony and balance within the pieces themselves that can at any point fold, determining for the viewer the equally important reality of understanding the geopolitical and cultural influences pertinent for a structure to persist, but also demonstrative of the beauty that can be produced through the hazard of coincidence.
Miklos Gaál is concerned with a method of making images in which the technological apparatus allows for variation in the depth of focus within a single photograph. He applies relations of focus to everyday situations. But these efforts were and still are related singly to the context of the image itself. That is, they are related to the function of producing a copy, which engages the object and its relation to different depths of focus only within the context of its immanent spatial disposition.
In his photography projects, Miklos Gaál reverses this principle. At a superficial level, this is about creating surprises. “Surprises put the given into question!” he explained. Surprises undermine our habitual ways of seeing. He hides his own motivations behind this idea, because he lets himself be surprised by the possibilities offered to him by technology in his search for a photographic image that will allow him to resist a world of flooded media and visual innovation. He is not interested in competing with electronic or digital media and developing his own concepts for images. Miklos Gaál methodically counters the subversive pull of the suggestive language of these media, which purports to obey traditional ideas of images in order to better manipulate the spectator. He does so by offering seeing as a process which leads the spectator of his work to playfully learn to consciously confront the reality of our lives, particularly as it appears in everyday events, using his own strength and ability, and his own eyes.
Jose Gabriel Fernandez
In his most recent works, Fernandez proposes an intimate corporeal reading of sculpture through spotless geometries and naked volumes that arouse a dialogue of the body with the work. In the series titled “Erotes”, as in “Lingam” - from which a suite of photographs reveals singular moments of the same work with subtlety and sensuality – Fernandez remits, be it by their titles or by their forms, to archetypical erotic expressions of desire that reinterpret languages of 20th century Avant-Gardes. The precise edges and outlines that define these sculptures and reliefs seem to blur their achromatic nature and gravitas, imparting an aura of quietude and timelessness to the ensemble, while giving them a light and ethereal quality, despite the imposing dimensions of some of works. Quiet but potent with energy, the shapes and forms penetrate, modulate, and mutate from one to the other, from negative to positive, from repose to motion in a sensuous inter-dialogue.
Fernandez has exhibited extensively in the United States and throughout the Americas. His work has been featured in major surveys of Latin American Contemporary Art and is represented in major private and public collections. Originally from Venezuela, the artist studied at Middlesex Polytechnic, The Slade School of Fine Art in London and at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York. Fernandez lives and works in New York.
Glenda León’s work expands from drawing to video art, including installation, objects, and photography. She explores the interaction between visible and invisible, between sound and silence, between ephemeral and eternal. She is also interested in synesthesia, or the association of different senses. In this manner, she aims at creating “visual poetry” that stimulates the senses in such a way that the spectator “sees sounds and hears images.” Her art is visual poetry that relocates objects, gestures and attitudes from individual space in a discourse that transcends the stereotypes of gender. She also incorporates contemporary art’s affinity for the insignificance of things. She has appropriated that area of sensitivity that aesthetics devalues as chichi, kitsch, disingenuous and naturally pertaining to the feminine sex.
Marta María Pérez Bravo
Marta María Pérez’s works make a distinct and original contribution to the history of female representation in Cuban art. In a field historically dominated by the male perspective, Pérez introduces her own body into the discourse through the use of staged photography. Her relationship with the photographic medium began in 1983, when she used it to record ephemeral interventions in natural spaces. While images in the Cuban post-Revolutionary press documented the participation of women in the military and in economic production, and the efficacy of the systems of prenatal and newborn care, Pérez concentrated on the “internal” saga of the female experience. This is the source of her singularity in Cuban art. Photography was her way of “discovering and trapping, through the lens, the invisible mechanisms of religious, mythic, and magical thinking as they applied to maternity. The images of her body, distended or crossed by stretch marks, on neutral backgrounds and interacting with such objects as necklaces, knives, dolls, or bricks, reveal concepts and traditions about pregnancy based on popular culture and the Afro-Cuban religions Santería and Palo Monte. By means of the poetic image, Pérez—herself a white, Western artist—bridges the conventions of contemporary art and the spiritual strata of her own life context: Cuban culture in all its vitality and richness. Perez's work has been displayed all over the world including Cuba at the IV Havana Bienal, the V Istanbul Biennial in Turkey and the Kwangju Biennale in South Korea. Her work has been also included in many museum exhibitions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Miami Art Museum in Florida.