Ernesto Marenco; THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE OBJECTS
"If it is essential to works to be things, it is not
It is less essential to deny your own cosiness."
We have been deceived for centuries. When by the folly of knowing the history of things we get into encyclopedias, museums or networks, we do not find anywhere what I would call & "The true history of objects". Surely there are a couple or three of copies written clandestinely, and I'm sure Ernesto Marenco either has one, or is a co-author on those pages. Since I met the first pieces of his authorship I understood that his work went far beyond the simple manipulation of objects and, of course, his candid and apparent perversion. If in a first glance they made a kind of homage to the absurd, it was because those things created by him had entered into a secret conversation with Marenco and had revealed to him in detail his intimacy. Although many cultures have embroidered in the bowels of their stories and abound on animism and how objects can carry certain symbolisms or meanings, they have fallen short when they only cover the objects of veneration with a specific and circumscribed
burden to denote the singularity of a single thought. The versatility here is outside the play leaving those significant things expressing only undivided ideas. Without being exempt from a ludic and playful character, Marenco's works intelligently put the accent on the entrails of the objects that we manipulate on a daily basis. Its existence leaves us in check, rearranging the comfortable references already proven. They even alter even the laws of the most elementary physics. The contradictory is now logical. The vocation of things is still present; a brush remains so, a hammer too and even a rope to jump retains its reason for being and its usefulness. The small alterations and substitutions that have suffered are, nevertheless, in total consonance with some of the seeds that at the time were the seeds of surrealism. And it was not enough to select "things" and carry out modifications on them; It had to be done aesthetically. Marenco has been able to select each of the objects with which
he has worked. They are pieces without time, with total validity and tied to their original origin. Hence, our relationship with them is immediate, although our permanence in exchange, results in a battle to contrast the original functions of the object against the
new attributions that have been granted. If the pieces of Ernesto Marenco were literature, surely they would be succinct and intelligent aphorisms stripped, as it should be, of boastful grandiloquence. Or maybe also a Greguería, where word games and cunning make up, almost always with humor, a new corpus of knowledge and an innovative rereading. What would become of us if we did not know that a cup can have the handle inside it, or that a hammer in an impossible action has nailed the nails to itself? Here the proposal of what could
be the gender diversity of objects is open; if they had it and were in their mandate to defend it, we would vote perhaps for the new diversity, enriched, increased. It is not sculpture, but it is. It is not art-object, but it is also art. They are Ready Made but neither are they.
Let's talk more about a work loaded with references in direct occasions, in other transversal ones that end up forming a body of work at the same time that referential, escaping from the pre-eminent exhibition spaces and staying in a periphery that with its existence marks the
center, but in which it is not. There, in that center that we do not see, the works we now see coexist with uneasiness, as if it were the strange archeology of a parallel world.
Santiago Espinosa de los Monteros
While in Teresa Del Conde's office, at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City, she asked me about a box titled "The Poets and Power." My response was immediate, I found it well structured, with a logical and precise discourse, where the iconographic elements had a direct reading. Some were completely outspoken, while others functioned as a game of opposites. Pleasant color management and understated rhetoric.
After the brief analysis, and knowing my predilection for the three-dimensional object, she suggested that I write these lines. I gladly accepted, despite the fact that -I must confess- I did not know the artist. Furthermore, at this time I still do not know him personally; Contrary to what one might think, I do not feel irresponsible, but free. I can write what I understand, without any kind of prejudice; It is like participating in a jury where one is confronted with the work, often without knowing the artist.
Observing a good number of pieces by Ernesto Marenco, I realized that he must also be free while he produces, since a complacent intention is not manifested neither in the composition nor in the discourse. As an art-objectist that he is, he brings together essential qualities for the genre, I can assume that he is a cultured subject, since his discursive game frequently alludes to poetry and psychoanalysis; I also consider he has a particular sense of humor. It is, I think, an intelligent, agile and well-directed sense of humor, it does not require great narratives to provoke a smile; however, it is not a futile humor, it is ironic and critical (I would dare to suppose that with a strong social conscience).
Although the playful tone is always present, it never exceeds the point of surpassing the concept that supports it, good objectist that it is, the balance is substantial. Compositionally, he does not resort to the saturation of elements, nor to the runaway Kitch, now so in vogue-justification and guilt of so many atrocities-, on the contrary, in his case I think it is clean, beyond what is customary by others of his colleagues. As a resource, it uses the repetition of the motif, to accentuate the discourse, the diversified observation of the same element allows the deepening of the idea, which in turn nuances with the use of strong conceptual counterpoints (almost in the manner of musical dissonances). As you can see from my comments, Ernesto Marenco's work seems worthy of study and follow-up, since it brings together a good discourse and a beautiful aesthetic. So far I don't know him personally, however I wish I could meet his works more often.
Dr. Agustin Artega
Director of the Dallas Museum of Art