News From the End of the World

News From the End of the World
Fecha de publicación: 
16 May 2024
Imagen principal: 

Very interesting and revealing is the project initiated by the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Faculty of Arts and Design of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the visual artist and professor of that institution, José Miguel Casanova, under the sponsorships from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico: The School of the End of the World, a title that is at least disturbing, assuming the well-worn prophecies that the world is going to end at any moment.

It's not that it's going to end, it's that man is destroying it. The evidence is visible to anyone who wants to look for it.

But let's talk about art: What’s proposed in the most emblematic Cuban museum is a cultural and educational project that seeks to generate interaction with the public.
It’s envisioned as a continuous process divided into three stages, which began on May 3 with the opening of the Códice del fin del mundo exhibition, an exhibition of large-format drawings made by Professor Casanova that’s on display until June 30 at the Temporary Room on the fourth level of the Universal Art Building.

This exhibition delves into the pressing conflicts caused by the predatory impact of capitalism on nature and human society, caused by the concentration of wealth and the exacerbation of a scheme that irrationally exploits resources. It’s based, as explained in a note from the Museum, on a documentary investigation about the planetary situation in the post-industrial era. The Mexican artist takes advantage of the cultural precedent of the Aztec codices to integrate two ideas into this proposal: drawing as a diagram and the act of drawing as a ritual action.

With a decided and clear symbolic calling, the series of large-format drawings presented is made with materials that become concepts themselves: from amate paper, which is the original support of the famous pre-Columbian codices, handmade from the tree of the same name by the native peoples, to the use of oil, fire, gold and the artist's own blood.

In a second stage, in the month of July, workshops will be held at the Museum in the room, with the participation of specific communities from Havana and the Museum's public, through dialogue and actions that generate collaborative research and museum pieces, which will be integrated into an exhibition of the process.

It would be good not to lose sight of this initiative.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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