Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutant
I learned to swim in dry.
It is more advantageous than do it in the water. Swimming. Virgilio Piñera.
Mutatis Mutandis is a doubly meritorious exposure: in first place for its virtues in terms of visual language, that is, the author demonstrates his skills in the management of the proportions, the anatomical design of the figures, the internal distribution of areas, the design of compositional schemes, the use of color, etc., relevant aspects in which Yaumil Hernández shows tremendously virtuous. In second place stands by the depth reflection of the issues made out in the works, which show a remarkable relevance today and in relation to the historical context in which we live. On this last point I want to focus the analysis of these lines, among other things because the interpretive approaches seduce me more than the formal look.
The Yaumil characters are a sort of "androids" suspended in a space-time juncture that goes beyond our immediate frame of reference, to settle at a metaphysical or oniric zone (in this sense the artist's works could link in to some extent in certain areas of surrealist aesthetics). It is about automatons living in an unintelligible city, a futuristic one, in a time where the machines are imposed on the human will. It seems that we are in a "factory of assembly and repair" where a hidden force decides the shape and direction of our lives, our decisions and even our anatomies. An industry designed to produce the ideal man requested by the power to give credibility to his fables: a right person, obedient, disciplined, without much thought of his own, willing to cooperate with the "information" requested. It is a sophisticated version of "New Man". When he tries to fly escaping from the earthly world, it happens to him something similar to Icarus, and pays for his pride and for his excess.
Apparently, people today, so much wanting to master the new technologies, bent over by them. The obsession of progress by way of scientific reason eventually became the "Achilles heel" of humanity today. The Matrix Revolutions. That seems to be for me the fundamental thesis of Mutatis Mutandis, a sign that is torn between poetry and sarcasm, between beauty and cynicism.
If I had to point out two emblematic works in this exhibition, I choose Mercurio (Mercury) (2009) and Índices (Forefingers) (2011). Mercury is the messenger of Gods, in this case represented by the automaton with a post in his hands, like a written message. The interesting in this work are the doubts that rose as we contemplate it: Who or whom is intended to send information? Who are the "Gods" this time, those whom we worship? It is out of doubt that technically this piece is in one step upper than the rest. As for Índices (Forefingers), I find very attractive the metaphor that involves the act of choosing this finger to enhance the story of the image: the index finger up as a control signal, as an execution that cannot be postponed, as a launching of multiple mythologies that must be assimilated by the subjected crowd. Again we make some questions: Who will raise his forefinger to prevail? In which one of these sides we are in our daily lives, in the one that rules or in the one to obey? We are facing a beautiful picture, not only for his craftsmanship but for the intellectual density that supports it.
The symmetry and the calculation (the order) are other features that are very visible in these paintings. There is no doubt that in the "city of the androids" everything must be in perspective and under strict control. The numbering and classification become key strategies to preserve the hegemonic status (to which I am familiar, very close).
We are then in front of a very worthy exhibition for our time, a sign that calls us to reflect on the role we play in our civic interaction dynamics, the role we assume in the interpersonal and societal practices: the sovereign or vassal, the man-machine or his creator, that one who intimidates us with the irrevocable gesture of an autocrat index.
All this appears in the works suggested from a very strong universal vocation. In short, there are automatons everywhere as well as fascist indexes.
Yaumil Hernández tells us to meditate a bit on that. And he does so with admirable cunning.
Píter Ortega Núñez.
Havana, August- 2011.