Andrés D. Abreu

Art and / or Design, here is one of the conceptual and categorical pairs that most inquiries, controversies, dissertations and controversies is contributing to the visual studies of the contemporary especially in those research systems that persist in the need to establish limits and definitions to develop their analysis on the current creation of emitted images. In the same way this possible duality generates complex, questioning and questioning theories from those other currents of thought that are thrown into a battle for the total de-bordering of the concomitant genres and fields betting on a certain chaos and philosophical indetermination that is largely coherent to this real world clinging to extreme fragmentation on the one hand and extensive globalization on the other. Thus, the modern and sustained struggle and coexistence between Art and / or Design has become more than fashionable in terms of action and reasoning, at the same time that it extends its dominions over the modes of contemporary life, full of messages and products of Sophisticated and seductive elaboration.

There are many artists who are financially supported today participating in interdisciplinary work groups for the so-called applied arts and no less are those who are totally conscious or apparently unconscious day by day creating under the pressure of obtaining a visually well-designed product in addition to the manifestation, aesthetics or artistic current that base their creations. Much more evident is this concern in terms of public exposure of the work: at which point it becomes directly part of the megacompetence of images issued in the socio-cultural context where it is exposed. And not to go unnoticed, artist and play are forced to play hard in visual design and communication strategies.

An example, not so recent but still remembered of this confabulation in habaneras galleries, it was Daños Collaterales, a collection of photographers Ernesto Javier and René Rodríguez shown in Villa Manuela (UNEAC) with curatorship of Elvia Rosa Castro, a of the national theorists that has spoken on the committed topic Design ≈ Art and vice versa. The essayist in his words for the catalog of the aforementioned exhibition said: "Art and design return hand, essential topic in these years where the marriage becomes inevitable as necessary."

The most recent commitment in these properties was just established in gallery 23 and 12 by artist Nadal Antelmo Vizcaíno and designer Roberto Rodríguez with Aesthetics × Genetics. Again, photography moved as sediment of the expository pact, but this time the formal experimentation, both analogue and digital, on the color medium marked a pattern of distinction seldom worked and seen in the broad national photographic panorama. For its part, the design was not an infiltrated resource to the work itself for the act of exposing, but because of its belonging to the reflective order and the grounds of inquiry of the young and quite awarded Matanzas artist, it was well to demand its playful presence at the time to conceive the muse graphic proposal of the exhibition. And for that Nadal called Rodríguez with great experience in the framework of structures and spaces with high advertising and commercial impact.

Perhaps the authors lacked the time and resources to conceive their projected ideas with the necessary precision, but what they did was enough to sustain the essential thesis posed: externally manipulate a grandiloquent illusion and then enter the seduced in disenchantment.

That uncomfortable suspension before the deceit is propitiated in the receiver from two perspectives: the one of the daily consumer, that fascinated by the objects, icons and registries associated to the market and its mediate publicity, penetrates in a species of "decadent boutique" looking for a reduction of fashion items and becomes bewildered client of an art expo-sale; and that of the conscious spectator, who already assumed his position before an artistic act designed as farce, is attracted by a series of seditious images that alternately handle codes of the most recurrent and commercial "beauty" (including kich) and the sordid reality of a universe that in its uncontrolled frivolity becomes petty.

For those who overcome the shocked or receptive contrariety then the assimilation of a discourse of severe confrontation between opposite concepts and ways and at the same time concomitant that goes from sex and violence to analogous and digital passing through youth and old age, fashion and ethics is opened, informalism and preciosity, reality and virtuosity.

This struggle between the naturally human and its own allies and opposites generated by the social man in his irrational desire for perfection and progress of his status vis-à-vis the other, is directly or indirectly alluded to in Aesthetics × Genetics, a collection of color photographs and impressions of digital art that could be bought and seen in a temporarily redesigned commercial gallery of 23 and 12, an art center that continues to bet and risk in favor of experimentation and restlessness.