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Dystopia around Carlos Chacín or Essay for an artist biography

By Santi Montero


We always look for an origin where there is none. And, there is none because there is always an origin at the origin, and that the origin in itself is a non-place. It is neither a matter-point nor a moment taken in a form of time. So it's a simple reference or a tacit agreement, so that we can get along with each other. The same goes for the biography, even the most strictly methodical list, listing dates and proven facts, birth, school, university, work, death ... is full of falsehoods. What do we know about the real consequences and the impact of an experiment? Without a doubt, a blank list barded dashes here and there with the conclusion, he crossed some, approached others, recognized sometimes and forgot a lot ... would be the most authentic. She would not stop losing the graph to play the biology of the artist, there would be dashes of references, Colombia, Cuba, Italy, France, Japan ... but sketch otherwise, in order not to fall back on our feet, but rather to switch otherwise. It is indeed my purpose, to make a dystopia of the artist, without pretending to have discovered a genre, because it is still a bio-graphy. Especially since through the work of Carlos Chacín, I learned that there are always tensions between the semes and even in them, that bio and graph do not accompany without violence, without connivences and deceptions, without chords and without contempt, and no matter what they are precisely. And why dystopia? Because I can only tell a truth by announcing that I am lying, so I avoid intentional glances and dialectics.

Pure creator, and then we neglect what determines us deeply, or conversely when we bend to be nothing more than the product of certain places, of a certain period, forgetting at once our capacity to become creator of life. If this is so for all men, as far as the artist is concerned, this condition becomes a singularity. And that makes a big difference. This is due to the need to get out of everyday life and its intimate existence, and to make this gap such a desire, that it is even this gap that he revisits constantly, that he reevaluates and rejects. The artist is determined by an indeterminacy constantly abused, otherwise his desire as an artist runs the risk of losing his essential vigor. In other words, the artist easily accommodates his existence, whatever it is, its origins or its places, because it is only its relation to indeterminacy which is the source of its madness and aesthetic responsibility. If he leaves his personal comfort zone, it is for indeterminacy. What really annoys him is the immobilism in the repetition of the same daily, what provokes it is the repetition of differences in order to discover the differentiating factor. For Einstein, for example, there is madness to look for different consequences for the same action, I do not know if it is madness or schizophrenic, because it is not the consequence that the artist research, even if it constantly projects tasks of wine, jaws or barbed wire, it is the difference, not that which differentiates a wine of another, a task of another, it knows well that the drunkenness on the boat is the same, yet no, it is all the same in the repetition and the duration, that the aesthetic spirit perceives for a given moment the true difference, the indeterminacy. He is a researcher of gold or emeralds who constantly scrapes and digs and comes home with a nugget that is a new polishing material. And you'll see how it manifests in Carlos Chacín.

While our compulsions lead us to the repetition of a daily life that accommodates our hysterical desires, the artist, on the contrary, adapts to everything, as long as he perceives each time differently the differences in his desire for existence. One is pure normed determination and therefore dissatisfaction, the other pure indetermination in becoming and therefore quietude. But we know it's not exactly like that. Both attract each other and each becomes responsible for the other. Otherwise, we would really have two distinct polarities, the individual desiring anxiety on one side and the artist on the other resolved to conceive of art only for art. No doubt we are close to this apocalyptic state, there is indeed a contemporary art invested by the markets, as there is also a philosophy invested by politics. Besides, art and philosophy are twins, if one dies the next follows. Except, there is no polarity in a natural biology, no standard, no origin, no beginning and no end, so no real death. Besides, art and philosophycan lose their academic chairs, wither in the public, financial or political, it will be to germinate forcefully in unexpected environments, in new peoples. Unlike other men, and even before the philosophers, finally alone, the artist retains a certain nobility, because art must be responsible and authentic in the face of life, and he alone is aware.

Now back to our artist. The song says it was born somewhere ... Carlos Chacín was born at the feet of jungle-clad mountain giants named Sierra Nevada, and warm tropical marine Caribbean shores, between which flow sumptuous rivers gorged with water from the peaks to flow into the sea and thus enrich themselves with populations of toucans, iguanas, shrimps, flamingos and native fishermen. He was born in 1974, between the massacre of bananeras of Ciénaga in Santa Marta and the arrival of the armed revolutionary conflicts, between García Marquez and the assassination of the lawyer of the people, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, after centuries of political connivances and forgetfulness of ethnic communities. It is very summarily the set of circumstances that weave over this precise space of the Caribbean at the arrival of the artist. Moreover, he is born like all his compatriots, above a social pit where the rich rubs shoulders with the wretch, peace coexists with violence, where beauty shelters vulgarity ... Carlos Chacín becomes aware of these differences, but not yet differences to be perceived in these social ruptures. Even so, where the dialectic separating the good from the bad, the guerilla of the paramilitary, the syndicalist of politics, the poor of the rich, the left of the right ... the artist hangs his pencil and begins to doubt both, of their same virulence, the same hatred, the same kinds of relations, the same forms of speech, the same manipulations ... And no one is disturbed by them. In any case, it is always elsewhere that the artist's cry arises, always elsewhere the cry of Munsch, Bacon or Giacometti ... he is at the antipodes of the speech. Carlos doubt; for him, it is especially the cry of the hammers, the voices crying masses, the strident crowds of machetes, and the silence of footless shoes.


There was no difference between a graph or an atom and us, despite our biology and our human consciousness. Indeed, we prepare ourselves for a determined becoming as soon as it enters the scene, even if this becoming in itself remains indeterminable during its realization. It is a becoming with a view to accomplishment and completion, but whose signifying boxes are infinite and the signified each time may be surprising. At every moment the desire

new meaning invites us to yield to temptation. The environment and the sequence of events, which mark us, are all determinations, but it is nothing to the views of friendly and social relations that will unite us and disunite us. Because there is language, consciousness, mind and imagination, and all that our will can do. Paradoxically, this is where the determinations are not so decisive. For despite the determinations of culture, despite that of education, there are a multitude of perceptive approaches and affective suggestions that can at any time render these social conventions indeterminable. While the philosopher makes the idiot, "do not you think? ", " really ? ", " but how ? The Cree artist, "do you not see? Did you not perceive this silence? "," Do you feel the tension? "But the body is spinning! »,« The arms tear themselves out without end! And "death is still screaming! »,« She bites alive, she bites endlessly the jaw ». The Colombian life has this particular, events are usually chained to great bounces, cynical attacks, false kidnappings, new cut throats, false positives also said, and yet ultimately it is always the same moments that are repeated over and over again. The social condition of the north coast certainly exacerbates the actions of its inhabitants, but it has not evolved for hundreds of years. It is in its anarchic corruption that it remains the best. Carlos did a part of his studies at the school San Alejandro of Havana. In my opinion, we must understand Cuba in its Caribbean particularity, both insular and revolutionary; which ultimately deprives the man from elsewhere. However, there is a commonality with the other Caribbean, with the same influences, points of connection, but a history radically different from that of Colombia. There is a pride that expresses itself with other words, a different subconscious submission, and other social reasons for rebelling.

As a result, we affirm that the sketch of a life is intimately linked to certain essential points, the earth and the space, the relations and the cultures, the facts and the history. But, I add to this the fact that the dimensioned plans of existence cross each other in such a way as to empower us and convince us of our power to do so. We are not just products of something, because we become in action. This is our empirical reason. And he who does without ceasing, who creates, it is without doubt, above all the artist. Although this is also the case for the existential do and do it scientist. Our rational or human animality is therefore a first ethical duty, that of being and becoming responsible for one's actions. But for this the artist has a preponderant role, a role of avant-garde. When an artist is born, there are concerns, litigation, shouting, and responsibility. The artistic ethos is to know how to be a man, an animal, a nature, a whole, then a writer or rather a writer, and therefore an observer and nomad since his home. Because even if the four years devoted to the study of the revival and the shaping by the arte povera become determinant in the work of Carlos. It can not be extracted from Italy where it has lived, from learning in itself, and over time, especially from the memory of a whole reformulated in something else and in other places. But I prefer to take the graph that is sketched today by the singular artistic biology of Carlos Chacín. Because we will soon believe that its relation to the objects of its existence announces a precise speech or even worse the will to denounce something. And I think nothing is more wrong. From my point of view, his arrival in 2010 in Paris is the most revealing. The fact that he found his comfort zone is not a trivial thing. It is from this moment that the expression of new tensions and points of resistance is made. Indeed, it takes a certain distance from the local Colombian and now announces more universal singularities. Carlos Chacín becomes the observer of a larger world, and participates differently in the necessary ratio between the American continent and a European world.

I say that to remain strictly in the responsibility of human unity, of what nature is, what life and existence are and what science and mechanics are, it is neither reductive, nor abstract, as one might think. It can be demonstrated from specific examples. Whatever the impressions, the liberties, the consumptions, the breaths and the breaths, the phototropies, there is always a perceptible and sensitive unity of the artist, which is the question of the responsibility of objects related to our existence. . The lung and the natural fiber, the suitcase and the earth, the machete and the voice, the hammer and the word, the jaw and the cement, etc. They are so many expressive units in themselves. If I have to be even more specific, there are natural materials, human forms such as the jaw, but also human materials such as cement or barbed wire. How and why does the human become this barbed wire? Or how this simple barbed wire exceeds its tool function to become in a time that is superior to us the human condition? Who will survive eternity, jaw or barbed wire?

Under this aesthetic condition, it is now less important to know where Carlos Chacín came from and where he has gone, than to know how to grasp what he brings to us in his work. The imposing silence of the hammers speak to the infinite confusion of the jaw, to the indifference of cement and barbed wire, to the anonymous swarm of suitcases? Do we hear it from Europe, America or even Asia? Carlos is no longer a biological body shaped by one region and another of the world, because he has become a nomadic artist although a homebody who questions this nomadic condition through the expression of objects, tools and organs. To be even more specific, when it comes to violence, immigration or ecology, there will always be a starting point, the machete or the hammer of the Caribbean, the bamboo or the banana tree of the tropics and the cement of our cities, but this is only the finger of the artist, because it actually designates something that is proper to us all as a man, nomadism and immobility, change and tradition, the lungs and death, migrations and attachment, journey and perdition, jaw and muteness ... something that is expressed and not heard or bad, because we do not see the same units as him.


Santi Montero - Barcelona, ​​July 2018.



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