In 1925, in the context of the artistic avant-gardes of the early 20th century, the philosopher Ortega y Gasset published ‘The dehumanization of art’, where he raised questions about how ‘new art’ is a radical opposition to ‘art romantic and academic’ that until then had been produced. Thus, the philosopher considers how this modern art distances itself from the public, becomes ‘dehumanized’ and becomes unattainable.
Through the emerging artists that participate in this exhibition, an exploration of the different (de)humanizations is proposed, promoting a reflection on the concept -as well as a resignification of the concept of dehumanization into something positive. Work by work, it is intended to inquire about such questions as: how do they represent (or their) reality? Do they represent the human? In what way? Do they express their feelings? Are there influences from that avant-garde art of the early 20th century in the new creations of the 21st century? In addition, with this exhibition we try to get rid of what the philosopher already put on the table almost a century ago and that is still strong today: that not all the public is suitable for observing modern art.
Classic dehumanization and the avant-garde. Maravillas Artero’s work arises from reflection on the figure of women and the search for common experiences, inspired by her personal experiences growing up in a large family made up of seven women. With colorful portraits, he highlights the human figure despite not pursuing pure mimesis. They are easily linked with the avant-garde movement of Fauvism.
The dehumanization of the artistic. In the case of Carlos Klett, dehumanization stems from what is intrinsically artistic. His multidisciplinary work constantly seeks answers and raises questions about art itself. Although his works have the body as the axis, it appears distorted or stripped of identity. It is difficult to guess the process through which its pieces have passed and even the material they are made of, objects that could have always existed. Seek relationships between divinity, nature and the body.
The anti-dehumanization. For her part, Daniela Correa presents us with a composition of digital drawings. In his work there is no obvious human presence, but at the same time we are witnesses of symbols with which -as humans- we find a clear and quick identification, and it has been like this throughout pictorial history through flowers or nature. The artist represents a friend of hers with each flower.
Pop dehumanization. Marta Tuuk, an artist highly influenced by urban art, completely dispenses with the human being. Instead we find fully personified animated characters, in an imaginary and fantasy world. Likewise, these characters, as well as the scenarios where they are located -the Córdoba fair-, are extracted from popular culture.
The dehumanization of feelings and the past. Samuel Ramiro shows us works full of feeling. Some taken from his photobook «Gjensynglede: I still remember you», with a very personal background as they are part of an investigation into the untold past of the artist’s family. In his work he also deals with the body and how it relates to nature, with water as the protagonist and the movement of bodies in it.
Social dehumanization. In Guillermo Rodríguez’s photographic composition, dehumanization takes a turn and focuses on social denunciation. Through a review of the report that Robert Doisneau made for LIFE magazine in the 50s, he replaces the heterosexual couples then represented by couples from the LGTB + community. Thus, he gives them the place in history that corresponds to them and that has been historically taken from them.
Dehumanization and heartbreak. Bernabeu Leco’s audiovisual work seeks to express feelings through an anonymous-looking human figure, it is a personification of heartbreak, being pure feeling transmitted through human forms and behaviors.
Why will some viewers be able to identify more with some flowers than with a photograph of a human being? Why do we find something purely human in an imaginary figure? Is then the current art dehumanized? But, above all, what do we understand by dehumanization? These are just some of the many questions raised by this exhibition. What we do agree on is that, as Ortega y Gasset wrote, «there is always an influence from past art towards future art (…), a chemical reaction between the original sensitivity of the artist and the art that has already been made”.