Aimée Joaristi / Manifiesto púbico curated by Andrés Isaac Santana
XXXIX (Manifiesto púbico)
Ven. Todo está aquí en mi cáliz.
Miasma de sangre de gusanos
y grasa de hipopótamos.
Hiel de cabra y polvillo de víboras,
y arsénico, y cal viva,
y hasta tierra de Chipre.
Carapachos de tortugas cercenados.
La misma concha que mató a Hypatia.
Cuchillos de sílice, hierro y cobre,
y pinzas que no cejan y Gillette de tres hojas.
Y Cleopatra, y Helena, y la guerra de Troya.
Delta de brazos como tentáculos.
Garras de corneja y no coneja
hincadas sobre el vértice
de ese otro vértice de mis dos piernas.
Tajazo en plena selva
Donde todavía sangran
Joan Wytte y Elly Kedward,
y Elisabeth Sawyer y Sara Hellen,
y Margaret Jones y Marie Laveau,
y Madame Blavatsky y Juana la Loca.
Pirámide invertida de mi coño.
Mi coño, lleno de pelo
que no es lomo de delfín
y si erizo, y si araña,
y gato negro.
Mi coño, que es el coño de mi madre
y de la tuya.
Mi coño, que es el coño de mi hija.
Mi coño, que no es cáliz ni un carajo
sino tu moratoria.
Pubic Manifesto is a feminist action featuring political and cultural dimensions that the Cuba-born artist based in Costa Rica, Aimée Joaristi, has carried out in several cities around the world. Devised drawing on the dramaturgy of performance, it ended up expanding its boundaries and becoming a de facto cultural gesture of protest, affirmation and empowerment of the female voice. Activating the principle of collective participation and dialogue with the other, it began in Havana and in Matanzas (Cuba), within the framework of the 13th Edition of the Havana Biennial. But the island marked only the beginning of this pubic programme, which went on to Japan, Africa, Spain, Italy, Costa Rica and Brazil. The pubis here becomes the archetypal symbol of that condition, and is the serial element employed by the artist –without having to display the body or represent it– to arbitrate, through its use, an exercise in the re-signification of urban structures and the relationships of power erected around them.
Andrés Isaac Santana
The artist Aimée Joaristi resembles the legendary Félix González-Torres in a way: in her work the island barely appears as a point of origin, but rather as a lost and disfigured matrix. They are two particular cases in which an uprooting spawns cosmopolitanism, and the abandoned setting is reconstructed from memory, but does not end up directly affecting the artistic discourse. The latter has to do, above all, with Art appearing for both many years after the game, when their respective experiences on the island –rooted in their childhood years– had acquired an evanescent undertone. Thus, in each one we find not a nostalgic story, nor the constant idealisation of the abandoned site, something typically inherent to diasporic discourse, but rather the postulation of the insular as an alternative identity, in absentia. Now there is a discursive split, a shift from «I» to «we», suggested in that other sphere that Aimée Joaristi inhabits with identical ethical/aesthetic mastery. I am referring to those moments when she transmits, through multiple languages, a dialogue questioning the value system underpinning, above all, Western society, whose essence exposes women to physical and symbolic violence.
This last motif has, perhaps, constituted the core of her most recent creation, and is another point where I believe she overlaps with González-Torres. I say this aware that Aimée has embodied, through her own will, and perhaps also because the current scenario demands these types of bold commitments, a model of feminism that, far from conforming to the conventional archetype of opposition and dualism, seeks to reinterpret the most subtle notions that patriarchy has, historically, exploited through its dominant practices. This said, it should be noted that Aimée Joaristi’s commitment manifests itself as an individual impulse towards change, a desire for immediate intervention on the rituals of society, to establish a consciousness that banishes tired hierarchies and taboos; that is, a willingness to (re)imagine the symbolic and factual spaces from which the female voice and discourse have been developed, at a notable disadvantage. It now remains to admire the saga that this itinerary will write, the ways in which this community of imagination whose action, between theory and gesture, aspires to a context of absolute feminine liberation, comes together.
Jorge Peré Sersa
KENDALL ART CENTER / RODRIGUEZ COLLECTION / MIAMI ART WEEK 2019
Aimée Joaristi (Havana, 1957)
She is one of the most renowned abstract painters –of an informalist bent– on the Central American art scene; specifically, of what has been called the estrecho dudoso. But she is also a multidisciplinary and eclectic artist who makes an instrumental and economic use of different media and formats, depending on her discourse, supporting the idea in question.
Born in Cuba, she has spent her entire life outside her homeland, in a sort of perpetual exile, under several flags –precisely one of the symbolic elements she employs in her feminist project, which involves a public action of performative dimensions, Pubic Manifesto. She currently resides in Costa Rica, where she produces a large portion of her pictorial works, backed by the prestigious Klaus Steinmetz Contemporary gallery, where she has held three of her most important exhibitions in the country. The most salient feature of her painting is its sense of rage, entailing an almost feral way of proceeding in front of the canvass, thereby conferring upon her pictorial exercise a performative and confessional nature. Her work has been displayed at many fairs and biennials, and at collective exhibitions of Latin American artists beyond their borders. She has regularly shown in Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Spain, Ecuador, Germany, Chile, Cuba, Los Angeles, Venice, Latvia and the USA. She has been selected seven consecutive times by Rebecca Wilson for the Pop Surrealism collection for the Saatchi Gallery based in London, and in 2016 received the Emerging Artist Award Dubai. Her body of work has been featured and upheld by many publications, including Important World Artists (2017), A World of Art, ArtNexus, AAL Arte al Límite, Hypermediamagazine, Culturamas, Volume II (www.wwab.us), The First Berliner Art Book (2017), (Gabriela Caranfil Curator, Berliner Kunst Management), El Libro Entre Siglos (The Book Between Centuries), Arte Contemporáneo de Centroamérica y Panamá, Publicación Rozas-Botrán, (Guatemala, September 2016), The Best of 2016, INTERNATIONAL EMERGING ARTIST AWARD, Dubai, 2016; and Silencios y gritos (Silences and Shouts) (2015) Editorial M/M, Mexico; 2015. She is one of the most important artists featured in Fibras, mujeres artistas latinoamericanas (Latin American Women Artists), published by the magazine AAL Arte al Límite. Her work may be found in numerous private collections in the US, Mexico, Spain and Costa Rica, and in art museum collections in Latvia, La Neomudéjar (Madrid) and the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, in Cuba.
Of special note have been her personal exhibitions: Catedrales (Cathedrals) at the Klaus Steinmetz Contemporary; Escindida (Splitting) at the Taller Galería Gorría in Havana (Cuba); TresCruces (Three Crosses) at the Museo C. A.V. La Neomudéjar (Madrid, 2018); GuerraCONTINUA at the Zapadores Ciudad del Arte (Madrid), as part of the VIP programme of the ARCO fair (2019); and SocialSubjetiva, at the Ateneo de Madrid (cultural centre), on the occasion of the PHOespaña Festival Internacional de Fotografía y Artes Visuales (2019); EnRollateConmigo, for the Detrás del Muro (Behind the Wall) project, at the 13th Edition of the Havana Biennial.
Aimée’s current project is Pubic Manifesto (PM), a feminist action with political and cultural undertones that she has been carrying out in several cities around the world. Devised based on the dramaturgy of performance, it ultimately transcended its borders and became a de facto cultural gesture of protest, affirmation and empowerment of the female voice. The action has taken place in several locations such as Havana, Matanzas, Madrid, Toledo, Tokyo, Venice, Costa Rica, South Africa, and now in the USA, in Miami and L.A.