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Quæ Inventa Anatómica INGLÉS

Quæ Inventa Anatómica

Leonel Catañeda Galeano


The problem with time is the way in which it may be interpreted. Rather than an issue of measurement, time is a matter of perception and affect, it depends on the transformation in which its trace becomes suspended. Past time belongs to death, it ends; nonetheless, the ruins remain, they belong to the becoming and, as such ,they react to the different encounters in which they trip. Mannequins, journals of medicine, encyclopaedias, surgical gloves, are goods whose symbols emerge in the instant their own extinction begins. Before this, they are merely remains. To acknowledge the symbolic qualities in the “inert” object, is the work of the collector or antiquarian; it is not in vain that Joachim Winckelmann, the father of modern art history, was also an avid collector of pieces.

When an object has lost its original function, before its banishment to a storage unit, an incinerator, or a trash bin, it acquires a new symbol, a gaze that will never be the same. The work of Leonel Castañeda comes from these ruins. Quæ inventa condenses a part of the becoming of the debris of the artist’s visual universe. The urban travels in which the artist has pursued objects and utensils, same as the limitless compendium of images he has accumulated for decades, become in his fingers the vestige of a puzzle of which it is possible to express his own concerns. The objects and images that go unnoticed behind a counter or a street market, the images of expired magazines that pass as garbage, obtain a new appreciation, they acquire a musicality, they adopt an almost religious symbolic code Leonel creates his own mythologies from. His works are stories that record the footsteps of his own obsessions: death, sexuality, images of art, and always as a backdrop, the human body.

Everything in Leonel’s work is simultaneously the original and the copy, the photographic reproduction of a magazine or the volume of a book acquire a character of unity , of pictorial composition. Through collage or assembly – or interventions, as the artist calls them –, a visual system emerges that identifies in the object and the image the authentic fossil of the human body. The encounters between images and objects are not random, unless chance fulfills a logical purpose: the shuddering contact of the idea of the body with its puerile and physical reality.

In medieval rhetoric, inventio referred to the solution to an argument from the varied available resources. Quæ inventa is the emerging creation of the given image, simultaneously reminiscent of the already seen (déjà-vu). A stomach that expands with air or ruptures into a wound, the image of Venus rendered flesh, while at the same time a survivor of her own beauty. The show does not offer an explanation, but rather opens a new wound, that which, rid of shame, disturbs the viewer about what a body is, or can be.

Carlos Rojas Cocoma

Doctor en Historia