Venezuelan artist Blanca Gruber @ Diálogo 365

October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Freedom Paradox. Mixed media. 72″ x 88″ x 40″, 2011. Model: ACF

BG: Since I was a kid, sculpture and drawing were my main forms of entertainment and my freedom of expression. Although my family disapproved of and tried to interfere with my goal to become an artist, nothing could stop me! Now, after many years of training and practice, I am becoming the sculptor I always dreamed I would be.

Freedom Paradox invites the viewer to reflect on freedom. What is freedom, really? Can there be freedom after 10, 30, 40 years, even a lifetime of intolerance, abuse and persecution? This piece is dedicated to the survivors, to honor them and to take a stand for their right to the freedom to control their lives.

Freedom Paradox is a multimedia work, a triptych combining photography and sculpture in relief. The photograph in Freedom Paradox is a room with enormous windows looking out to the world. The room is in a deteriorated condition, dark and wet. Into the original photograph, I superimposed a series of photographs of nude figures, covered in blood and oil. The photograph represents the psychological space in which I feel people live- in the lack of freedom. A life-size plaster casting of a woman in a tortured posture lies deconstructed in the foreground of the work. The sculpture represents a paradox- the remains- what survives in the aftermath of a release into freedom.

Statement by the installation’s model ACF:

I AM THE SUFFERING OF ALL LIFETIMES. I am the political prisoner, the mental patient, the abused child and wife, the rape victim, the drug addict, the HIV/AIDS positive homeless man, the death row inmate, the slave, the prostitute, and most of all, I am the everyday person hum-drumming through life. 

I am the coiled snake. I ache to spring into action to release my venom that has built in me for aeons. I will defend myself; I will express my rage, yet I cannot move. I hunger to become new, I itch to shed my skin, yet nothing happens. I am the unborn child at the threshold waiting to be born, but For What Purpose? Into What World? My mother cannot deliver me, but what if she does? What harm will SHE do? Will someone help me? WHY DIDN’T YOU HELP ME? 

Did you FINALLY say something? Your voice was so low and your speech was so garbled. Did I hear you correctly? You will help me? 

What did you say? I AM FREE TO GO? 

You turn the key and I am expelled from this squalid, decaying factory of human horror. Nearly blind, I crawl from the darkness toward the light. Once covered with the blood of all humanity and that oil, that filthy, filthy oil, I am washed; purified. But what is it that remains? A PARADOX. The artifacts of all those lifetimes. A reliquary that someone can pray to for solace, for hope of something future, something that exacts less suffering. A shell, the hard and contricting exoskeleton that they mistook for ME-who they tried to force to submit and not satisfied with that, they set out to destroy. Yes. Only the memory, the faint echo of what had been my scream for help from inside that ‘case of mistaken identity’ remains, but where is MY SOUL? 

Oh, by the way, do you smell the perfume of a rose carried by that gentle breeze? Ha! Ha! Ha!

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You are currently reading Venezuelan artist Blanca Gruber @ Diálogo 365 at Diálogo 365: CARPE DIEM @ Art in City Hall.

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