Here in these spaces we can see works by Susana Solano that seem to take paths which intersect and branch out in time, open roads in different time periods, as if we were contemplating the expansive landscape of her by-now extensive art practice.
“Artifices” is the word the artist chooses for the works she produces. Derived from the Latin artificium, literally meaning “a profession, trade, employment, craft; a making by art; a work of art”, it denotes something built or made; an invention whose hour, material and time have finally arrived.
In ordinary parlance, an “artifice” suggests something more than that: it bears implicit the stamp of things that are crafted or invented, that come from the playful, sensual gesture of fantasy, and that release or liberate their energy without having to explain themselves. Artistic creation has a legitimate right to behave with absolute indifference to any possible commitment with the industrial production that furnishes our everyday utilitarian world with all kinds of objects. A world like ours in which the unnecessary and the superfluous also exist yet are disguised under the mantle of programmed needs.
Down through the ages, the making of artifices has always been the declared intent of the poetics of art. Our engagement with those objects today, removed from the surrounding noise of our banal everyday environment, affords a much-needed experience. It offers us the possibility of escaping the tyrannical setting of all things subjected to function and utility, to programmed obsolescence and to routine. When we no longer expect a narrative, a pretext or reasoning to stand in for the raison d’être of artworks, we can still hope to fulfil an expectation that is in short supply in the realm of reality, namely, the pleasure and freedom of contemplating something unprecedented and devoid of use purpose without demanding anything in return. It is a game played with made things that is still capable of proportioning the quiddity of beauty: a selfless pleasure.
If we embrace the challenge of this game, “artifices” are removed from the everyday life waiting for us somewhere else, outside its sphere of influence, and we can open a door to the unexpected. And this is how each one of the works by Susana Solano on exhibit appear to invent their own meaning, unfettered from the foreseeable, unfettered from the strict logic of known things—as in the case of the pieces of furniture called “Footprints”. An unforeseen meaning that even contradicts the titles the artist has given to some of her series—like the small “Muecas” (Grimaces)— or perhaps gives them an expected meaning, faintly broached, covert and ambiguous, like some works made from materials we would not expect to find together—as in the case of “Encima de una alfombra” (On a Rug). This play with meaning entails a relationship with the past, already well established in art, under the sign of a critical irony we should never waver, yet which is deployed here in a tangential, less explicit fashion. A form of irony that barely alights on the works.
In her exploration of the paths of creation Susana Solano has faithfully responded, above all, to her private world, rummaging about in her own secret chambers. Whoever wishes to discover the meaning of her works from the solitary position of contemplation will have to find them for themselves. The artist does not generally supply the keys. Any clues strewn along the way are few and far between. Nor can we readily discern any common thread running through the sequence of works, given that it mutates with the passing of time and of life, with the experience of the artist, following a logic that remains under wraps.