Art Projects International

Fabián BurgosNovember 1, 2009

Persistente Conjunto

Essay by Fabián Burgos from the catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition Mariano Ferrante: Persistente Conjunto at Zavaleta Lab Arte Contemporáneo, 2009.

The sky is dark, the wind is cold, the day is sad.
What say you to a cheering tale, to dispel the gray mists of melancholy?
– Ruben Darío

Creating rules that will only be broken has become a habit for artists. Marching against what has been created in the past, in our history, is a habit as well. But doing away with rules altogether, acknowledging or even admiring our recent past has become a unique yet fearsome endeavor.

Mariano rises against his own structures, all while exploring history with the irreverence of a person aspiring to achieve new utopias. If places have been reached throughout history, why not take them as a starting point instead of a continuity that is accepted as an imposed legacy. Plainly speaking, it is about willingly suspending historical continuity as what ought to be. Undoubtedly, there is beauty in engaging in dialogue with the past, but it is also a beauty-filled, epic task to turn our back on it, to create almost exclusively with the overconfidence of the present.

Even in spite of him, Mariano’s work carries many of these elements. Slightly avant-garde, but only as a starting point to develop new and original transformations. It is remarkable to see how he works with his paintings in the same way as with his history, as a sort of parable. Every canvas displays and offers a series of artistic resources, shapes, colors, materials, composing a truly unique visual grammar for each panting. Different resources, concepts and ideas are applied to each piece, which even seem to negate the previous one, contradict it, or at least challenge it.

Still, despite the intent to constantly change, defined by the artist’s will for expressive renovation that makes each piece unique and individual, it is astounding to see how a conceptual line is kept throughout the different works. We are faced with strong units that still make up a persistent whole.

However, all movements include a temporality, visible or not. Mariano decides to use it, awarding it with physicality and volume, translating time into matter. Descriptions aside, it suffices to see the piece ”Ahora” and ”Variación Nº 1”, where time transforms into movement and form.

The visual testimonies focus on different materials; pencil, oil, acrylic, enamel, and the use of linen (canvas) as a support is another element of the composition.

The artist claims that painting is more invasive than pencil drawing; whereas painting has the ability to provide coverage, the pencil scrapes the canvas leaving only small bits of itself. The tape used for his pieces, for instance, helps him fully profit from the properties of paper and is also a tool to create small accidents on the acrylic.

Mariano appears to have an armored mind, yet one filled with pure ”corporeal” emotion. In this alleged logic of repetition, nothing is repeated. In the face of an error, randomness is suddenly annulled. Still, it is not absolute reason that designates the facts, but his own conviction and constant need for something unfathomable to dictate these beautiful pieces.

Fabián Burgos
Buenos Aires, November 2009