Fushu Fushus and the microworlds
The activation of a specific form of perception is one of the main strategies employed as a resource by an artist, either by the way of retinal deception or tridimensional imitation. This cultural principle is what supports an artist’s entire material-technical foundation, deriving in a conceptual approach that allows him to establish a dialogue with the idea of the artistic, and of work as an experience.
For Emilio Rangel (1984), sculpture is a tool for researching this imitation principle. His work is inserted in the frontier of modernity as a form of universal subjective emancipation; as he himself puts it: “everything is a fruit of television, a product of telematic modernity”. This would suppose the dissolution of supreme values after the end of the metanarrative, modernity’s great narratives; but the artist secures and confirms them as imaginary.
Emilio is a translator of situations set out with his modellings, where the spectator organizes his sensations from the structured and dimensioned forms. This causes the piece’s reception mechanism to detonate a projection space in the audience, activating everything known in the space-time dimension.
In this case, the work of Emilio Rangel is a provocation to imagination, memory and knowledge. One particular case are his sculpture pieces named “Fushu Fushus”, which aim directly to the activation of intuition, since the spectator’s dialogue between form and knowledge of reality places them in the “thing” category. This is due to the form, since there is no previous experience, no such thing in the world. Thus, the relationship between the spectator and the “Fushu Fushus” is existential, immediate, and therefore, new. Objects make us ask ourselves if we are in front of a meaningful form, or in front of the representation of something.
In this sense, “Fushu Fushus” is sumptuary and ornamental by principle. Form evidently takes us to a first assessment of it with “trees of life” in Metepec, Estado de México, Izúcar de Matamoros and Acatlán. By involving forms stemming from other projects by Rangel himself, as well as modellings of other sculptures, the procedure resembles that of the “trees of life” during the early colonial period, employed to teach the history of creation from a religious perspective.
The power of these pieces’ form coincide in the bridges developed by Rangel between tradition and modernity: the traditional, modern, cult, popular and massive nature of the pieces articulate and justify the thoughtful task, materially speaking, the author has made in relation to the tension created by culture, power, market logics and symbolic production, and its democratization by the massive media.
Another relevant and maybe less illustrative aspect of Emilio Rangel’s work is that these pieces are a product of mixing; and I’m not talking about material, but of a way of working with forms already employed by the artist. Maybe the most important thing about this type of work from Rangel is that the phenomenon it creates is not multi-cultural, since imitation, inspiration and the remake of an employed strategy means a gradual growth in the recognition of the “multicolonial”. Something can be forged or plagiarized only if it has demand and is needed, and Emilio Rangel is doing it with himself.
Víctor G. Noxpango