How do we appropriate language? When we realize we are forever babbling things already said in a simpler, more generous, and more intelligent way, it is nobler and more sincere to start over again, to turn back and reconnect our emotional ties, our affections and limitations,to those protean and essential images that shaped our first speech rhythms, our first diphthongs, our first commas and periods.
A few years ago, in a remarkably transparent exercise, Daniel Guzmán, in collaboration with Luis Felipe Ortega, realized a series of representations for the cyclops, producing and imagining those Platonic references of things seen perhaps only in magazines and catalogues, a little in the manner of the painting schools of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, when an apprentice would recreate the work of a master as faithfully as possibly, seeking to imitate the slightest gestures and even raising doubts about the authorship of the result.
In the group of visual essays called Remake, Guzmán and Ortega appropriated works by Bruce Nauman and Nam June Paik, to mention only the most emblematic names, but with minimal resources. Without money, sponsorship, blessings, or external support, they embraced the history of art as something simple and near: one of them transformed himself into a fountain, while the other dragged his head along the floor, tracing a line that was also the interpretation of another artist’s score, in free, light, blissfully arbitrary fashion.
Every invention –so they say– becomes a convention, confirming that information belongs to all and that no way is better than another. By converging on the common site, the paradigm, the established pattern, the heritage of all, we reaffirm our individuality, the possibility of our making from the stereotype something that never existed before, something that levitates and amazes itself, like a scarecrow in front of a mirror. To migrate is a human right.
We are calling on all of you who wish to make it yours, with a minimal movement, a knowing glance, a closer look at what seems to be familiar, your own: the beloved work of art, the one that made you want to be an artist, that changed your life, that keeps on energizing, surprising, challenging you. Make it yours, transform it piece by piece, kill it because you love it, fornicate with it, make it yours until it whispers, panting, in your ear ‘I want more.’ Or don’t.
The Museo de Arte de Zapopan will accept your appropriation as part of a collective showing in which your own submission is to be exhibited alongside those of other daring creators capable of dialoguing like pillars of salt who prefer to observe the disaster of which they are a part before uncorking the bottle of fear. On this path there is no margin of error, so long as you accept the challenge of producing your interpretation with a minimum of resources, in record time, and without the option of doing things ass-backwards or of backing out at the last moment.