Concepcional rather than Conceptual...

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In 1969, Joseph Kosuth established his ideas on Conceptual Art, in which he stated the self-referential nature of Art and its range of strategies for expanding and questioning its own limits. The idea precedes and prevails over the resulting object itself, even substitutes it, in its desire for formal transparency and intellectual drive.

This movement emerged in clear opposition to previous formalism and somehow extends its tentacles into the present. To the point that it refers to a wide range of current artistic practices that are far from being related to the core of its original nomenclature.

The term "conceptual" is used and strained to the point of becoming synonymous with hermetic or incomprehensible; giving a patina of prestige -or prestidigitism- to certain artistic expressions that crowd contents happily rooted in intellectual excellence, but they are often away from the primordial ideology. Today, what does it mean to say that a contemporary artist is a conceptual artist?

The transgression of Conceptual Art in its time has given way to an overdimensioned content in a formality materialized and commercialized in fairs and biennials. The influence and prestige of that which is conceptual is so great that it becomes a legitimizing label. Can a new label break through to remove the confusion?

In the quoted text, Art After Philosophy, the author clarifies very well the state of the question regarding the conception of the conceptual. Moreover, Kosuth uses the word "conception". On the other hand, he does not use the word "concept" but to speak of the concept of art, of what we understand by art, and it is in this aspect that he opens doors. It is this subtle difference between concept and conception that significantly positions a change from unintelligible abstraction to the fertility of colliding ideas.

The expanding polyptych that is "Conceptional rather than Conceptual" notes a split in the language while paying homage to the already mythical work of Joseph Kosuth. The confirmation of the three realities for the same concept in Kosuth's One and three chairs leaves evidence of the formal representations of the same object, together with its image and its suitably defined word.

Concepcional rather than Conceptual. Dibujo a grafito. 100 x 66 cm. 2016.

On the other hand, each of the drawings in the series of "Conceptional rather than Conceptual", proposes a new word or a new definition, not currently included in the dictionary. Words that, over time, have appeared in the everyday life of the studio and come to designate new ideas, adjusted concepts, diverse connotations, which need to be mentioned separately: <nubledad, doledad, cumulolimbo>, etc. Language is alive and malleable, even in the outline project of defining new meanings. This customized dictionary, ventures in turn a possible definition, starting from the academic language used in the Dictionary of the Spanish Language; inserts the word in its corresponding alphabetical position within the page; projects its accurate place within a closed structure, completing the idea of verisimilitude.

The contraindication begins by warning that this work is based on a formality, since a meticulous drawing of the letters with graphite is perceived. The conceptual is, again, confronted with the formal, the physical and the aesthetic. Can the formalism present here be conceptual? So the work not only projects this question towards the present, it also augurs a hypothesis towards the future: the flexibility and malleability of language that adapts to new uses, speakers and needs. Can a word that has been devised out of individual necessity be spread to its common and generalised use?

The great triumph of the conceptual is, without a doubt, the entry of philosophical experience into the realm of the visual. Even its replacement. That is why the title of Kosuth's essay was precisely this: Art After Philosophy. The exact premonition of the drift in art.