Homo sapiens, the thinking monkey, with the ability to apprehend the sustenance of good and evil since its arrival in the clan. Already on the first day of the Creation, according to Genesis, God defined the existence of good and evil. At the origin of our consciousness there are unique mechanisms of evaluation that oblige us and impose the series of arbitrary definitions and rules on which we base our identity. To be conscious, from the beginning, implies to be under the domain of the tacit laws of the collectivity to which we belong.
Our thought develops in the world of language, dichotomous from its genesis. It is governed by the fictitious struggle between good and evil, light and dark, antagonistic. By binary conceptions and associations loaded with prejudice and archaic projections that are part of our roots and ancestral structure. There are comfort zones and zones of fear.
Some areas are usually associated with danger and at the same time exercise great fascination. The jungle, a world so powerful, loaded with all kinds of archetypes and connections, inhabited by countless beings in permanent interaction, has always been feared and treated with respect. It contains as much life as death. It is much more what it hides than what it shows. The symbols it generates, though universal, can also be cryptic and elusive. The forest forms the most extensive and complex network of relationships, woven over an infinite variety of biological and symbolic possibilities.
Since I was a child I have suffered from dendrolatry (love for the forest) and in the last few weeks I have been fortunate to counteract the effects of the quarantine by Covid-19 by intruding into the jungles of Samambaya, whose tropical forest, 20 minutes away from my house, is a relic of what the high forests of Caracas used to be. An Eden.
In it I portrayed plants that draw the scenery and play the leading role in the drama. By isolating them completely in an image, they become a representation of themselves. They become an icon, an ideogram from an alphabet. But, just as much as the symbols they embody, I am interested in the ideas they generate by relating to each other. How they redefine themselves to build in concert with the other. I am interested in the tension of the dichotomy. Each pair of images brings a personal, ephemeral and archaic message. Different symbols are conjugated to invoke an appreciation that can range from complementarity and affinity to antagonism and contradiction. Our personal arsenal determines the complexity and orientation of our perceptions and interpretations.
The diptychs in this series are based on intuitive relationships. Each individual image´s usefulness lies in its conjugation with another to construct meaning. These duos are brief visual poems, concerns, celebrations or disjunctions. The dance or the confrontation of archetypes with the same root even though their directions may seem antagonistic.
There is probably no other library like nature. And it is in the tropical forest where the quantity, diversity and beauty of symbols and relationships constitute an inexhaustible well of images for the thirst of our spirit. We are ancestrally interwoven with the utopian idea of a Lost Paradise, incarnated in a forest full of inexhaustible resources, in which millions of actors perform their prodigious work and of which the most subtle contemplation, even through fortuitous dichotomies, reveals prodigies and speaks to us of our interior. And of our hope.
Caracas, September 2020