EXPOSITION AT BEAUTIFUL DISTRESS
An exhibition by Dodi Espinosa (1985, Mexico), is not for the faint-hearted: Two folded hands are impaled on a long pointed spear, a snake lurks at an eye, in the upper right corner of a fierce-blue tableau a hand raises a chopping axe, and in the work Wonderland balloons appear to float, but on closer inspection they look more like ropes to tie someone up, that have mysteriously begun to float in space.
A pair of scissors inserted into a concrete block is called Walker but cannot move a step. It is inspired by Rodin’s sculpture “L’ homme qui marche” which shows a powerful man with no head and no arms. Espinosa’s chilling version suggests a violent act, transforming its appearance into a genderless and more universal sculpture. There the scissors stand, an exhibition titled Sharp Edges: it’s about all of us.
All these works full of scars and menace are part of a process of healing. According to Espinosa, to heal from old wounds it is necessary to turn inward, to go through the pain and thus slowly let go of that past. Espinosa likes to use the term “Shamanic Surgery” for this process. He believes in the healing power of art, in the shamanic potential of art in healing wounds. This belief forms the foundation for his practice, whereby he uses himself as a test subject or example and then arriving at a universal work. This attitude requires utmost honesty and great courage to enter the depths of darkness and face those things we would actually rather run away from. His art seeks to erase the stigma around those dark things. His art believes in darkness to arrive at light and free life. ‘There is beauty in the darkest moments of life’ says Dodi. Essential to this exhibition is the work El Extasis, based on the hanging man from the tarot. As he dives down he opens his belly. ‘Visualizing what is at the core may seem a very individual point of view, but to me it is really the opposite. The man is trying to understand what we all have in common. That is why I gave it this title El Extasis. To me it is really about trying to establish a connection’.