ROLANDO CASTELLON 

It is impossible, in contemplating the work of Castellon, not to establish an important link with that punctual artist of materical art, a father of 'Fluxus' like Joseph Beuys. His way of working with materials recalls what Matare, Beuys's own teacher once said: 'the object should be like the footprint of a step in sand. I don't want a static art object: I create fetishes'. So, turning to a reflection on the materials used in the work of Castellon, we find ourselves with substances that are not merely instruments, but healing, cathartic, redeeming and provocative protagonists. In his work, the use of particular materials acquires an inherent naturalness: from clay to toilet paper, through fabric, paper, metal, trash. Their actions are translated into the dramatization of archaic rites. Simulations of an extinguished culture.

 

Castellon’s concept is similar to the academic idea of materia as substance. Here there is a clear connection with the idea of transubstantiation, central to Catholic thought, which is found at the root of Latin American education. In his deliberation over materials, he includes almost everything, but mainly those materials that have not been chosen for practical and aesthetic utility, for their beauty or harmony. They are not, in general, ‘artistic’ or comfortable materials, they don’t possess commercial value nor are they even at the outer limits of what we understand to be, and coldly classify as ‘beautiful’ or ‘pure’. Castellon makes it clear that it is in his choosing that the possibilities of the material itself is exalted, in his gesture of touching it and endowing it with new meaning. 

BRANNER SPANGENBERG GALLERY      

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