Curated by Marta Mestre
Centro Internacional das Artes José de Guimarães, Guimarães
16th April – 5th September, 2021

Pasado by Rodrigo Hernandez is part of the artistic program “On the edges of fiction” at Centro Internacional das Artes José de Guimarães (Guimarães/ Portugal), curated by Marta Mestre. Hernández’s sculptures are presented in dialogue with the permanent collection of Pre-Columbian Art.

“What is the past and how do we feel it? An incomplete construction? An intimate or collective experience? What fictions and truths are contained in the past? Without answering these questions but suggesting that the meanings are linked to the answers, Rodrigo Hernández addresses the past in his mother tongue – Mexican Spanish. Beyond linear time, Pasado (Past) is an elegy, a melancholy and intimate poetry inspired by the museum’s pre-Columbian collection. The “undisciplined” montage of objects, artefacts and works of art evokes the surrealist universe, and also the colonial-modern project in the Americas. Far from European transparent and universal reason, under the tropical sun, we allude to the world of linguistic ambiguities that underpinned a forced integration of different world systems. Signifiers and signified that drift, in dispute. 

In a domino effect, the objects refer to one another. A pre-Colombian sculpture makes it possible to imagine a nexus with a papier maché mask made by the artist. An iron sculpture, also made by Hernández, evokes a dinosaur’s skeleton. José de Guimarães’ African Alphabet inspires the shapes of a three-dimension- al installation. They are gestures that go beyond the limits of historical fantasy, to become artistic fantasy.”

Text by curator Marta Mestre