A la luz de la sombra, 2013
(in the light of the shade)
Oil on canvas, Satin wood frame, 40” x 60”
Artist: Edward Salcedo
The Museum Label (2014)
Salcedo is, as he describes himself a ‘landscape painter’. His paintings are a romanticised view of the land; they come from a type of documentary/landscape photograph he himself takes with his cellphone; and then he prints in 4x6 photographic paper to use as reference to achive his photorealistic style.
In the ‘Light of the Shades’, first of its series, the artist depicts a terrain in the south of the Dominican Republic. It captures a quotidian moment in the life of a peasant and his grandson; both figures are heading to the plantation that sustain their lives. The boy and the man are subjects meant to start a discourse on the marginalised communities that live in the mountains of San Juan de la Maguana. With this painting salcedo starts exploring issues of society’s ‘Other’ bringing the periphery to the center.
Salcedo said: “Authorities have ignored these communities deprived of education, and the painting wants to brig attention to their exclusion from rights, opportunities and resources"
In 2012 the middle class students and civic groups protested for the lack of funding for education, which brought up the GDP for education from 3.0% to 4.7% in 2013; but until today, most of money has been spend in the construction of buildings instead of training new teachers; which leaves a 13% of illiteracy in the country and more than a million people without the opportunity to a primary education.”
Full HD video
The video is mostly text; compiled from conversations I had every week, over a month, and over Facebook Message with Edward. The text expresses the artist’s frustrations with the dominican art industry, the lack of educational opportunities, and the lack of economical support for artist, while it expose Edward Salcedo as the artist in the periphery and the autor of this piece as the privileged and that who assigns the labels.
The video looks forward to blur the boundaries between the center and the periphery by exposing the artist as been part of both.
The only images in the video/documentary come from videos taken by Salcedo with his blackberry which gives us a low-fi images.
The installation consist of a video, a painting, a museum label, a photograph, and a wood/metal bench.
The museum label and the video speak for Edward in the same way Edward speaks for the peasant.
In the photograph and the painting the subjects are not aware of the camera, which makes them incapable of talking about their condition; giving the artist the opportunity to speak for them. Because their gaze are fixed to the land not society, the artist is the one assigning the ‘marginalised’ label.
The installation wants to question the position of the social marginalized, and the artist’s intentions on a work of art as a mean for social change. Can a work of art help the marginalized recognize himself as such, and transform the one assigning the marginalization; so that the one identified as such can come out of this position?
This installation is part of the private art collection Eduardo Leon Jimenes