Edgardo Nelson Rodriguez
By Laura Isola
Entering the world of Edgardo Rodriguez, means having
access to a self sufficient system in terms of aesthetics and sustainment . Because, even tough all we see in the multicolored space of La Casona de Belgrano where functions his ‘’factory’’ of objects, paints and sculptures, it has a past in real life, the artist has twisted the course of deterioration and abandon transforming it into art. Final items of a meticulous model of recycling, those raw materials that have been another thing, often undone and wastes, are captured by Rodriguez that constructs them, illuminates them and makes them subjects of the kingdom of his imagination.
A monarchy that is based on the eyes of his mind and that only tries to dominate the unstoppable army of the sweepings, that no longer serves for the common and current humans but will form a powerful legion when they are submitted to the dictates of his ideas and his concepts.
Also there is something of magic. This form of art requires it because, of course, the kingdom of Edgardo nothing has to do with any form of real government but with that depicted in fairytales. Always there is a king of a dreamed kingdom, that fights invented battles and that has a castle. A king that brings happiness to his people. Like in those fantasies, the place seems inaccessible until the hospitality of its owner is prodigal of enchantments. To pass trough the door is, like it is said, a passage. A way of recognition of the many ways that Edgardo Rodriguez has to conceive its artistic task.
The one and the multiple thing are present in the work of Edgardo Rodriguez. A carved wood piece, a picture made of accounts, papers and springs, machines that seem from a film of Tim Burton, sculptures made of plastic that invite to think about the heterodoxy of his method and the variety of style. Nevertheless, the common denominator is the fortuitous finding or the risky search of the materials. By different that the pieces seem , Rodriguez obtains a coherence that maintains and crosses all his art. The use of materials in disuse, originating mainly
in the discarding or the sweepings, is part of the explanation of that unit, at first sight impossible. All his work has this stamp: what it is thrown away and that comprises the last phase of the capitalist system, the waste, returns to enter, by Rodriguez hand, the circuit of art. But that plot would be insufficient, if it would only operate like front door. The idea of “constructo” contributes to think his work. Behind each one of the pieces, that as we said exhibits its diversity in the representation model, the architect is present. The profession of Edgardo results in the constructive sense that gives to the whole of
his works. The idea of small parts that are united, the compositional form, the devices that he builds and even his pictures show that there is a raise, a structure and a search that imitate architecture as a theoretical and conceptual frame.
It is known that shamans are said to be in a very general way, individuals with the capacity to modify reality or the collective perception of this reality. For that reason their act is so important in some communities, due to their capacity to guess, to cure and to communicate with the spirits. It is not accidental that Edgardo considers them, at the time of his work. Less to use their faculties rather than include them in the repertoire of his work.
To construct and incorporate pieces and to put the series as a title “Chamanes” is a way to complete the universe of his work. The magical presence in these sculptures, that combine characteristics of pre-Hispanic art with urban materials and aesthetic, becomes visible. Creator of a world, inventor of a style, collector and hunter of objects, monarch with an overflowing and manufacturing imagination of
a new perceptive reality are all the instances that are crossed in the works. Because the artist has something of a craftsman in a particular sense. If a craftsman adds an aesthetic component to the value of use of the object, Rodriguez operates when this has been eliminated completely. Their raw materials do not have to be used for anything, exactly, so that they begin to serve for art.
“There are many species of collectors; and in addition, in each of them it operates a profusion of impulses“, Walter Benjamin wrote in “History and collecting: Eduard Fucks” in order to detail the characteristics of this collector-pioneer. Collector of his own work, almost an oxymoron, but in this artist is an unsuspected distance that allows the operation. His heterodoxy, his capacity to re-invent himself in each series, his permanent search in the formal thing and the materials could be some of the conditions that allow that spacing to operate thus on. As much with the architectonic impulse as with the qualifying eagerness, Edgardo obtains a controlled chaos. And it is under that notion that his work has a discussion with an imagination form that has its origin in the XX century but goes beyond that century. On the
one hand, the object found in accordance with the surrealists. On the other, its refuncionalization in the context of some operations near ‘60s. The ecology and the environmental art can be present in his work but in a singular form. Like sparkles, references or appointments. Never like a pamphlet. Far better in the folds, seem to say the plastic sculptures that
he makes with bottles. Because of that way they do not lose its artistic capacity in pos of a pompous denunciation. The double vanguard as gesture and historical frame, when it has already entered the museum and the history of art. In any case, with those derivatives of petroleum that are, somehow, a nature form, he creates a unique and unrepeatable garden of plants and animals. A singular ecosystem in which the problem of the slow degradation of
the plastic is less important than the problem of the imaginative power. Artificial, lasting, ironic and a beautiful paradise. A place which gives desire to remain for ever and to exclaim: “Good, this is huge!“, as Alicia already said in ‘’Through mirror’’. We know by Lewis Carroll that the universe consists of things that can be classified by classes and one of these is the class of impossible things, that exist for our happiness, partly, because some artists believe in them.
Translation: Hernán Taffarelli