Mercedes Carbonell and Marina Núñez
Centro Andaluz Contemporáneo.
Oil on canvas
Deep stories of women
By Juan Bosco Díaz-Urmeneta
Diario de Sevilla
21 Diciembre 2001
The Andalusian Contemporary Art Centre presents an exhibition, which represents the trajectory of two fully consolidated artists. Marina Núñez shows a synthesis of her previous work about as close as the most unsettling, and Mercedes Carbonell shows in her work new ways related to her earlier work.
The convergence was not easy. The worlds of Mercedes Carbonell and Marina Núñez are very different but they settle a strong harmony in the Caruja and people want to see them again.
In vertical, a great photograph of a woman on a sheet of glass. She is surprised from the advertising: surprise of what she sees and the strangeness at the threshold that resists it. In horizontal, next to her, there is a light box with a dark female body. On the canvas it is painted the face, the arms and the legs; the rest is part of the computer graphics. If the painted body parts opposed its dense matter, the vibrations of the computer graphics challenge those parts and put us to a hidden energy well.
This work of Marina Núñez is almost a synthesis of her concerns. For her, the closest thing is also the most disconcerting. The sinister is which, being domestic and nearby, contains a threat, said Freud. Isn’t body and desire the most disturbing features of our guests? They encourage the work of Núñez. Perhaps the art scholar recognized in the TV-series Locura multiple references to the pictorial tradition, but what is impressive from her is the simplicity with which she designates the weak border that separates the healthy mind from the sick mind. Their images are those of the gesture and the space of what we call injustice, but are neighbours from the energy of the affection and intelligence that appears in the figures of the science fiction series.
Núñez shows other disconcerting closeness: the consistency, which gives security to the body although it changes itself in thing, cohabits with the agitation that animates it, although it may miss it. Núñez raises the sinister act. She does it with the security that anyone knows or suspects that the other face of mental illness is the sensitivity and the intelligence, and the body is the beauty, the trembling or nothing. These limits create complaints in the work of Marina Núñez. Complain about the silence. The world of male ignores it and silences it.
It is said that Mercedes Carbonell work is autobiographical. I am not sure about that. I think that she uses an old resource, self-portrait, in which the painter finds herself with another. The use of the double is fully justified when the problem is the identity. And this is not a matter of Carbonell, but a permanent question of our irrational civilization. She asks herself this question with the women because they don’t believe in social masks in which the male rests complacent.
The question of the identity is already present in Dolly, where pop figuration accentuates the problem in humour and appears strong in the installation of the two artists, who some called Miss Hyde― in which the double of Carbonell image is a digital body of Núñez.
If the expression in María Núñez allows to live with the sinister, Carbonell raises the disconcerting identity thanks to the irony: How this can be admired if it seen every day? Irony break the hypocrisy of the viewer who doesn’t want to hear the hubbub of identities, while invents entertainment industries to not feel alone with itself.
In the recent work of Carbonell, irony goes together with the virtualities of the new techniques of the image. The computer processing and the plastic media are effective to zoom out the image, while the careful pictorial treatment gives depth and density: a small paint which concentrates the irony in the title, Gota Caliente, shows these possibilities. The series entitled Marina Núñez and other three pictures, in which the face vanish in a very elaborated painting, show new points of the pictorial work of Carbonell.