Burton & Rondolini
A handful of bewitched books. An animist saga? Would they be part of a library dreamed up by Nadja? That chimerical, inspired and wandering creature that fascinated Breton and whose avatar dedicated a famous novel. As in the work of Mildred Burton, here represented by half a dozen curious volumes, in the book of the French poet there were in a paradigmatic way atavistic discords between dream and wakefulness, reality and fiction, madness and sanity, consciousness and unconsciousness. In these artworks the drawings materialize, «sprout» from the surface that contains them and we see the Cartesian axes collapse. The shapes and contents slide through uncertain coordinates. The two-dimensional illusion becomes 3D to finally retreat into another scene that will definitely corner it at the height and width of the framed sheet.
Burton explored in different ways throughout her life the estrangement of the world, its metamorphosis and its renewal in dreamlike atmospheres, the possibilities of a dislocated universe and the staging of the absurd, the senseless. Its unique and surprising trajectory merits a detailed study still pending. Thinking about a possible dialogue with her virtuous, precious, but also cracked work, with fissures for the irruption of death and the sinister, led me to consider the still lifes of Luciana Rondolini. Wonderful beauty in these contemporary Vanitas. Vanity of an era that worships abundance and image as merchandise.
In Burton’s work we look at random worship, that inconstant, anomalous, irreducibly multiple cause, which interweaves words and things. Mocked, discarded, physical laws, mathematics, we see all order or hierarchy disrupted. The unusual also bursts into Rondolini’s works, but the sorcery is calculated, recurrent, precise and the artist tries to anchor its meaning. The power of this fortuitous encounter, of the rotten fruit and the cotillion diamond would have pleased the group seduced by the disruptive logic of sleep, a devotee of Freud, the student of condensation and displacement.
In these Burton works that owe Magritte so much, the great trickster, the master of mirage and fallacious topography, the enchanted scenes collide in a loop. Rondolini’s drawings, designed for this edition of Explorando la colección, break into the space of the exhibition room. They resist, they too, remain on the other side of the mirror.
With humor and irony Burton and Rondolini use dislocated syntax of beings and things pushed to the margins of the dictionary, the cornices of meaning, gasps of surreal breath that persist in so many contemporary artistic productions. Elusive and scattered remains that sustain the pressing validity of attachment to the emancipatory potential of the imagination. Faced with the overabundance of images conceived according to a market logic, which replicates grimaces and advertising patterns, in the works of Burton and Rondolini the substances and the consistencies were called to mutate, to spill, to dissolve in new configurations and we see leaning out crouched, the death. Burton’s ironic approach, for instance, with the sweetened version of childhood, the age of innocence, and a girl who reminds us of Heidi skinning the little sheep that she would later cook. Rondolini has dedicated a series of works to media personalities of adolescent worship that assume a clownish, absurd, overflowing and empty appearance at the same time. She puts on stage other illusions associated with the aura of the new, and the ephemeral celebrity.
Burton and Rondolini promote the contamination of senses and images, singular deviations, and some of the order of the «chasco», of concealment. They await the precise moment to break the spell, the moment of «disenchantment», only that the pumpkin that resulted from the carriage will no longer be compensated by any prince who runs behind the maiden. End point.
Página 12, Buenos Aires, October 30, 2018.