Muu Blanco: NCTx13 Sample, Photographs & Music. ArtMedia Gallery, Miami

Muu Blanco’s strategy consists of selecting images by Gasparini and placing on them elements that make reference to Blanco’s daily life.

By Dennys Matos
Muu Blanco. NCT-M, from the series NCT x 13 Samples, 2015. Intervention on Paolo Gasparini’s book Retromundo [Retroworld], 1986

Critique of representation as poetic strategy has always been a pillar of postmodern aesthetics. The satirical appropriation of fragments of works from the history of art past and present in an attempt to re-formulate their meaning, then, is the most common Trojan horse deployed to blow up the aesthetic categories of modernism. The contents and conceptual limits of categories like the author, the original, and the work of art have been eroded to make way for a slippery relativism in artistic discourses.

The exhibition NCTx13 Sample of work by Muu Blanco (Caracas, 1966) is a clear example of the activation of those mechanisms of postmodern poetics. In putting together this exhibition, Blanco looked to the book Retromundo [Retroworld] published in Caracas in 1986—a kind of photographic essay on contemporary society and culture by Paolo Gasparini. The socio-cultural comments Gasparini articulates in his photographs help Blanco to reflect on the status of the image and its symbolic complexity as support of communication in contemporary culture.

Muu Blanco’s strategy consists of selecting images by Gasparini and placing on them elements that make reference to Blanco’s daily life. The pills of different colors that Blanco takes every day are placed on Gasparini´s black-and-white images, which are then re-photographed. In the resulting image, the black and white of Gasparini’s original photographs contrasts with the colors of the pills Blanco has put in the “new” photograph. A timeless image where contrasting visual elements reformulate the discourse of the original.

Poverty as an asset of violence in children and youth, the totalitarian aspects of the capitalist state, and mass consumerism are some of the topics of Gasparini’s photographs that are shaken up by Blanco’s interventions to form a sort of puzzle, a map of intersecting narratives that act like motley metaphors of today’s culture and society.