Symbology in Open Roads

If something characterizes the work of Martha Jimenez is precisely that expressive searching, constant, able to open the way to new and daring semiotic discourses, incurring in cultural reinterpretations of unquestionable legitimacy.

Martha knows well that the woman in her traditional representation, carries with her symbols that have typecast her in a passive role before different situations of life. The work that she has done magnificently, Open Roads, constitutes a forceful manifesto against that assertion. From the broad polysemy that it represents, two essential and revealing concepts emerge from all of its creation: the seemingly irreconcilable polarity and the balance before the supposed dichotomy.

To open the way, as Martha understands it, is also the need that we all have to seek and find our center, just center or point of balance in front of mixed feelings, opposing thoughts and divergent behaviors.

To deny the existence of polarities in our daily lives is an act as naive. In a sui generis way, the artist uses the hoops rotating in opposite directions in each hand of the acrobat to symbolically represent the dichotomy, but she does so with the skill and ability of the one who feels safe in a juggling show. Another unprecedented gesture in the ludic representation is the placement on the head of the acrobat of a peculiar symbol, the goat, decontextualized of its varied religious and mythological origins. Martha is interested only in the meaning in relation to the feminine gender and the qualities that it possesses by antonomasia: sacrifice, patience and perseverance. This animal comes to remember the other identity also expressed in that woman who amuses herself in challenging the impossible and managing herself in the limits.

The goat is accompanied by two other elements that qualify its presence: the moon and scribble. Again it returns to the idea of duality, expressed by representative symbols of femininity and masculinity respectively, and the connecting element is the animal itself by carrying the moon in its mouth: sensual, fertile and maternal that poses flirtatiously on the scribble, a symbol from the Yoruba culture to express the concept of opening its way to adversity.

Martha, through this work, demonstrates how her own walk, always "forward and on wheels", in constant movement. The result can not be more impeccable, a composition in perfect harmony of remarkable formal and conceptual balance.



By: Lic. Maydelin Leiva Delgado.
MSc. in Latinoamerican Culture  
Curator, Galerist and Art Critic