The woman without neighbor

An angel: the woman of the neighbor
A devil: the own woman
Portuguese proverb.

The woman belongs to nobody. The woman "is" without any restrictions, and right there lies its charm. There are no human limits for the last being who touched The Divine: women overcome them, give birth, have children, raise them with that eldest son called husband, boyfriend, companion, or raise them alone with absence, make them adults, sees them depart, works for their family, carries with the secular weight of the responsibility of woman, being social being and mother, closes the eyes of its companion and continues to live. The woman "is a tremendous animal".

And in her pictorial speech, for the occasion, with a focus on the serigraphic engraving, although some dry tip is there, Doña Martha presents a new Eve. A midwife who does not cease to personify the Cuban woman in the mixture of features, combined with signs of mulatto, ternary mestizaje: white, indian and black; but this time it is a more slender female, with a long neck as a sign of elegance and more profiled features. But it is not only in their appearance that the change is centered. The most important thing is carried inside and projected outwards like the incandescent light of a lighthouse that guides and warns.

Martha's work: her women, living in a world full of symbols and metaphors, reading them can understand the complicated nature of a being that man prefers to love or own, since he can not understand or calculate.

I start at the head. Sometimes they hang from it, in a thread, the bait baited with the responsibilities of a rooted household, debts that never fail, but always remain. It always balances with another pendulum that holds the open roads as solution and alternative that weighs as much as the opposite one in the other hook. Other times there are boats on the head, as symbols of evasion, trying to escape the responsibilities and crosses in which the "neighbor" has always crucified her. From their ears, like earrings, they also hang little men, minstrels who clown and have fun, taking advantage of the woman's support. Whole houses, cities above her head or the other choice, her head incomplete, her profile unfinished, her head empty, free from everything, even his own nature; a disintegrating body ...

Now I describe the body and what the body does. A woman carries tigers on her head and stripes on her body: she is a woman ready to defend her independence, her calling as a purring cat, but able to hunt to feed herself: "That dangerous and beautiful cat," as Nietzsche said. Another female deals with the winged and bipedal fish that pass through her body, like phallic symbols, fertility and abundance. Some more support, like Atlas, a huge aquatic animal, like a sublimated monster, plagued by tiny descendants, and still admits a twisted comet, like a fun and an apple inhabited by a minstrel, in the background. The ship restates its symbolism according to its location and its formal correspondence with the female's body. A boat between the legs alludes to sexual pleasure, to the entrance or departure in a metaphorical "bay" and to its transit by "the waters that bathe it".

In another picture appears the self-sufficient woman who dispenses the man for her sexual games. The woman as lover of herself, with the body assailed by an open roads or scribble, as a reiteration of her priorities or as a symbol of facilities in her path, as a decision to remove any obstacles that may limit her and leave behind her life plagued with responsibilities, her outdated sewing machine, because she refuses to remain a machine that is understood with other machines, because she renounces to remain one more pillar of a house that has incorporated her to its own body of lime and song, as part of its architecture, as a functional and / or decorative element.

But this new Eve has attributes of help in her new adventures: the mask not only hides identity, but also allows the license to act without responsibilities, without fears, and to project the hidden in their ambitions because they always have the support of the shadow, the anonymity. The red heels are a symbol of lust and opulence that come from the scandalous court of Byzantium, and were the apotheosis in the court of Le Roi Soleil. And yet another attribute is missing: the mystic. The holy lady, the hybrid sanctity of a Virgin of Charity who renounces the flesh of her fish, and of a Santa Barbara who decides to change the sword by the open roads. The profile of the woman without neighbor is already complete.

Finally, the farewell of a flirtatious and happy female, like a continent with its problems solved, that lets the wings grow and begins to walk, with its enormous fish under the arm. And she wobbles ...

By: Pavel Alejandro Barrios Sosa
Curator and art critic.
October 2003