Between two centuries, Martha's ceramics

What are you up to? My island, the world.

It was the answer that the works of this artist, Martha Jimenez, confessed to me after being chosen for a unique transitory exhibition in their speech and spatial location. In her primitive furnace of firewood, fuel embraced by the author herself, were burned her emblematic pieces, winners of the Unesco and FIART awards. They show the simple everyday life of any Cuban neighborhood, Afro-descendant women of careless aesthetics according to fashion magazines, their bare feet, resolved in their almost nudity, of fleshy breasts peppered with the fat of the freshly served lunch, eating fruit purchased in the nearby market, surrounded by small children who accompany her in the rest of the day's chores.

There are also passionate couples of lovers where chastity imposed rigorously is transgressed with the senses. Then, the aroma of the creole coffee, it communicates to them the hour of the concurrence, the gossip, to expose certain familiar interiorities heard behind talking walls: that son who demands much more than that can be given, the jealous husband, the girl early in love, the young woman who left for the capital ... who knows to do what ... In short, the works Black angels, Chaste Belt, Gossipers and For Sale express the tangible and arduous world of the nineties.

In a more simulated path, the works of the century in which we are living hide behind philosophical positions that flirt with the enigmatic and the universal. The refined aesthetic is part of the message that, with the mixed technique, discover an artist who does not penetrate, but subjugates to their advantage, in her electric oven.

The work Anubis, for example, recreates elements of Egyptian mythology, Martha adapted it to nearby referents. If in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the canine-headed goddess is shown weighing the hearts to determine if they can move to eternity, here she is upright but proud in minimizing male bodies whose hearts were devalued by the balance.

The Fourth Part of the Body, a work that is located with monumental dimensions in the city of Shangai, China, appropriates movements and codes that allow the woman that, despite bandages, emerge, ambitious to jump and put the universe at her feet.

The gender perspective is the platform that unites both centuries, time, experience, the constant tillage has come to behave like sediment rich in humus transpolarized in the ceramics that articulate her island and the world.


By: MsC. Kezia Sabrina Henry Knight
January 2012