Look of anthropologist
"... I live to enclose objects in a system of expression; we must unite them to nature, to the life of man" Georges Henri Rivière.
Like an anthropologist who is torn between culture and the very origins of man, Martha Jimenez, sculptress, ceramist, painter, woman of town; rummages in the testimonies of contemporary knowledge, for that reason, deepens and studies the gestures, the small customs and traditions, to stop them in pieces that polemize between the cultural and the humoristic.
They call attention, many of the pieces that perfectly carry a message that can be decoded by the most quotidian of the public; however, they do not cease to keep within themselves some subtlety that reaches the recognized high culture, and Martha, knows how to combine the popular with the so-called culture more erudite.
Within the creation of the artist, there are things that should not be ignored and it is precisely the march with the context in which the work is carried out, being attentive to the environment, to what happens in the street, in a corner, in a neighborhood, everyday life that transform it and ratify its anthropologist's perspective, always looking at the ethnicity, not from a racist point of view as perhaps could be understood, but as marginality.
For Martha, the cultural peripheries are of vital importance, that is why a mulatta can appear with a lamp, with a candleholder, a candle or other means but always voluptuous, full of flesh, with maternal and nourishing breasts, also immersed in those worlds of adventure and misfortune, to speak of the problem related with all of Cuban society at the present time.
With singular use of the imitative texture in some of the works, the yagua is simulated that comes to be united to the mud, in a discourse of identity, from dissimilar edges. Women and men live together in the same space and achieve practices that the artist, with an acute position reaffirms, and teaches us their point of view when assuming Cubanity.
It is in this way that the creative warns us of the plurality of her messages, in which she urges us to leave a clear position before our own, the inherited and the everyday. She also emphasizes the vision of the other.
In the pieces that she preferred to call "Ours is ours, I carry it inside", causes a kind of complexity with the receivers, because the work speaks for itself.
It is also often to combine these women, who are usually immersed in domestic work, to provide products that are necessary to support the family and make life more pleasant at home, with a resource she has called "The fourth part", in a very refined way as had already been approved by the community, bag, jaba or simply that other device that serves to carry and take home, becoming an important means within the poetic of the artist.
Above all, I would say that it is the workmanship, the grace, with which Martha Jimenez makes a composition to tackle two topics so neuralgic that are within society, and at the same time are full of humor.
It comes to my mind and remember, that work of Kcho that is called Plan Jaba, where there was a large bag of yarey, which at the same time is morphologically very associated with the island of Cuba. Both things come in Martha to be solved in a much more ironic way, with a certain sarcasm -although without losing the delicacy- and it is the fact, not to refer to the traditional bag of yarey, the bag that became in emblem by the material with which it has been made for culture, but to that bag that goes shopping or that sometimes must not be missing, right in the stores, where the necessary products are acquired, products of first necessity, to become a slogan of all the production of consumption or of distribution.
Delighting in these two series and integrating them into a reality, is our purpose, if anything we achieve, is history. Thank you Martha on behalf of your people.
Author: Nerido Perez Terry
Specialist of Provincial Museum
Junio de 2005