The Exercise of Suspicion, 1996
Site-specific installation art with sculptural and found objects and collages
Assemblage Instalación of dimensiones variables / 55 x 75 cm. cada collage.
Shown as a personal exhibition at the Gallery L (university extension direction), Havana.
It consists of three books made of papier mâché with personal documents and philosophy texts, tied to an old wooden chair placed right in the center of the room and a series of 12 collages hung on the 4 surrounding walls. A Bible, an old Encyclopedia and Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce were used as book molds. Some of the collages are shown here.
Syndrome of the Suspicion: Doubt and Relativism
The exasperated -and to some extent understandable- rejection to the scientistic absolutism of the Western rationalist tradition and its excesses, has become, among contemporaries, a philosophical transvestism whose doxa, circumstantial, untenable and contradictory, reduces the praxis of thinking to a mere narration.The tendency to subjectify in a superlative degree has been installed in society and has become an imperative of hyper-gnostic cultural relativism that pushes us to renounce the capacity to disagree by virtue of a radical skepticism. Thus, doubt and critical thinking (uncertainty as the starting point of the cognitive process) have become, then, a thought of eternal doubt (a plot behind the plot)… a paranoid syndrome of the suspicion.
Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz (Art critic, curator and historian. Stanford University, USA) wrote for the catalog of this exhibition:
“(…) The doubt in Ernesto Benítez’s work presents the extension of the artistic space in relation to the specific mechanisms of exclusion and respect of the discourse instrumented from the constant suspicion of the exercise of knowledge. (…)“. Consult the full text here.