JAIME MIRANDA
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revisar: 14minutos, 35 segundos

 

 

 

 

 

Darśan y Cargo Cult, Jaime Miranda Bambarén / Gustavo Buntinx / Proyecto CasaMario (Montevideo) from Jaime Miranda on Vimeo.

 

 

They are like dollar bills on prostitutes stalkings

- That’s how the recording started, very nice, isn’t it precious?

Foot notes on books are like dollar bills on prostitutes stalkings.

It sometimes demands moving past art. We begin by speaking of a certain circumstance, an experience, a very specific spiritual exercise, which traces can be found inside the Pacha Kutiq book that we presented initially.

Then, as the house demanded, we went on with the exhausting reading of “The Fifteen Reactionary Thesis On The Dawn of The Human Condition” that has “Memento Mori” as its main and nowadays almost liturgic title.

The last display was essentially theoretic.

 

Today we are actually going to work on certain some processes that spin around not a specific set of ideas, but around the zeitgeist that I’m here trying to join together into different categories.

I’m speaking of certain initiatives by a specific artist named Jaime Miranda, who is continuously outraging art itself. Trying to turn art of fleeing into an artistic outlet itself. A constant vindication of delusion that is both controlled and voluntary, as he chooses to believe.

 

The presentation I’ll be making is named after a combination of both the names of the two shows we held for Jaime Miranda and that I curated for Micromuseum. Darsan and Cargo Cult are foreign language terms that would be explained some other time. And since one must always have an epigraph, or I beg you pardon, a subtitle first, like “Art expirations, glimpses of the aura”. And a very well known epigraph, one of the most paradigmatic definitions of the aura by Walter Benjamin.

 

 

“While at rest on a summer’s noon, to trace a range of mountain on the horizon, or a branch that throws its shadow on the observer, until the moment or the hour become part of their appearance – this is what it means to breathe the aura of those mountains, that branch. ” Walter Benjamin (1931)

 

Two

 

That branch has fallen, both literal and figuratively. The deforestation of earth is so as well it of our personal and collective soul.

Liminal times, or even terminal for the human condition. Martin Heidegger and Walter Benjamin, strangely joint by the complementary opposition of their premonitions: the darkening of the world and the crushing of the aura.  The eternal aura, which is named and only completely revealed in its modern agony. Which with its lasts flares holds a fight to death with death itself. But have no disregard for the auras posthumous flares of light, with its epiphanic ulterior, posterior, superstitious and resurrected manifestations.

 

Three

 

Once resurrected, art grows apart from art itself. It's another kind of art, one that reflects off systemic art so it can get itself together in nowadays primal beauty utopia. Meaning, its inner beauty. An analogy can be made between Benjamin’s modern idea of Aura, and the hindu outside of time concept of Darsan. Between the esoteric Sanskrit denomination given to the glimpse of divinity. Darsan, on one side. And on the other the, and I quote “unrepeatable appearing of remoteness regardless of how close it would be” . It's an interview on the jewish philosopher’s speculations. It's in the, quote “very special link between space and time” end quote. In which Benjamin imagines the cultural transubstantiation of what is sacred from the intermittent breathing of the Earth, with a capital E. From his fugitive experience, with nature as a metaphor for art. A certain kind of visionary and disturbed art.

 

 

Four

 

Breathing, inhaling and exhaling. Art is also reborn within arts agony, within its fights till death with death itself, as I have been saying. Furtive and hallucinogenic were these fights. Like the “desperate recollection of bones hidden in the woods”. I quote. These allows Jaime Miranda Bambarén to exhume the roots of mutilated trees both from city and country in order to transform those fields of death into sacred and traditional images. The disperse human spirituality tries to condensate itself in this syncretic tree cuttings. Some of them returning to nature. And also the ovular spilling of the cracked wood into spheres, into planets, into seeds. Virgin Mary’s menstrual blood, or the testicles of Christ. The cosmic beads of a rosary that breaks apart and reintegrates itself in front of a church. Or in the disturbed landscape of the sea clashing with the port. Or in the contrast with the most mundane forms of architecture. Or on the vulgar and saddened concrete that in an expo called Darsan, these seeds break attempting to find land.

 

 

 

Five

 

 

Like a crying chant. Like the great rootless tree that the artist rises over the undercut emptiness, where the names of the towns from where the new inhabitants of this toxic city are written.

Men and women who were expelled from the now empty fields of their ancestors by our incivil war.

 

An eccentric monument that was risen with love and through a public concourse in the midst of three Lima districts that have been transformed by the foreign and displaced people who inhabit them. A memorial that was destroyed intentionally and in the darkness of night by a dark political agenda. Also by the consumerist logic of the capitalist revolution that puts whatever its on its path under the amnesic mandates of new prosperity. In a very symptomatic gesture, the once memory evoking monument has now been replaced by a light post that lights the entrance of a very modern shopping mall built in what once was a slump neighborhood. But it’s remains linger. They have now been recovered by Micromuseum for a new existence. Factual and documented remains. The heart touching pedestal with a broken plaque that gives the ideals of artistic libido turned into earth healing, their name. From the world. Of nature and culture. This shot expresses the effect that these gigantic roots, elevated to show the guts of the inhabitants displaced from the andes by this incivil war. It’s interesting how it gives aura vibe aspect to the far away, interrupted image of how the mountains turn into slump neighborhoods through these processes of forced migration.

 

 

 

Six

 

 

Jaime Miranda’s art is found on that link. “Conectores” (connectors) is the title of one of his most intense pieces. They are always spinning around integration, the miscegenation of both industrial and organic materials.

Natura and technos. Techno nature is what the artist calls them. The disturbed totemization of our times cyborg corporality. This is a link but also a fracture. Jaime Miranda’s art resides in that tension as well as in the fantasy of a new existence. Re articulated. A religious craving. Once again, as we said in prior meetings, the most etymologic interpretation of the expression “Religare” to re join what once was. Such is a religious craving but political nonetheless. Pay attention to the altar that was specially built for the relics of the blessed ones martyrized  by the fundamentalist rage of the Shinning Path in the Ancash villages. This is the area where the Salesians generated the art workshops we’ve discussed before. There have been many murdered priests and volunteers in that area. Many of those killings are because of regular crime incidents, but they are mainly because of the redeeming cravings of humanity as it longs for a new society achieved by the practice of cruelty.

Thanatos takes over Eros and destroys everything. And the Eros responds memorizing that fury. I’ve made a memory of the victims of that fury through such impressive relics as the rock that carries the bloodstain from the priest who was murdered by a maoist fanatic. What we see now is part of the intervention done by the nuns in charge of the homage. Jaime Miranda’s altar doesn’t have a properly artistic or sculptural photograph. The closest thing to that would be this recording of the pieces installation in the church and the final result.

 

Pay attention to how a kind of art that seems so unhinged from the politicized hegemony of what one is supposed to do in the art world nonetheless appears to be deeply compromised. It carries the most tense of political processes. Also pay attention to the multiple suggestions of pieces like The Pillars of the Empire. The totemic transformation of the remaining piles in the abandoned imperial docks in east London.

Jaime Miranda went to school in that city which was once the capital city of capitalism, and who’s tides strangely take us back and forth from a different manifestations of paganism that have been dislocated by the uneven, combined and anachronistic comercial globalization.

 

 

As well as in the art world, that has literally fetichiced the merchandise. The static objectifying of an own magical power that feeds from remains of a foreign and established power. An anthropophagy that heals. Jaime Miranda goes through the abandoned docks on the shores of the Thames and when the tide is low he leaves a lively print by an elemental carving of the wood. Some may even call it essential, and it will later be modified by nature when the tides rise and art articulates itself with the process of nature in order to achieve an ambivalent and nonetheless intense historical commentary.

It's capitalism and globalization’s history. As we all know, it was from the ports of England where the first capitalist global articulation emerges. And these are some of the dock’s pillars that the artist claims to have recuperated in order to return them to our land and transform them into empowered objects. It’s an appropriation of a foreign power through a totem like strategy of an alternative artistic intensity. There is a certain Cargo Cult, a cult to cargo within contemporary art. I’ll say more on this in a few minutes. A kind of art whose negatives appear to be on these poles that stand there like gods, like idols, like rotten phalluses. It could also be called “Driftwood”. A woodman drifting in the shipwreck of the human condition. But also pay attention to a presence in the threshold of this first Darsan expo. There is a carving of the immaculate pregnancy of the virgin Mary. Maria Gravida, Virgo Gestans. The virgin of the O, the virgin of hope. Against any trace of the ominous elements of these soulless and godless times. It might be true that destiny is written, but maybe God or Gaia are about to roll the dice on the universe.

 

 

Seven

 

Coda.

 

Might the most decisive image be the most infamous one. A mild 35mm slide image in which the artist captures his fragmented and enlightened image of Africa. An image of the Original land, with a capital O, from the thickness of the still British rock of Gibraltar. A ghost seen from the uterus threshold. Glimpses of the Aura, Darsan. What I want to do now is move onto the second expo done by Jaime Miranda Bambaren with Micromuseum, called Cargo Cult. But first I’d like to play a video that shows a virtual review of the very diverse, and some may say antagonistic sections from the show. May we please play it?

The first show took place in a well known and stablished art gallery in the very distinctive district of Miraflores. A mesocratic district where most of the artistic shows take place. The second show, and this is important to mention, takes over an abandoned building in the port of Callao. Lima city is several kilometers away from the ocean, but it has a very close relationship with it and it also has a lot of sea commerce through its main port, which is only 10 km away and is called El Callao. The port knew had its best years all the way back since Peru was a Spanish colony, but when the country was hit by an almost terminal crisis in the 80s and 90s it got deeply deteriorated. Two or three years ago, through some initiatives that would be too complex to explain, some old areas began to be reconditioned for social interaction and others were conditioned for artistic activities. That allowed us, for a short period of time, to make eccentric, or some may say extravagant use of the old Peru and London Bank building. This was one of the financial institutions that was responsible for the first strictly modern interconnection of the local economy with the 1920’s global capitalism. The Peru and London bank left a decisive footprint in such process, even though it collapsed in the great recession of 1930. It eventually went bankrupt, the building was transferred to new owners and it was finally abandoned and left with the foreseeable damages. But it nonetheless kept the distinctive traces of a wannabe templar architecture. There’s an amazing column that one could relate to great temple of Knossos. It is not true, in the mediterranean world, and in a world that speaks of the mimicking between great financial capitals and a certain instrumental vision of the classic and neoclassical ideals. It was within that context that, along with Jaime Miranda, we embarked in an artistic/curatorial initiative. An unusual artistic/curatorial operation through which we would create an art show from within the space where it would be held and from the the incitations that would emerge from it through a process of some months. We sailed from the idea of expanding the late effect of the Darsan show that had ended several months before. We wanted it to be a reflection of these and for it to multiply from the multiple reverberations of this temple that was once dedicated to finances and is now dedicated to the muses. In a museum, in the most strict sense of the word. That idea departs from the moving of a series of elements that were not mainly pieces of art, but compilations that come from a desiderative drifting, from the eagerness to collect that pushes the artists creative eros. It is through the spilling of these elements into such a special place that we achieve a strategy of free association. Let's call it that. We ended up creating a myth.

A postmodern and radical myth. The myth of Benigno Ramos. A forgotten jungle shaman that in order to preserve what little nature is left, fights against the dark organizations behind the illegal wood trafficking. And he finds a small plane that crashed on the Tigre river shores. In the thickest part of the Peruvian amazon. He transformed the remains of that war machine. It was an army hydroplane, and it was transformed into objects of intrinsic power that seek the reclaiming of the endangered jungle. This, that we call the Benigno Ramos method, multiplies all through the whole show, but not only across the space but across time as well. We began by taking as much time as we needed to achieve the envisioned installation. And I say that because there was no previous conceptual plan. There was only a libidinal drifting that ended with the composing of the collection you are about to see. The main piece was precisely the magical levitation of the ruined and fallen plane’s debris. Around that we began to reformulate the lethal powers of the other military industry remains and turning them into objects of worship, healing and recovering. This is the best use of the expression, right? This was a spiritual machine that works with the remains of military mechanics.

Taking advantage of such special characteristics, such adequate ones, once again, of a finances temple that we turned back into a spiritual temple going back to the original sense of architecture in its most basic ideals. New delusions would emerge from there.

Because of the previously mentioned special circumstances, in order to fully recuperate these buildings in a cultural way and activate the abandoned buildings, we took as long as it was necessary.

We appealed to that sense of pause, of slowness, of delaying, as I said yesterday, right? I was even using a provoking phrase. “The revolution will come in pauses”. Well we made that true through preparing Cargo Cult’s expo. It took weeks because almost none of the pieces got there in its final stage. Through the process of making the exhibition, everything, or almost everything, is formulated as more than a piece, I would say more as a liturgic instrument. Such process actually, is not even done by the shows opening.  Because of a series of circumstances, that are also political, as we can see, the exhibition remains strong and relevant. It spins, changes and mutates. It even grows.  At a certain point we decided to go through a wall, to expand… well, not to expand, but to provide a flow for the energy unleashed from what was already put together on the other rooms. I’ll get there, now, in this first video we’ll make a tour through the whole exhibition. Then I’ll elaborate some more. And finally I’ll finish with a replication of the most delirious and deranged moment of the experience. Yesterday I promised I was only going to speak for half an hour, I lied. Nonetheless this is going to be the shortest of the four provocations programmed for this week. It’ll not last long. Let’s continue. Let’s move on to the video. Pay attention to… well, I’ll better say when the moment comes. There are the seeds that have been brought to the front of the main church in Callao. These are the pillars that the artist claims have been recuperated from the London docks. This is the levitating plane. This is a glorious moment in which through the penetrated body, bursting out of the fuselage, we can see the machine gun turned into cross. On the second room, that also has a column, not a neoclassical one but a brutalist. And here, like a meteor fallen from the sky, a three ton set of tree roots subtly accompanied by a set of remains of war technology treated under the Benigno Ramos principle. These are explosive boxes used by the Peruvian army. These are the remains of a machine gun of which I’ll speak of in a bit. And this is the cavern, which we creating by blowing away the walls once the exhibition was already open. Some videos will be projected, and there will also be some inscriptions of which I’ll say something about. These a re some of the ironwork of the London docks. Tolstoy is our ancestor. That’s one of the two decisive mottos written inside the cavern. These are Jaime’s amazing connectors. And this is the final image, decisive as well. Real Felipe is the name of the colonial fortress that stands across the street from the Bank of Perú and London’s building. Our motto. What I have to say in regard to this is very short, though later I’ll elaborate some more, and I has it’s own epigraph. “The madness has to find somewhere to run wild”. Do you use that word? Not much I guess. It’s a phrase by the significant and eccentric contemporary English poet. He’s from wales, so British actually. Iain Sinclair. And that’s one of the mottos that appear painted on the cavern. Cargo Cult. The gathering of modern elements through magic, that’s one of the generic explanations of that usually describe Cargo Cult. Coming from the English speaking culture. A cult to cargo.  Religious practices related to the dazzling of certain oceanic cultures with artifacts, preserved foods and industrial goods seen as a treasure when they got to the islands of the Pacific along with the colonizers, armies and missionaries. Like gales, bursts and bombings. Sometimes in a way to literal manner. The temporary militarization of the oceans during the so called world wars moved, within the islanders, the need for ephemeral, misunderstood and craved upon abundance. The sailing hysteria of the erratic globalization. And the woodmen drifting from the occidental shipwrecks. A loot, almost, evoked, summoned through archaic yet modernizing shamanism. Primitive gestures that seek to precipitate that what is new, industrial, synthetic, transformed into a totem. Transformed into a fascinating and lethal totem. Like the automatic writing of a machine gun transfigured into a cross by Jaime Miranda.  Or maybe recuperated as the platonic shadow of our demons. What you see is the painted projection on the wall of the shadow of the machine-gun, who’s instrumental shot has gotten lost and now only exists at its base as a piece of junk.  This is the totem and also taboo of the there recombined findings of Jaime Miranda Bambaren in a maybe too much of a perfect allegory of our borderline existence. Avid of consuming what is violence. A way to exact allegory of what power, cultural narcolepsy, hedonist capitalism and communism spells have done with our bodies and souls. From our social life, and the social life of our images. Of everything, almost everything, of what we used to call art.

The usage if the ritual for merchandise fetichism. This is the cult of cargo. A fetichism of the merchandise that has been nonetheless redeemed. And this is maybe the decisive image. It's a fragment of some military use air force artifact from a country fundamentally equipped by the Soviet Union.  And the finding of this print, of this lost memory, of the ideologic belligerent junk that we had put together in the Perú and London Bank. Acted as an epiphanic moment. It acted as a Memento Mori for the symbolic fascinations of what is ideological and turns religious. This element, as well as the others, was also hanging, levitating in such a way that the essential effect was caused through the projection of the shadow made by the strategic lighting over each one of the suspended objects.  And it is in that suspensions of time that acts upon space like does the actual plane that ignites the project. It also suspends the fight between Thanatos and Eros in art’s struggle to once again become political but through poetry. It is from that struggle the delirium emerges. Voluntary and controlled, but at the same time free from the restrictions of all the pragmatism imposed into today’s art world. A sort of delirium that takes us to see the vindication of an eccentric situation in which Jaime Miranda Bambaren, along with Erasmo Wong, another artist who was also studying arts in London, found in an abandoned London sewer, what they wanted to interpret as a cryptic subtext in the physical geography of the heart of the London empire. Abandoned but set in the magnetic center where all of the energies of this great metropolis convey. It’s a big sewer one can access from the Thames river shores when the tides are low. Only during the low tide hours actually. And it's in front of the Tate Modern, contemporary’s art capital. I’m sorry, it’s under the Tate Modern, in the capital of contemporary art and very close to the City, the center of financial capitalism, the redundancy is necessary. And under Saint Paul’s Cathedral which obviously is the architectonic soul of England’s institutional religion. Those submerged but subterranean axis. It's a bordering zone where the oceanic and the telluric mix. Jaime Miranda and Erasmo Wong chose to fund a new cult and to colonize that space painting delirious mottos on its walls using the blood of beasts.

These closely follow the admonition from the epigraph we showed in the beginning of this presentation. “The madness has to find somewhere to run wild”. Miranda and Wong not only found a place for the anarchic, delirious and free madness to spill, but also for that delirium to be organized and the claim that sewer is the Caverna Vera. (The true cave).

It’s the sancto sanctotum of an imposible cult, articulated from the concept of an apocalypse without revelations.  Or actually articulated as a response to our present apocalypse without revelations circumstances of which we have spoken in prior meetings. It’s like an act of bodily emission drive, a revelation repressed by today’s forced secularization. A secularization that is also a machine of systematic profanation of all that aspires to be sacred. There is resacralization of what is infamous and degraded and plays in an intuitive but brilliant way with the innuendos that the word “eschatology” has in the Spanish language. The term “eschatology” is of course associated in an almost medical way with all that is secretory. But in the science of the divine, eschatology is actually linked to the agonies of the soul and with the process of all that is above our earthly lives.

It has to do with the judgement day, it has to do with traveling into purgatory, it has to do with the transit of the soul into new forms of existence. To eradicate a major temple of a new cult within the great sewer is a gesture that metabolizes all the sickness of the present times, but it is at the same time a gesture that tries to sublimate all that shit. In the strict sense of the word, am I right? But it is now not possible to formulate in the terms of neatness that prior and less illustrated times could have. And, thus, it manifests not as an act of faith but of delusion. And it is there from where this new category emerges, the one I’m using to imagine a series of different, weird and eccentric manifestations in certain margins of contemporary art. And it is a delirium that we could call momentary, or even controlled. But that many times excedes the will of who conceives it in such way. The will of the artists.  Now we’ll watch a video that summarizes the not geopolitical but geo poetic features these procedures. And also registers the anachronistic rituals from which these are configured with a nonetheless very precise reference to the terrible times we live in. There is also a reference to Donald Trump that forces us to set a date and specify the precise historical moment of when this video was made. That is when the world began to gain conscience of the possibility, and not yet probability that the presidency of the united states would be won by this creepy and in a way eschatological figure. This action and its registry took place a few months before the elections that took Trump into the White House. … The architectonic, telluric, subterranean, underground location, with the Tate Modern, the city and cathedral of Saint Paul. Lets see

Tate Modern

Tolstoy is our ancestor.

Words are now a virus

Those were the bells of Saint. Paul Cathedral you were hearing.

Miranda and Wong broke into an abandoned store in downtown London to place a picture of Donald Trump, this picture was also part of a ritual that I prefer not to detail at this moment. This is the heart of a beast that was bought in one of the African markets that the post colonial migration process brought to London. And they make some kind of offering, payment, or some may even say spell. Remember that all of what we now see as dry land will soon be under water. And that the water from the Thames are somehow connected to the water of the Ganges river in India.

 

-What animal is it?

-It’s a lamb’s head.

-Jaime Miranda

-Excuse me?

- But its a Lamb

-Yes, it’s a Lamb

And that’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral

And the city is in the porsumondato

That’s the sewer

In the same broken in place were they placed Trump’s picture they also put up a picture of Tolstoi and one of Lady Di receiving a picture of herself wearing and islamic veil.

“The madness has to find somewhere to run wild”

This last shot is very important because it shows us the devotional act of reclining in order to get into the sacred space that is in fact a sewer. In the ancient temples it was usual for the portal leading to the sacred areas to be particularly small, this was to force the visitors of those places of prayer to humiliate themselves, to shrink their bodies in order to access divinity or the objet of worship. But this sacred enclosure, is a transmitter for all of the city’s shit. And within this tension between both senses of the eschatological. In this struggle between what’s High and what’s Low, in capital letters of course. Between Eros and Thanatos is that Jaime Miranda takes a new risk that allows us to access the lost knowledge of art. Or at least to dream about it. And that is a crucial fantasy. When he writes “Tolstoy is our ancestor”, he did it in complete ignorance of what I had done in order to retrieve that same patriarchal figure of art, Tolstoi.  Doing it in contrast with Lenin, the prophetic figure of soviet fascism. The phrase “What to do?” That gives name to the foundational dogma of the partisan Bolshevik that destroyed the democratic hope of the 20th century. That same phrase had been previously used by Tolstoi to vindicate an entirely different and opposite way towards healing, to social curatory, to the spiritual road. By the way, they were both inspired by prior works within soviet literature that was at the same time quoting the gospels. When political mystics become religion there is a problem. And maybe one of the ways to free ourselves from that problem is by retrieving what’s religious to place it in its fair and just place. Nowadays when any spiritual ideal is frowned upon in the west and its surroundings this becomes a desperate task.  Regardless, and for that actual reason, it’s very important to asume that task without mystifying it. And here’s a paradox, an intentional one. Without mystifying it and while playing with the parody of the rhetoric religion uses to turn itself into a repressing power structure. In that back and forth from the political through what’s poetic. In that leakage of art towards religion and viceversa is that some almos hysteric manifestations appear. In the classical sense of hysteria, where the word is trapped in a body. So, I’ll finish now, if we could please turn the light on. Sorry, not yet. I’ll finish by reading a very short text about the first revelation, the sacred job that Jaime Miranda and I called Pata de Cabra (Goats leg).

 

We would periodically make this sort of minimum performatic liturgy in front of special picked groups of people, its origin is, nonetheless, specially significant.  Because it is once again an attempt to cause a reaction. To generate a short-circuit in what’s political through what’s poetic. Even what’s deliriously poetic. Pata de Cabra, is maybe an expression that could be explained. In Perú it references an object usually used for committing crimes (Crowbar). It’s a long metal bar that has a bent that allows one to break a door and enter some private property in an illegal way. This object has a disturbing resemblance to the image of the snake. The snake of course is related to what’s satanic. It’s the evil snake, the one the virgin Mary stands on during the visions of the apocalypse. But in the Andean culture the snake is also the Amaru. It’s the mitic deity that links skies, the land and what’s underground, it is also lighting, the flow of water and what enters the earth and emerges from it. There is an unsettling polysemy that provides a particular sense to the use of this element on the Sacred Job that I’ll offer to you as well. Without the indispensable use of the Pata de Cabra (Crowbar), because I must control the magical effect it can generate within those who take part in it. So, with the critical distance demanded by the illustrated tradition of the River Plate, and specifically from Mar del Plata and Montevideo, we’ll proceed with this lect