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Rafel G. Bianchi 

No preguntis a l’ignorant (Don’t Ask the Ignorant), 2012

Multiple | Object | Polyurethane resin and acrylic paint. Arts Coming, Barcelona
17 x 7.5 x 4.5 cm.

 

The object, the gesture, the gaze. The imperative, the red, the brown. The doubt, the negation, the placing in suspension. No preguntis a l’ignorant (Don’t Ask The Ignorant) is a piece that is easily inserted into a trajectory — that of Rafel G. Bianchi — that is based on the centrality of the subject, humour (or irony) and the suggestion of the absurd.

No preguntis a l’ignorant (2005) started out as a sculpture in fibreglass, a reproduction of Rafel G. Bianchi’s own person at 1:1 scale. This is a male figure; slim, with no hair on the head, with bushy eyebrows and red ears. Black trousers and a brown jacket, by way of a uniform seeking the most minimal apperception. His gesture, with shoulders raised, elbows tucke3d in and forearms outstretched, hands open with palms outward, embodies a ‘What are you telling me?’ or a ‘What do I know?’.

Sarcasm invades the expression of a face dominated by curved eyebrows and an almost Etruscan half smile that evokes the faces of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. A sarcasm that not only contains but involves. ‘Don’t ask the ignorant’ is an order: The contemporary artist, despite being concerned with questions, does not give answers. Like the colour of ears that blush without permission, the artist enters the realm of reflection on the truth with no obligation to give valid results.

With his gesture Rafel G. Bianchi moves his figure, that of the artist, towards assimilation with the buffoon or the clown, the antihero who, with no need of success, also achieves centrality in the attention of the powerful by way of humour. And by way of a personality that is free and independent, in being marginal and autarkic.

This is not, moreover, the first time that Bianchi has used himself as an explosive subject. He did so in Paper Dolls, in which we see a caricature of the artist running, or in An Englishman, A Frenchman and A Spaniard, in which Bianchi is a comic figure, perplexed beside a swing that the artist has redesigned all wrong. We also see him in The 8 Differences (in fact there are none) in La Vanguardia, photographed with two characters wearing Santa Claus caps,* or more recently in At x Metres from the Objective (2006-2014).

The version of No preguntis a l’ignorant produced by ArtsComing is a that reproduction of the original sculpture in polyurethane resin and acrylic paint on a much smaller scale (17 x 7.5 x 4.5 cm). It is also a multiple object, and as such escapes the uniqueness traditionally associated with the work of art, placing in tension the structure of the market and questioning its own distribution and elitism through its unlimited distribution.

In this way, concept and object come together in a piece that is completed by its own distribution, suspending the role and function of the contemporary artist, their context, their work, their value; exercising an incisive critique of an entire system through a simple gesture charged with cynicism, quasi-Machiavellian, but intelligently presented as naive and jokey.

Marina Vives Cabré

* MARROQUÍ, Javier. ‘¿De qué ríe l’ignorant?’, in No Preguntis a l’ignorant (Cru 025). Barcelona: Cru, 2008.


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