22.03 > 02.05.2019
Sandra Cinto — Noturno


The work of Sandra Cinto is one that embraces the affective, that understands that the revolutionary must not come from violence but from respect. That is surely the true place of art and why this artist proposes a journey through the present, the universal and the individual, expanded even when directed inwards, and revealing a particular commitment to a present which, in many cases, is blackened and beginning to dissipate. Because Nocturno conceals within it a paradoxically hopeful hopelessness; hence its peculiar sense of immeasurability. Landscape is offered to us as dispossession, while its immensity summons an indescribable nostalgia. Images float like ruins of memory, inviting us to enter into the beauty of an unfathomable landscape devoid of figures, as in those romantic paintings of dreamlike nocturnal journeys. This tenebrous grandeur is taken up in Nietzsche's Night Song of Zarathustra; at night the landscape is lost in gloom and one must be brave to continue onwards.
I must confess I like those artists who dare to look back. Who are not afraid. In Nocturno, Sandra Cinto returns to one of her original subjects. She does this in a harmonious way, as if she were merely attempting to caress what she had done before. It is not so much a retrospective as an introspective exhibition, insofar as Nocturno is the fruit of consciousness, of memory. These are images that become visible depending on the proximity and position from which we observe them. They have more to do with Penelope's weaving than with Ulysses' impatience. Drawings weave the plot of a narrative; and we must give artists back the power to weave history in this way – both their own and that of others. Penelope's nocturnal unweaving is a drawing on memory which allows the narrative to remain open. Nocturno reveals that patient feminine dimension and constitutes a rejection of patriarchal oppression returning in the form of political extremes.
While the drawings included in Nocturno explode from the canvas into space, they are nonetheless melodic compositions, with their large and small forms and contrasts of light and dark presented in the vein of Chopin's Nocturne Op. 15 no. 3, with its contrasting dynamic of voids and silences, of both great density and sparseness. A composition which is intimate but which, like art, has the power to enrapture the human being.
Sandra Cinto summons the political from the poetic and positions herself against the misery of those in power who seek to instil fear in order to suffocate social progress. Hence her choice of working without colour, in black and white, which, in addition to focusing our gaze on the graphic elements of the drawings themselves, instils a mournfulness in the landscape. Thus from the symbolic she creates an open cosmic landscape that invites us to fly through the open sky of the freedom of her drawing. A landscape imbued with star dust; because while it is true we are the children of stars, we are also the inheritors of the limitless potential of light. Another recurring element throughout this artist's career is bridges, the critical importance of which the artist defends at a time when many argue for the construction of walls. Sandra Cinto seeks to act as a bridge in the world. She does not want to be a wall. Lamps, as providers of light, are another element. Swings are yet another, invoked as an expression of the desire for freedom and of the lack of fear in childhood, of that sort of primal daring which is unafraid of the fall. It is in this sense that she also approaches the abyss, which, far from dragging our gaze downwards, impels us to fly. This is why these drawings both fold and unfold, because as the artist told me many years ago: books have wings.  

David Barro (Maio, 2019)

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