Agustín BejaranoHarakiri, 1998
Engraving, 70 x 50 cm.
[…] From all the pieces in which the subject somehow assumes a certain ambivalence that looks at the artist and where the latter seems to blend with the marks of the old identification with Martí, Harakiri, an engraving from 1997, ends a period of symbolic de-mystification of venerable excellence and total significance in the history of Cuban art. Somehow, Harakiri can be read as the suspended embrace of Bejarano/Martí and Aziyadé in an ecstatic instant or second of profound trance in which they are traversed by the harakiri swords, also machetes emerged from the Cuban countryside. The couple is trapped in the instant of suicide, when the masochism of a belonging beyond any reasoning also burns them in the joy of both kiss and madness. Capture and liberty, tradition and flight, affiliation and mockery, tragedy and accomplishment are senses incorporated to that complex and redeeming instant that the artist succeeded in condensing. This piece shows a semiotic perfection seldom attained by man in his handling of art. Never had Bejarano achieved such boisterously fitting allegory in the articulation of signs, in expressing so exactly such a precise and open plane of significance.
Now that calendar poetry is not scarce, one would have to study the nature of a piece like Harakiri, a result more of genuine poetry than of engraving, more of the artistic ciphering capacity than of the mastery of plastic by the technique. A definitive work in which the artist settles his traumatic and vital debt with his environment, which is also his condition, his history, his pride and his fatum, all at once.
It seemed that no country remained after this piece. In the following, Bejarano would do with art whatever pleases him […]. 1
1. Rufo Caballero, “Interpreting Bejarano, The iconography of his poetics, from a three-sided system: the cosmos, the island and man,” in Agustín Bejarano, Obras 1987 – 2000 (Havana: Artecubano Ediciones, 2006), 152.