Without any doubt, Pedro Pablo Oliva is an essential figure within Cuban visual arts. His thinking is a fundamental zone to understand our country’s culture and social reality. When postmodernity reached –as a decorous tale of disillusions and anxiety– its highest notes on the grounds of global experience, in this island –which is always under the shadows of the rest of the world–, his voice showed the ineffable symptoms of a quick although prudent decadency.
Those were the years in which the power of the modern State-nation’s mythological figure lost its fixity before the ideas of not few rebel young people, while in the Island its status was still almighty. Those were the years of tropical calmness and trivial prosperity. And on the contrary, his impulse did not stay ecstatic. His effort was condensed in the possibility of creating a strategy that would be capable of expressing the paradoxical, dangerous and strange character of stability.
Game has been his sign ever since. He comes to it from painting, drawing, engraving and, recently, also from sculpture. His ruse is color, clung to a vaporous and inaccessible light: those are liquefied tints, light transparencies, lethargy of dream. The field of game works for him as a parallel or near version of reality which expresses its contradictory and pathetic contents. It is a safe area in which cruelty gets tints of unlikeness, fantasy and even nobleness; in which censure fluctuates and truth flows as a mild and delicious stream. This is a land of new myths and other heroes, different to those who have been sanctified by the uncertain discourse of History. The game, as another possibility of confrontation, becomes an expressive alibi of deep cultural implications that has defined his poetry since the beginning.
It is also undoubted his expressionist lineage. The magna terribilitá of everyday facts, the will of telling stories of their own and diverge are all remembrances of Antonia Eiriz’s teachings. Parting from those precepts, Oliva decided to go to the uncertain path of our cultural history in the search for a safe origin. Therefore, he discovered, in first place, the natural stories of the forest, the watering place and the yagruma, the childish appearance of our culture’s body, and the tear hanging from a face full of light. His is a cosmogony of fear and pain, of the trivial and ephemeral joy that lingers in simple things, of the finitude of uncertain flesh, of the passion that means uncertainty and nostalgia.
His characters are foreigners. The wrinkles of an incurable and monolithic grief are carved in them. Nothing satisfies such anxiety. In their lineages grows the mordacious sign of horror. They are dignified in their agony. A whining voice says: “those who have everything today, will beg for everything tomorrow.” Oliva is our apologist, forecaster of our insignificance as society, provident of our mistakes, paroxysms, anguishes and traumas; he is a chronicler of the children of ignorance and their solaces. He gives his voice to a narration of a story about our race, which lacks of glory and megalomania; sheltered by horror, clothed of hysterical melancholy. His is the essence of an ignored knowledge: inevitable premonitions.