Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho)Todos los caminos, 2016
Bronze sculpture, variable dimensions
Emigration arises from a consternation of all kinds. The crisis of the spiritual and physical space paves the road by itself and the course to take is never static, and even less immune. Then a first insertion takes place in a practically orphaned otherness. The longing for what is unknown is never more delusory than the apathy for permanence. That course stands as a direction drawn on the horizon, but without a determined destination. The lack of an exact port does not enable a crisis, but rather the panting of a chimerical but always promising plenitude.
All the roads and paths become possible in the adventure of emigration. The sense of orientation may be one of the problems inherent to the process. Therefore, the attempt to prescribe directions conveys an axiom whoever tries to approach emigration from its implementation or aesthetization. In the second case, always subject to a deconstruction around the concept and the object, the artist (the trained one) subverts contents to generate new modes of reading in the face of their daily automation. Kcho, who has masterminded an entire aesthetic arsenal around the phenomenon of emigration, knows how to manage histrionically the nature of the elements being represented in itself.
In such a way, Todos los caminos (All the roads) compresses the essence of an artistic practice put forward for nearly 30 years. In this sculpture of superb workmanship, the artist deals with the subject of displacement from an overwhelming poetics. The evocation of the compass rose by means of the usual drifting boat is one of the richest symbolic contradictions of his entire creative heritage.
Kcho sees the sketch of his work through the so-called compass rose. Known as a marine instrument used in navigation charts, the rose points to the northern horizon circumference. Before the observer, a set of forms and contents move on under the grandiloquence of the most exquisite finished work, thus seducing by the perfection of a solid composition in its circumference. However, the artist leaves several open gaps for a deeper analysis. Which would be the eventual direction and strength of the wind in the emigrant’s utopian journey? In a space of four cardinal points, which of the directions would be the most promising? After all, where does the sun rise? In a sea of uncertainties, there are no eternal answers. The North is no different from the South, and the sun does not always rise in the east.
–Modesto D. Serpa