January 01, 2001
Ana Patricia Palacios
By FELIPE AGUDELO TENORIO - From the time of the first nightmares, when language was already there to give us support, we man have intuited the existence of an intruder who not only copies us, but also command us. He is not the copy of an image like the one produced by mirrors, portraits or memory; neither is he what genetics pretends to produce with its clones. He is not a duplicate struggling with exactness. He is something more profound and ineffable, since individuality is more powerful than sameness. We are to the existence of a double or the belief therein, which is present in most mythologies. He is considered a source of power and an obligatory requisite for wizards, with doctors and shamans; there is even a whole catalogue of techniques aimed at finding him. On the other hand, he is sometimes regarded as the evidence of an irrefutable evil, a source of terror, or a door opening onto madness. This is because a double is not an other, he is one’s own self; he is not a copy, or an exact resemblance, but rather a magic and psychological identity. The double is myself. I am the double.
I am two who are one. ‘An other’ who is myself and with whom I can. And must, have a legitimate exchange. He dreams and I sleep. I open my eyes and he disappears. He brings consolations for a loneliness that the others (in spit of their love) do not alleviate. I confront the blank pages and the writes. Suddenly, he paints on the blank canvas, and when I return I discover what he has done, using me- that is to say, using his own self, our hand- as instrument. I forget and he remembers. I suffer and he heals me; he takes my pain away. He and I=I. Not two ‘I’s’, not even a divided ‘I’, but rather the merging point of different levels of reality; different strata of conscience that nourish the yearning for oneness, a wish that has to do with the unity with one’s own self. Mystics make reference to a state in which there are no opposites, in which one’s double, where ‘everything’ and ‘nothing’ dissolve into light. To become one with that undeniable and undemonstrable ‘other’ has been man’s longtime dream. I build and he destroys. I exist now and he lives in another time. While I live, he grows accustomed to death. When I die, will he continue to live? Are we the same illusion? The issue of the double nourishes that of individual identity and acquires subtle and deep implications not only in myths and in art, but also in the current ambit of science. A thing, a being, can only be its own self. One may establish equivalencies, deprive a being of hid essence and change him into something else.
Interchange is an old trick with men. Identity is a different problem. Something tells us, thousands of years of existence murmur it: an irreducible core exists. In its effort to find different -and, consequently, its own- ways. Contemporary art seeks in the usual themes a source of inspiration and reflection. This is what Ana Patricia Palacios has done in her most recently exhibition, devoting all her amorous sapience as a painter to the exploration of the theme of the double, of identity and duality, She has also tried to warn us about dangers and possibilities that stalk us and her palette, she has accomplished a solid and suggestive exhibit, attuned with the present and, at the same time, with deep roots. Hers is an art that induces us to ponder on unresolved enigmas, on territories of our inner life that are donors of vitals riches. To stand facing the paintings by Ana Patricia is a moving and alarming experience; it implies posing questions in the midst of a great silence. It is also a subtle experience, because she does not impose her point of view: rather, she shows us the panorama –profound and beautiful- of her interrogation.
There are also the roses, so difficult in art due to the fact that they are continuously used. And in spite of this, as we watch them the induce us he think about their reproducible beauty, like sweet wounds, and they remind us, according to poets who are the ones who know them best, of the multiplicity of their copies. For each rose has double that has a double…a rose is all the roses. And still, a rose is unique. This is, perhaps, the way in which the painter understands it, so in spite of everything, she never attempts to produce the identical. She knows that this is an inner quality, and so her images are duplicated with their small and very significant differences.