We shall become Dogs
Posted on 24 April, 2015
A text on La Pasión según Arte Huerco, an exhibition initially shown in Pachuca, Hidalgo, by Fundación Arturo Herrera Cabañas, in April, 2014. It was later exhibited between April and May, 2015, at the Copilco subway station, in Mexico City.
For over two decades, Ricardo Delgado Herbert (Tampico, 1974) has devoted himself to observing the world where ostentation and suffering converge. He has made a record of the ever more frequent images of violence, and instead of resisting them, he has let them loose in order to set them in crisis.
His work approaches the tacit or explicit acceptance of extreme violence as the price we have to pay every day to scrape the heaven of the First World (even if this is only achieved, as the saying goes, from the veins in). This is a heaven where, before anybody else, criminals have a right of entry: both the stamped-shirt and white collar varieties; intellectuals of both payrolls; and their adjacent accomplices. It is a heaven overflowing with virility, addicted to itself: it is swarmed by armed cherubs, there is a crown made of “Cuernos de chivo” (AK 47’s); bureaucrat cardinals guarding the “capo dei capi”; and even an Ascension.
For those who are not members of the celestial court, those citizens who remain outside the complicity of politicians, businessmen and criminals, the only thing they can partake of in the feast of luxury and adrenaline, is sacrifice: a promise of salvation through pain, but a frivolous sanctity at that. Having been so often repeated on front pages and screens, the images of pain can no longer aspire to anything more than desensitize us.
Nonetheless, Ricardo Delgado refuses to be bedazzled. That is why the shadows projected by the figures in his paintings are so dense, they seem to be made out of blood. Right where the phony glow of the testosterone feast does not shine, its consequences can be glimpsed.
This is the passion of modernity criticized by Ricardo Delgado, the exhibition of blood taken to such an extreme that we can deem it unimportant; artificial rainbows, coming apart at the seams; individuals who no longer have any strength, unless a weapon replaces one of their limbs. If we are not to become cyborgs, we shall become dogs: alert, ready to detect the smell of putrefaction travelling through the air.