What do I know about Libertad?

Jorge Ornelas . February, 2015


I met Daniela Libertad many years after I ought to. Before that, it was as if we had been standing in the same place, back to back, and spinning. It has been eight years since we were introduced to one another, and we have not ceased to run into each other everywhere. The art scene tends to be small, of course, and it is smaller in Mexico. Anyway, we run into each other––and this happens often.


This introduction may not contribute much to the work of Daniela, but it allows me to establish how I have learned to see her work.


Positively charged with the idea of script and of the performatic act, her process has evolved in a field of a narrative that has been clearly planned but not entirely transparent, since we cannot fully understand what is happening in it. In her videos one is immersed in an atmosphere that narrates but does not tell; it is like a question that is posed over and over, mirroring the breathing of the viewer. Seeing her work is like witnessing that moment of clarity in which one understands that the creative act is crucial rather than an excuse. In Daniela’s case, video and performatic act constitute a space in which something happens, but we do not know the end––because there is none, and there is none because there should not be one.


As years have gone by, her work has found other pathways: the text as drawing, the word as statement, the statement as form, the object, the object as sculpture, the object as a recipient of action, and the drawing as a record of movement. Upon concrete premises––for example, the experimentation on the concept of circle––her work has embodied in multiple media. Daniela approaches a concept in a cyclical movement in which she persists and demonstrates that the medium is the record of a research process and of a concept. Thus, a circle is an excuse for an action, the action translates into video, and the video is nothing more than an excuse to record a fleeting circle. Likewise, a gesture of the body is a trace of her personal space, of the reach of her arms, of the diameter linked to our axis.


Ultimately, the work of Daniela Libertad shows us how our surroundings are shaped and how we are shaped; it signals that place which we do not see due to lack of attention. It is not about the simplicity of forms and concepts, rather it is about the complexity of a statement. We perceive the work as a meditative state in which we are allowed to look back at ourselves again with a degree of estrangement––something worth doing in an era in which an image is consumed within seconds. In Daniela’s work image and question remain in the viewer; we can take them home and keep asking. What else have we forgotten how to observe today?


Jorge Ornelas. February, 2015.