Is not possible to begin a text, that is contrary to interpretation as a model of relation with the works of art, without referring to the collection of essays that Susan Sontag published in sixty-six, entitled, with the intention of making her position clear, Against Interpretation. I am glad to concur with Sontag on the fact that in front of an art work, if is necessary to say something, let that something be information, information focused on indicating “how it is what it is, even that it is what it is”. Yet I have always disagreed with her defence of the sensuality in art and all what it means on the guidelines of the relationship of the spectator with the works of art, because it brings the appreciation to the areas and categories of the preferences and phobias, on top of conditioning the perception of art to a relationship necessarily sensitive
Sherlock Holmes´s phrase -in The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905)- that says: “What one man can invent another can discover” would be very agreeable to that defended by Rancière in his work The Emancipated Spectator written in two thousand and eight. I believe that because Conan Doyle slips, in that phrase, the word discover where everything seems to indicate that we should find the word decipher. In that sense the relationship that Rancière is defending between spectator and work of art, is that of someone trying to extract meaning. Besides Rancière defends that the motor of the art work interpretation is the capacity of it to produce amazement. This taken to the extreme, would imply that any artist that uses clarity and expresses without dualities, is not carrying out with its part of the deal, by presenting to the public statements incapable of withstand interpretative projections. And the art production of that artist should be considered of a lower quality, being obvious and lacking inventiveness.
For this exhibition, entitled Comfort, Antonio Ortega presents us a pair of tables decorated with an arrangement at the centre that is hidden under a thick layer of polyurethane foam embellished, at its turn, under a layer of Paint.
Art history has showed us that everything that an artist use is susceptible of accommodate meaning, even if the artist chooses materials randomly, the very method of choosing by chance, is content too. Hence the elements that shape up the sculptures on the tables, are, potentially, objects capable of providing content. But since they are hidden the possibility of being translated from its physical form in to words is suspended. Only destroying the art work and going through the polyurethane to discover what is inside, we could reach the original object, and in that way speculate about what message has the artist hidden. Even when it might not be about speculating on what is hidden, but about what it means the operation of hiding something.