The masses think, “We have never seen monsters, therefore, they cannot exist”. The truth is that there are many things that we do not see but exist right in front of our noses, such as microbes and electricity, so perhaps monsters do exist.
In Latin, the noun monstrum used to refer to a “warning from the gods”. It did not refer to just any warning, such as a premonition in a dream or nightmare. No, the warning was the announcement, or admonition of something unusual to come, linked to phenomena outside the natural order, such as the birth of a child with two heads or a deformed animal. These monsters were considered bad omens. In the best cases, they were hidden away for life. Another source of the etymology of the word monster comes from the Latin monstrare, to show, inform, or expose. But monsters are not limited to showing something: they are warnings of the supernatural, of the future, and, in short, of the will of the gods before which we can do nothing.
The line between the monstrous and the human is blurred. We grow up afraid of being taken away by Coco, La Llorona, or the Bogeyman, and, at the same time, we fill our children’s beds with one-eyed stuffed animal monsters that they cuddle to sleep. Textbooks are full of monstrous historical passages that changed the course of history and our TVs channel surf programs led by monsters created in operating rooms with the help of forceps and scalpels. We call both someone we admire and a serial killer a monster. Sometimes we feel sorry for our inner monsters, other times we hide them and only take them out for a walk in our innermost secret gardens.
How necessary are monsters in our lives? And, what place do they occupy?
Horrendously beautiful monsters, monsters that are creepy, frightening, dreadful, endearing, hairy, soft, or deformed. Monsters rejected; others, accepted and integrated. Friendly monsters, abhorrent, lonely, sad, fearful, or tender monsters. Past monsters and future monsters. Whatever they are, monsters live among us.
Monstruario will be the first group exhibition organized by The Kipindo Project Association for the Meeting of the Arts, Education, Health and Community Welfare, in collaboration with 13ESPACIOarte Center for Art and Contemporary Creation. The project is the result of an interdisciplinary approach based on the idea that art is a tool for both change and exchange and an instrument for dialogue and social inclusion. The exhibition will host the work of professional artists and self-taught creators, in order to make visible and share the monsters that inhabit us and the ones who live silently with us. Because all beings can be monstrously artists. The selected works approach the theme from different points of view, providing different interpretations of the monstrous. From an internal, introspective perspective, from an outward focus on reality, or from Fantasy that addresses the motley collective imaginary, and consciously making evident or not, stereotypes of the aesthetics of the monstrous.