LE ROMAN DE LA ROSE | ASMA
Asma, the duo of artists formed by Matias Armendaris (Ecuador) and Hanya Belià (Mexico), referring to medieval culture, both from a visual and thematic point of view, and integrating it into a careful and precise survey of the present, creates works allegorical that present to the observer as portals capable of generating narratives poised between fable and news. Fantastic and compelling is the work of Le Romand de le Rose (2022) in which the artists, perhaps with an identification that bypasses the temporal distance, takes up the French allegorical poem written in 1230 and subsequently expanded in 1275 by the two authors Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun. The poem recounts the attempt of a young knight to reach his beloved and during this journey implement a social redemption. Perhaps to date, it is not the love for a loved one that moves the movement of young artists and workers, but certainly the desire for personal improvement unites the destinies of the protagonists of these enthralling adventures.
The work is installed inside a fake office box in which everything is changed, through the use of painting and drawing applied to digital instruments, such as computers and printers. In the case of Il roman de la Rose, the artists decorate the curtains used to defend their screens from the reflection of the sun’s rays, as a wall on which to fresco the picturesque scene in which a knight hidden behind a tree tries to pick a rose, ideally the object that will allow him to obtain the object of his desire. Romantic courtship is silently thrown into the present in which the hand no longer tends towards the rose, but spasmodically types the keys of a keyboard. However, the underlying desire does not change in this action: the daily struggle of the knight becomes the battle, perhaps in our present to lose, to obtain a success so induced when detested but inescapably sought after and coveted.
And yes, the art of loving is constant and remains an engine of human action, but ASMA, jumping from one temporal parenthesis to another, shows its most demeaning aspect. What are our castles? Which dragons to defeat? Locked in a stone labyrinth we move like knights without a rose, with a desire that burns us without bringing us a vital nymph. However, Le Roman de la Rose remains, in its metaphorical experience, a portal to access, in which to rediscover the rose of our most intimate and hidden desire. The art of loving, says Asma the decorative and narrative system applied to contemporary furniture, maybe still exists, just start looking at our screens with a different gaze, just keep alive the fantastic narrative intrinsic in man. Let these curtains open and finally perhaps we will find our true beloved.
Le Roman de la Rose, 2022
Epoxy resin, aluminum, blind headrail
205 x 142 x 5 cm
© Courtesy of the artists and Gaga Mexico City & Los Angeles