Our time is a time of the difference, when, more than ever, Identities are performed. We believe we can be what we want to be. The Jacques Baustista show highlights and questions the ideas surrounding the hyperbolic quality of persona of the artist . Holding the fringes of our existence are artists. Writers, Performers, Craftspersons, Musicians, weaving histories based on an especial and subjective interpretations; expanding our shared experience. In exchange we give them an allowance of eccentricity and the specificity of an inflated proper name, that big “I” that easily becomes the obnoxious manifestation of a blown up ego.
Jacques Bautista is one of those stories, an invention of mine. An archetype, a name dropped to impress, doppelganger, shape shifter; someone I know that everyone else should know, or I wish they could know. Jacques Bautista is the exhibition of interpretation. He is the invented Picasso. His biography is surrounded by mystery and gaps. I am making his fame for him, taking care of him. The show is about presence, about being there and not, in this regard I am collecting traces. Jacques is an homage based on a documentation, or perhaps the opposite, the document is the homage. This is the exhibit of the traces that all artists leave behind, the objects that guarantee their afterlife. But in this case these traces are created by others who paradoxically are themselves appropriating the notion of attribution. In this sense what is being questioned is authorship itself, the idea that art must be associated with the proper name with private property, ownership and value. If Bautista’s oeuvre was created by other people who graciously attribute what they did to him, who is then the artist.
One of the strategies applied by the 24 artists who contributed is to use the object to found Baptista. The other one is the homage based on a faux document. These artists are representing a non existing entity. Here the concept approaches séance, but not the séance of the dead because Jacque never died. He never was. Only the conjuring of nothingness into the story of what could have been.
The objects in the show document an existence that never had presence. In this sense the concept approaches that of things real but did not exist and things that existed but are not real. I have lent a few ideas to begin the process. Artists were invited to participate in their own voice, with their own aesthetic reasons. The only string; it’s all about Jacque. (Lori Lee Bravo)