Carlos Martiel

Vanishing Point, March 2013
Nitsch Museum, Naples, Italy

Vanishing point is a site-specific performance and the first European solo show of the Cuban artist Carlos Martiel (Havana, 1989).

The “vanishing point” and the perspective are both expression of the Western worldview to give a geometrical ratio to the world while rationalising it through logic and mathematics terms. They both belong to a doctrine based on the anthropocentric concept of man as the measure of the world, thus represented by Leonardo da Vinci in the Homo Vitruvianus which can be considered the extreme visualisation of the Neoplatonic correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm.

Carlos Martiel reverses the iconic outcome of this concept by using his body. He perverts the model, from the Platonic purity toward a version which is controversially multicultural and hybrid. The artist stands in the centre of the room with woollen threads sewn to the front and back of his body. The threads sewed to his back all follow the same direction to a single point on the wall. The threads extending from his torso expand in many directions, creating the illusion that a vanishing point has pierced him.

In Carlos Martiel’s work, who attended Tania Bruguera's “Arte de Conducta" in Havana, the context of belonging and the awareness of his own body are always the outcome of complex processes of attribution. His harsh and dramatic works are characterised by a disturbing beauty and a nearly cathartic strength which drive them beyond the contextual or sociological remark. His actions originated from a specific geopolitical localisation, proceed inductively from the particular to the general since they refer, against our will, to global problems.