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The prophecy of reason, 2018

/ Versión en español


The prophecy of reason, 2018

Solo show in Espacio Violenta.

On faith, the acceptance of an idea without any evidence to support it; Faith is the abdication of rational, logical and critical thinking to accept any assertion as true, it is the unwarranted elevation of that renunciation into virtue. Faith exonerates, irrationally, any conjecture of its epistemic responsibility.

On archaic doctrines, dragged from the ignorant childhood of our species, perpetuated ⸺paradoxically by that which rationally invalidates them⸺ by the censorship of any inquiry or questioning, or simply by force; sustained with the artifice of faith; infecting still today our secular societies.

On the hierarchy of interpreters, supposed connoisseurs of omnipotent wills, self-proclaimed bearers of universal truths and absolute and immovable certainties ⸺the basis of all tyranny⸺, preservers of ancient superstitions; their actions and eschatological words, nauseating, disgusting; their regulated, systematic, and criminal concealment; their complicit silence; the submission of its indoctrinated and acquiescent affiliates, and the pretended submission of those not subscribed to its arbitrary, oppressive, misogynistic, slavish, xenophobic, homophobic, violent and irrational laws.

On the notorious moral gap that distances us from the authors of these texts and creeds, clear representatives of the thought of the Bronze Age, the implausibility of their content denotes the antiquated nature of those laws and the obvious authorship of men; in contrast, it becomes evident, the human moral advance propitiated by the search for knowledge, the questioning of all ideas, the open debate ⸺product of free thought and free expression⸺, the deepening of the understanding of nature ⸺to which we belong⸺ in conformity with the evidence of reality ⸺observation and experimentation⸺, the understanding of the consequences of our actions, the determination to promote well-being and happiness, the awareness of serving human ideals, and the progressive expansion of rights, freedoms and of the knowledge that informs and on which that moral is based.

The prophecy of reason.

Ricardo Coello Gilbert


Commentary about the show, by Ana Rosa Valdez, translated from

The recent work of Ricardo Coello Gilbert leads us to weigh the faith-reason binary that in our modern Western culture has led to polarized disputes over truth. Faced with the crisis of the Church as the governing institution of morality, and the urgent need for a secular State that guarantees rights not only to human beings but to all sentient beings, what social role do artistic practices play?

The exhibition "The prophecy of reason" by the artist from Guayaquil, presented a few weeks ago in the Espacio Violenta, proposes different strategies of artistic approach to the political tensions that today remove key concepts for Western societies such as faith, religion and piety, morality and ethics, justice and law, the institution and the community. In the work Census Coello [Gilbert] plays with the literalness of the statistical statements, and the quantitative data as a determined reflection of reality, to place the viewer between faith and reason and critical judgment. The anagram of a biblical quote that we find in the work The Tenth Commandment. Exodus 20:17 leads us to think about the authority of the interpreters of the sacred scriptures, and the legitimacy of their interpretations within the hierarchical framework of a community of believers. Coello [Gilbert] operates on the language in which that community is founded. In The apologists of abuse i and The apologists of abuse ii, he transposes the letters that make up the statements of clergymen regarding sexual abuse within the Church, generating counter-statements and, with them, a critical sense of the words of church officials.

What is interesting about Coello [Gilbert]'s works is that, although his discursive strategy borders on the literalness of the statements, at the level of the visual he uses resources (documents, surveys, clerical clothing, scriptures, stamps) that can become poetic as in The emancipated passages or The garden of silences. In this he finds a considerable aesthetic value in relation to the recent trends in activist art, whose literalness, in most cases, perverts artistic creation and transforms it into mere propaganda.

We share in Paralaje the text of the artist Ricardo Coello Gilbert, and a photographic record of the works in the exhibition.


Ana Rosa Valdez


The tenth commandment. Exodus 20:17, 2018

Ink and pencil on embossed Hahnemühle paper



From the biblical quote that is part of the name of the piece:

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (NIV)

It now reads a new phrase which translated into English would be:

Never again will we continue without judgement

a cruel order,

the plan devised by a boastful, sadistic, invasive cult;

Ancient and hateful sect, sows guilt, points out for no reason.


The emancipated passages, 2018

Earth, wood, rocks and sphere composed of each “Señor” (Lord) of the bible