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 Paralaje.xyz.
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
The garden of silences, 2018
Dead plant and inkjet printing on newspaper
The following texts hang from the dead plant:
“No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” Genesis 19:7-8
The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. Genesis 19:34-36
At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestockas well. Exodus 12:29
If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. Exodus 21:7
Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property. Exodus 21:20-21
Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal is to be put to death. Exodus 22:19
My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. Exodus 23:23
Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Exodus 32:27-28
‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding. Leviticus 12:2,5
When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. Leviticus 15:19-20
If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another manbut who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. Leviticus 19:20
Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. Leviticus 25:44
If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you. Deuteronomy 22:20-21
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. Deuteronomy 22:28-29
The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.” Judges 19:23-24
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-19
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Matthew 10:34-36
A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. Luke 18:18-19
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Ephesians 5:22-23
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Ephesians 6:5
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. 1 Corinthians